God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January 29 - Genesis 48-50: The End of the Story of Jacob and Joseph

Today’s Reading: Genesis 48-50

The Message

English Standard Version

Congratulations! You are finished with Genesis! That means you have read two books. Only 64 to go! (And some of them will go by quickly!)

Thought to Guide Your Reading

Joseph finally gives the theme for the entire book.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

Jacob lay dying. Joseph and his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, visited Jacob. He blessed them as equals to Joseph's brothers and prophesied that Ephraim (the younger) would become greater than Manasseh (the older). He then blessed each of his own sons. Judah would become a lion and rule over the nation; Simeon and Levi would not receive equal portions but be divided among the others. Then Israel died.
Israel's family buried him in Canaan. The brothers thought Joseph would exact revenge on them. He assured them God had meant everything to happen for good.
Joseph lived 110 years.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

Jacob's blessings were about the (eventual) nation of Israel more than the individual son.

Blessings in the Old Testament were not prayers to God to bless the people but sayings to the people about what God would do for them. So these blessings are each tribe's destiny when they do reach Canaan.

Three son's blessings were prominent.

Judah as "a lion's cub, … / home fresh from the kill ... / The scepter shall not leave Judah; / he'll keep a firm grip on the command staff / Until the ultimate ruler comes / and the nations obey him" (49:9-10, The Message). This would be the tribe that would supply the kings for nation of Israel and later the nation of Judah. Saul, David, etc. were from the tribe of Judah.
Levi, because of his temper and his willingness to kill, would not receive land but be dispersed among the other tribes. God would eventually make the tribe of Levi the priests and they would not have a province but be given parts of cities to survive.
Benjamin was a "ravenous wolf" (49:27, The Message). This would be the tribe that Saul of Tarsus, later the Apostle Paul, would come.
These are prominent because it shows that a nation of people will eventually take on the personality traits of its founding father(s). If the fathers seek to serve God, the nation will seek to serve God. If not, then the opposite is true. But this does not last forever, as we will read in the months ahead.

Joseph ends the story by giving the redemptive theme of Genesis.

When his brothers were scared Joseph would finally put an end to them, he reminds them,
Don't be afraid. Do I act for God? Don't you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now - life for many people. (50:19-20, The Message
Joseph knew that God uses bad situations for good. Because of their sins and Joseph's faith God was able to save an entire group of nations. Joseph did not need revenge. He had been blessed more than he could ever care because he embraced his trials and believed God would carry him through them. Wow! What a great story!


As we head into the other four books of the Pentateuch, you may find sections boring, tedious, or downright strange. I will continue to blog every day's readings and keep showing how each of these readings leads us to the grand theme of the Bible, God is setting all things right. Do not worry, we will make it, together!

What did you see reading this passage? Questions? Comments? Leave a comment in the section below or on the Sonoma Mountain Parkway Church of Christ Facebook page.

If you missed a reading or want to go to a specific date, type the link as follows: http://grahambates.blogspot.com/2013/mm/dd.html That will take you to the reading for that day. Enjoy!