Putting God's Word into Practice…

Hebrews 11:21 By faith Jacob…

on July 12, 2013

By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. Hebrews 11:21

When we left Jacob yesterday he was on the run after stealing his brother’s firstborn blessing from their father, Isaac.  Here are a few key events from Genesis 29-48 that lead up to Hebrews 11:21’s “deathbed” faith.

  1. Laban tricked the master of trickery.  Jacob promised to work for 7 years to earn Laban’s daughter, Rachel, as a wife.  Upon waking the morning after his wedding night; Jacob found Leah (Rachel’s sister) in the marriage bed instead of Rachel.  Jacob worked another 7 years to earn Rachel.  Isn’t it ironic that the reason Laban tricked Jacob was because in their culture it was not right for the younger to be blessed before the older sibling! 
  2. Birthing battles.  Jacob’s wives were not content with the offspring they were giving him, so they gave their servants also to be his wives.  Between the four of them, they gave Jacob 12 sons.
  3. Prosperity and pain.  Jacob’s household prospered on Laban’s land and it caused “in-law issues.”  Jacob and all his house fled back to his homeland–which was also the land promised to his heirs.  He didn’t return to conquer or inherit the land–but as a sojourning tent-dweller, practically homeless!
  4. Jacob surrendered to God’s plan and pursued God’s promises.  He wrestled with God, was blessed by God, and saw God face-to-face!
  5. The wife that Jacob dearly loved, Rachel, died in childbirth with his 12th son.  Being currently pregnant, I can’t imagine the grief, doubt and anxiety it would bring a husband to lose his beloved in labor.  
  6. His 11 sons became jealous of Joseph, Jacob’s favored son.  They sold Joseph into slavery and tricked their father into believing that Joseph was killed by a wild animal.  Many messages on this story focus on Joseph’s woes, but can you imagine his father’s desperation and grief?  He believed his favorite son was dead for nearly 30 years.
  7. During a famine in the land (another giant trial/loss), Jacob found out that Joseph was alive in Egypt, and God revealed to Jacob that it was all part of His plan to get His chosen people–the Israelites–to Egypt to make them into a great nation.  God also told Jacob that he would die in Egypt.
  8. Joseph promised Jacob that when he died, he would not be buried in Egypt.  This led Jacob to worship God.
  9. Jacob never expected to see Joseph again, but God allowed him not only to see Joseph, but his grandsons through Joseph as well.  He blessed his grandsons, and this led Jacob to worship.  The old, nearly blind man bowed to the ground, put his face in the dirt, and worshipped God!

Just like Isaac yesterday and Joseph tomorrow (Lord willing), Jacob knew he was dying when he passed on the blessing to the next generations.  He obviously held fast to his faith until the end!  Even through many unfortunate circumstances, painful loss, hopeless events, and tragedy Jacob remained faithful to the promises of God.  Then after a lifetime of seeing God’s faithfulness to him, he worshipped!

Let me encourage you today to think on God’s faithfulness to you, and may it lead you to worship the One who created you, loves you, and fulfills all His purposes for your life!

Here’s the song God put on my heart:  http://youtu.be/wPI_DIqICP0

On that day when my strength is failing

The end draws near and my time has come

Still my soul will sing Your praise unending

10,000 years and then forevermore!

Bless the Lord, oh my soul

Oh my soul

Worship His holy name

Sing like never before

Oh my soul

I’ll worship Your holy name



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