Friday, November 21, 2014

What Jacob's Blessing Means

"By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff." (Hebrews 11: 21)

When we read this account in the Old Testament, there may be some confusion:

"1And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2And one told Jacob, and said, Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed. 3And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, 4And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession. 5And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine." (Genesis 48:1-5)

Jacob had feared that he would never see his son Joseph ever again (Genesis 37: 34-35), yet not only did he see Joseph as second-in-command in Egypt, but he saw his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.

Manasseh means "causing to forget", for through all that Jesus did for us, God has forgotten all our sins. Ephraim means "doubly fruitful", because God gives us double for all our trouble.

Now, there seems to be a discrepancy between the Genesis account and the report in Hebrews.

In Genesis, Jacob sat up on his bed, while the verse in Hebrews records someone who leans on his staff.

The same word in Hebrews "mateh" can be translated to mean both.

What is the Holy Spirit sharing with us in this verse, however, and what revelation does He want us to receive?

Staff speaks of strength and authority. Bed speaks of rest.

We find our strength when we rest in Christ's Finished Work.

"28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11: 28-30)

He rests us, and His yoke blesses us, for that is the deeper meaning of "easy" in this verse.

"But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." (1 Corinthians 15: 10)

He is our life, and by His grace we are who we are, and we do what we do.

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4: 13)

Many of us read this and think of Jesus as a resource that we derive power from. The truth is that He is our life, and our power living within us.

How? Because we believe that He has paid for  all our sins and makes us doubly fruitful:

"2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8: 2)


"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." (John 15: 5)

No comments:

Post a Comment