Reading through the Bible together

Friday, October 19, 2012

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In this chapter Moses blessed the nation of Israel. By contrast, in Genesis 49 Jacob pronounced a series of blessings and some curses on his twelve sons. The blessings of this chapter were not pronounced upon the twelve sons, but upon twelve tribes because the twelve sons of Jacob had grown into a mighty nation. When we compare both chapters, we discover that there is quite a difference between what Jacob said and what Moses said.

Jacob spoke from a human standpoint. He described all the human frailties of his twelve sons. What you read in that chapter is not a very pleasant picture. But the second series of blessings from Moses are strikingly different.

For instance, in Jacob's farewell charge, we find the ominous words spoken of Simeon and Levi, "Cursed be their anger for it is fierce…I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel." But Moses sees the future. The curse is turned into a blessing for Levi; and the scattering is transformed into a holy ministry for the whole of Israel. Levi, “shall teach Jacob Your judgments and Israel Your law."

“Dear God, I see that the passage of time and the work of your convicting Spirit gradually changed those 12 sons into men of hope. I will not allow the consequences of my early sins to threaten my future. Transform me today into the likeness of Jesus.”

John Ash
Chinese Union Mission
Hong Kong