From Genesis to Now: The Prophesies
There comes a time when Jacob calls all his sons to him—all older men themselves at this point. And, as they gather around him, Jacob predicts the future of each. We learn through Reuben that sin has a way of catching up with us. Although Reuben’s foolish action of sleeping with his father’s concubine was many years back, it was his downfall: Reuben would not excel.
The violence of Simeon and Levi at the Shechem would also come back to haunt them. Jacob curses their cruelty and anger. They would not have their own land in Canaan. It’s a warning to not let anger get the best of us, no matter how bad we’ve been wronged.
Through Judah, we see the result of repentance. Judah’s life was far from stainless, yet it’s Judah who receives a great blessing. Ultimately, it’s Judah’s descendants who are honored above the rest. David would come from the house of Judah, and Jesus would be born of his line.
The other sons that we know little to nothing about were given prophecies, some positive and some negative.
Then, Jacob ends with his favored sons from Rachel, his first love and the one who always seemed to have his heart, even to the end of his days.
Joseph’s blessing was long. He is fruitful in the midst of persecution from his brothers, and God is credited with Joseph’s perseverance—the Mighty One, the Shepherd, the Rock, the Almighty—great attributes of God who’d sustained Joseph through all his years of trouble, and Jacob proclaims Joseph a “prince among his brothers.”
And, indeed he was, and at this point there wasn’t a soul who could deny it. Joseph had experienced great suffering and great blessings, as do all people (just perhaps on a less extreme scale), yet Jacob in his last words make it clear that God is the sustainer in our trials and the provider of every blessing. What an example is Joseph in how God deals with his people.
—the parishioner who doesn’t do anything