Like Pleasing Your Dad, Grieving your Dad has its Rewards as Well
Israel blesses His Sons before Death
1Jacob called his sons together and said:My sons, I am Jacob,your father Israel.2Come, gather around,as I tell your future.3Reuben, you are my oldest,born at the peak of my powers;you were an honored leader.4Uncontrollable as a flood,you slept with my wifeand disgraced my bed.And so you no longer deservethe place of honor.5Simeon and Levi,you are brothers,each a gruesome sword.6I never want to take partin your plans or deeds.You slaughtered peoplein your anger,and you crippled cattlefor no reason.7Now I place a curse on youbecause ofyour fierce anger.Your descendantswill be scatteredamong the tribes of Israel.8Judah, you will be praisedby your brothers;they will bow down to you,as you defeat your enemies.9 My son, you are a lionready to eat your victim!You are terribly fierce;no one will bother you.10You will have power and ruleuntil nations obey youand come bringing gifts.11You will tie your donkeyto a choice grapevineand wash your clothesin wine from those grapes.12Your eyes are darker than wine,your teeth whiter than milk.13Zebulun, you will settlealong the seashoreand provide safe harborsas far north as Sidon.14Issachar, you are a strong donkeyresting in the meadows.15You found them so pleasantthat you worked too hardand became a slave.16Dan, you are the tribethat will bring justiceto Israel.17You are a snake that bitesthe heel of a horse,making its rider fall.18Our Lord, I am waitingfor you to save us.19Gad, you will be attacked,then attack your attackers.20Asher, you will eat foodfancy enough for a king.21Naphtali, you are a wild deerwith lovely fawns.22Joseph, you are a fruitful vinegrowing near a streamand climbing a wall.23Enemies attacked with arrows,refusing to show mercy.24But you stood your ground,swiftly shooting backwith the help of Jacob’s God,the All-Powerful One—his name is the Shepherd,Israel’s mighty rock.25Your help came from the Godyour father worshiped,from God All-Powerful.God will bless you with rainand streams from the earth;he will bless youwith many descendants.26My son, the blessings I giveare better than the promiseof ancient mountainsor eternal hills.Joseph, I pray these blessingswill come to you,because you are the leaderof your brothers.27Benjamin, you are a fierce wolf,destroying your enemiesmorning and evening.28These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is how Jacob gave each of them their proper blessings.Jacob’s Death29-31 Jacob told his sons:Soon I will die, and I want you to bury me in Machpelah Cave. Abraham bought this cave as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite, and it is near the town of Mamre in Canaan. Abraham and Sarah are buried there, and so are Isaac and Rebekah. I buried Leah there too. 32Both the cave and the land that goes with it were bought from the Hittites.33 When Jacob had finished giving these instructions to his sons, he lay down on his bed and died.
Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)
© 2006 American Bible Society. All rights reserved
Existing in this world has been difficult for everyone that inhabited it. No one has ever been spared difficulty, not Adam and Eve. Not even our heavenly father. He made difficult decisions one that I am sure he had great difficulty with was the flood. He had to erase nearly all of his creation, to limit sin, and to help us understand the results of sin. Death will eventually over come us all. God has other plans for us, but when we grieve him, God must leave us to the natural consequences. In this story, Judah talks about the grief that some of his kids caused him, and about the natural consequences of their actions. Rueban, Simon, and Levi grieved Judah so much, that he had nothing good to say about them, and he let them know where their actions have taken them. Issachar I can identify with to a major degree. We all need to check our self pride, desires and sorrows at the door. We need to be happy with how God made us and work to fulfill the will of God. We need to be good to others, show them the walk of God, and be willing to fight for righteousness at all cost. As believers today, we are saved by faith, and our deeds bloom from the source of our faith. Each day we are to trust God, defend his righteousness, and demonstrates how faith is our salvation, but our deeds are what we do because we want to serve God. Some of Judah’s kids did well with this, some he cursed beyond his grave. I hope to please my parents as Joseph did.