Simply the Bible Blog

Daily Devotion and Podcast

Genesis 49:1-15 “Israel Blesses Leah’s Sons”

“Then Jacob called together all his sons and said, ‘Gather around me, and I will tell you what will happen to each of you in the days to come.’”

Genesis 49:1 (NLT)

My stepfather raised me from the time I was nine years old. He was a bricklayer and gave me my first job when I was fourteen working as a hod carrier. In autumn of 2009, he was in the final stages of pulmonary fibrosis. Near the end, he was on increasing dosages of oxygen as he struggled to breathe. A couple of days before he died, our family gathered around his bed. He looked around and said his final words to each of us. It was bittersweet as he blessed us, but we also knew that we would no longer have him around.

A person’s last words are worth taking to heart and remembering. When Israel was on his deathbed, he blessed his twelve sons. Looking over their entire lives, as only a parent could do, he spoke of their highs and lows. While he doled out many blessings, to some sons his words sounded more like curses! One by one, he weighed the deeds of his sons. Their works determined their place in Israel. Those who had sinned lost certain rewards, but they remained Israel’s children.

In today’s podcast we consider the blessings given to Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Zebulun and Issachar. These were the six sons of Leah. This scene gives us a picture of the Judgment Seat of Christ where our deeds will be weighed. Everyone who believes in Jesus Christ is a child of God and is saved. But the things we have done in this life, whether good or bad, will determine our reward in heaven and what work the Lord will entrust to us. Fortunately, we have the Spirit of Christ who is working in us to help us do the will of God. But we must also do our part to trust and obey Him. May God help us to prepare for that Day by walking in the works He has prepared for each of us (Ephesians 2:10).

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.”

Jude 24–25 (NKJV)

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