Regular nibbles from the Bible. . .come for a bite, leave with an appetite

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. (Psalm 19:14, MSG)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

INHERITANCE (Genesis 49)

Jacob's farewell blessings to his son is one of my favorite parts of Genesis. In spite of the history of rivalry and favoritism, Jacob understood his sons. He knew their natures, and he gave each one "the blessing appropriate to him." (Genesis 49:28, NIV)

So I'm not sure how I missed this before. Some of the so-called blessings read more like back-handed compliments, like Issachar: "When he saw how good the place was, how pleasant the country, he gave up his freedom and went to work as a slave." (Genesis 49:14-15)

Two of the brothers didn't even receive that much. They received, not a blessing, not a criticism, but a downright curse: Simeon and Levi. The two brothers had killed the men of Shechem after the prince raped their sister, but Jacob's words suggest their tempers continued unabated throughout their lives. He said, "A curse on their uncontrolled anger, on their indiscriminate wrath." (Genesis 49:7)  

The terms of their curse? They would be scattered throughout Israel instead of having land of their own.

That sounds close to disinheriting his sons to me. 

In case you're wondering, Jacob's prophecy did come true. As the priestly tribe, Levi received no land; and Simeon's allotment was swallowed up by Judah. 

But think about that. From the riotous, angry, murdering, Levi came the lawgiver Moses. (Come to think of it, Moses was a murderer too. Hmm.)  And of course his brother Aaron instituted the priesthood. 

God took the curse and turned it into something amazingly beautiful.  Like He had already done with using Joseph to save the known world during the famine. 

What harm I do or intend - and no matter what harm has been done to me - doesn't write "the end."

It only ends when God says so. Changed. Redeemed.

Praise the Lord. 

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