Summary: Jacob Blesses His Sons. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: Genesis chapter 49 verses 1-28
• A frog went to see a Fortune-teller,
• Gazing into her crystal ball, she said to frog:
“You are going to meet a beautiful young woman. From the moment she sets eyes on you she will have an insatiable desire to know all about you. She will be compelled to get close to you—you’ll fascinate her.”
• The Frog replied: “Where am I? At a singles club?”
• “No!” replied the Fortune-teller: “In a biology class.”
The blessings of Jacob in Genesis chapter 49 also speak about the future:
• For some of his sons it will be good news;
• For others it will be mixed news, both good and bad.
(a). Key observations:
(1). They are Last words (Verse 33):
“When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people.”
On the day that Karl Marx died, March 14, 1883:
• His housekeeper came to him and said,
• "Tell me your last words, and I'll write them down."
• Marx replied, "Go on, get out!
• Last words are for fools who haven't said enough!"
Last words can be very revealing.
• Showman P. T. Barnum said, as he was dying, "What were today's receipts?"
• Elizabeth 1st; "All my possessions for a moment of time!"
• The great Baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon, said as his last words, "Jesus died for me."
• And John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, said, "The best of all is, God is with us."
The dying words of any man should not be taken lightly,
• Especially those spoken by a patriarch; head of the family clan.
• And recorded under the superintendence of the Holy Spirit of God.
(2). They are poetry.
• I hope you have a Bible that distinguishes,
• Poetry from prose (most modern versions do).
• Ill: Prose is when it looks like a newspaper,
• Straight columns.
• Ill: Poetry is when it is written in a lot more space,
• It is very spread out, with much shorter lines.
The different styles of writing conveys to us important truths:
• In prose: God or the person is communicating his thoughts (mind).
• In poetry: God or the person is communicating his feelings (heart).
When you write to a loved one:
• A letter,
• Paragraph upon paragraph - your thoughts.
• Send a valentine card,
• Rhyme or a verse - your feelings.
These blessings of Jacob are poetry:
• These are not the ramblings of a dying old man;
• There are numerous indications in the Hebrew text;
• That these final words of Jacob were thought out carefully in advance.
• Jacob had probably planned and rehearsed this moment again and again and again.
(3). They are prophecy
• While the form of Jacob’s blessings are poetic,
• The substance is actually prophecy.
Jacob’s words will actually reveal “things to come” for his descendants.
• Most of what Jacob predicts is general, it is very broad.