Jacob’s love for Rachel seems to be one of the great love stories in the Bible, but at the end of his life, he didn’t ask to be buried with Rachel. He made a very surprising request.
Genesis 49 & 50
When Others Hurt You
The Death of Jacob
As we conclude our reading in Genesis, I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have. Genesis is one of my favorite books and chapter 50 contains one of my favorite verses, verse 20.
In chapter 49 Jacob is dying and he gathers his sons around him to speak to them for the last time. Commenting in depth on what follows in verses 2-27 would require more time and study than I can give here. But remember, God, who knows the end from the beginning, was speaking prophetically through Jacob. The things he spoke foretold future events, but also reflected each of his sons’ characters and their past.
But let’s take a minute and read back over his words to Judah in chapter 49:
8 “Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise;
Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
Your father’s children shall bow down before you.
9 Judah is a lion’s whelp;
From the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He bows down, he lies down as a lion;
And as a lion, who shall rouse him?
10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor a lawgiver from between his feet,
Until Shiloh comes;
And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.
11 Binding his donkey to the vine,
And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine,
He washed his garments in wine,
And his clothes in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes are darker than wine,
And his teeth whiter than milk.
Jesus was to come through the tribe, or descendants, of Judah and much of this speaks of Him. But as you think about Judah remember this is the man who in chapter 38 married a Canaanite woman, slept with his daughter-in-law Tamar because he had mistaken her for a prostitute, and then hypocritically condemned her to death.
But God was working and when he was confronted with the truth concerning Tamar, Judah said, “… She is more righteous than I …” (Gen. 38.26). He admitted his sin and repented.
In Egypt we get another glimpse of the change in Judah. When it looked like Benjamin was going to be arrested, Judah volunteered to take his place!
This should give us all hope that God can and does change people. It should also give us hope that He can use us in spite of the mistakes we have made, if we will repent and go His way.
When Others Hurt You
Genesis closes with the death of Jacob and a new set of worries for Joseph’s brothers. The old fears come back. They wondered if Joseph was just waiting for their father to die, so he could seek his revenge.
“Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive” (Gen. 50.19-20).
What has God allowed in your life? Has someone meant evil against you? Have you become angry or bitter because of it? Or Continue reading