I have written, deleted and started this entire post over 3 times now. I'm not good with endings and today we are ending our time in Genesis. We are ending the time we spent together building our Foundation. As much as we've walked through, we've only highlighted several major events, but we've jumped over so much! So I want to encourage you when you have the opportunity to go back through and read what we missed. In our short time together, we can't cover it all but you can in your meditations. You can take as much time as you need. So I encourage you to do so. But today we're finishing up our time together in Genesis 49, the blessing of the 12 tribes.
Find Genesis 49, find a comfortable seated position and fill your space with the fragrance of Petitgrain. Become fully aware of the presence of God and your place in this story. Ask God to show you new things today. Ask him to speak truth into your heart and mind today. And after you've read through chapter 49, feel free to settle into meditation or flow however your body needs. However you move, do it with gentle intention. Do it with grace.
Yesterday we were in Chapter 22 with the foreshadowing of the cross of Jesus Christ and today we're skipping ahead a few generations. So here's what we missed. Abraham is called out by God to be the father of many nations but he and his wife Sarah can't have kids. God makes a binding covenant with Abraham and shows his power over creation by giving the long awaited son to Abraham and Sarah after Sarah was past the age of giving birth. (They were in their 100s) So Isaac is the long awaited son and God tests Abraham by asking him to give Isaac as a sacrifice to God. Now there are several things happening here. 1. Abraham has to make a choice if he is going to trust God and hold nothing back from him or if he's going to only trust in the covenant and hold on to Isaac. And by obedience, he proves that his is willing to trust God with everything. Even when it does not feel right. 2. This story also gives us a glimpse of what the cross will look like. This way, we'll know Jesus and the path to restoration when it comes. And we're introduced to the idea of substitution sacrifice with the ram. Its all a beautiful picture. (If you wanna dig deeper into Genesis 3:21 is really the first picture of this when God made for Adam and Eve garments of skin to cover themselves. God sacrificed an animal and blood was spilt, and its skin was used as a covering for their shame. It's a great picture of the cross and the sacrificial system God will introduce later in Exodus. JUST WAIT FOR IT!!)
Ok sorry, I got sidetracked, So we come down from the mountain where God has give a substitute sacrifice and lots of things happen. Isaac grows up and marries Rebekah. Rebekah give him a son Jacob. And Jacob has sons, one of which is his favorite, Joseph. Now, like I said before, we're skipping over a lot of good stuff here. I want you to know that many good things happened in this family line and many many bad choices were made. From that I want you to know that God does not invite you into his story because you're good, you can't be good (remember the generational sin from Adam thing) we're broken humans and God invites us into his story for restoration. Anyway, Jacob has sons and Joseph is his favorite and second to last, which means his older brothers hate him. They eventually sell him into slavery to get rid of him and tell his father that he died. But here is how God works, selling their brother into slavery eventually becomes their salvation. Because what they meant for evil, God meant for good. Joseph makes his way to Egypt and because God was with him, and he was obedient to God, he worked his way from jail to one of pharaohs trusted men. Joseph was second only to Pharaoh. So when God allowed a famine to hit the region hard, he told Joseph about it before hand and allowed him to prepare. Eventually Josephs brothers come to Egypt to find food and are taken to Joseph. There is another beautiful story of restoration there and the family is reunited. Jacob, who God changes his name to Israel, moves his family to Egypt to be with Joseph and then we come to chapter 49 where Israel is on his death bed and brings his sons in to give him his final blessing.
There are twelve tribes here. Twelve leaders. Remember when God called Abraham and said I'll make you the father of many nations, here is the start. Israel give his blessings to these men and if you pay attention, you'll see he's talking to the tribe ... he's telling us what the line from each man will become. Its a beautiful thing God is doing here. He's proving himself faithful to Abraham and letting us know that this is the plan of God.
So Friends, we end Genesis with this family. A family in a foreign land that does not belong to them. And this family is about to grow into a nation. The nation of Israel. And God will be their God. And he will protect and provide for them. Because these people, the line of Abraham. He has made a nation in his image to show all of creation the beauty and slender of his glory so that all will know God. This is not the end of the story, it's only the foundation.