JUST LOOK AROUND AND BE BLESSED!
You and I are blessed with God’s blessings, prerogatives and benefits. Psalm 103, talks about his benefits towards us. The greatest is the free gift of salvation, and the restoration of all things both for us as well as for our loved ones. For all restoration in us, around us, and towards us!
- If you are passing through a tough time, don’t give up!
- If you are confused, don’t give up!
- If you are let down, don’t give up!
- If you are weary, don’t give up!
C’mon, go ahead and lean on God and His faithful Promises.
Let’s take a quick look, shall we:
By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. (KJV)
The NIV is different…and (Jacob) worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff
This actually comes from Gen 48:2,
And one told Jacob, and said, Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee:and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed.
The word ‘staff’ is frequently mentioned in the Word
A staff signifies power and authority, is because it is a support; for it supports the hand and arm, and through them the whole body;
- Moses, in that he was commanded to take a staff (or rod), with which he was to do miracles; and that he took the rod of God in his hand (Exod. 4:17, 20);
- When Joshua fought against Amalek, (Exod. 17:9, 11).
- In the Psalms, David spoke of it as comfort and consolation . Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff comfort me (Ps. 23:4);
- The Psalms also speak of the rod as ‘spiritual truth in the natural realm’. Thou shalt crush them with a rod of iron thou shalt scatter them like a potter’s vessels (Ps. 2:9);
- Furthermore, because the staff represented the power of truth, kings had sceptres, which were made like short staffs; for by kings the Lord is represented as Royalty that has God’s Truth.
The Hebrew for bedstead and staff is so very similar. Here is the picture:
Jacob had a reason to do this prophetic gesture.
The Bible says he was old. Jacob was sick, vs. 1. Jacob was nearly blind, vs. 10. The next verse, vs. 11, gives us an indication he could see a bit.
What does this prophetic gesture mean?
First of all, pagans carved the image of their family god on top of the staff. Also remember, Abraham, Isaac and now Jacob were not idol worshippers. For there is no trace in Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob of anything like that to the worship of images. They worshipped only God.
But Jacob begins this blessing and prophetic statements that come with worship. His attitude plays a vital role in the flow of his words of blessing.
We must remember now that Jacob had lived in Goshen about 17 years. But now his time was come to join his fathers, he was 147 years old, (Gen 47:28).
But why did he lean on his staff? What was that for?
- There was a natural need for it.
- This shows he was indeed ready!
Do you remember in Gen 32:10, Jacob prayed before he faced Esau?
I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.
Perhaps with this same staff in hand he is ready to cross his spiritual Jordan.
The staff also signified the Presence of God with him wherever he went and whatever came upon him.
- Jacob considered himself a pilgrim and a sojourner.
And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.
Notice the word ‘pilgrimage’. Jacob always had in his mind that he was only a pilgrim and nothing more. Just like his fathers were. In Gen 47:29 and 30, Jacob calls for Joseph, recognising his authority in the land, and his trustworthiness, and makes Joseph swear that his bones would be buried outside Egypt in the land of his fathers.
In other words…I am living in Egypt! But I don’t belong here!
- Jacob passed down vital foundational trues.
The swearing is very important here. The phrase ‘thy hand under my thigh’ literally means, ‘hold my testicles’. The word ‘testify’ comes from the root word for testicles.
- It signifies the future.
- It points to the promise made also to the ‘seed’ that follows.
- It shows that he became vulnerable in the hands of his son Joseph.
This teaches us to show loyalty and love to those who have gone ahead of us, respecting the people, ideas, and places they loved.
This also is true to what the Rabbis teach.
One aspect of ‘Torah’ is the call to live in harmony with the past. This means we need to release the things of the past and forgive the happenings of the past.
The other aspect of ‘Torah’ is the call to prepare for those that will come after us by creating a world and a heritage that our sons will find beautiful, useful and uplifting. This means what we do today will determine how the future unfolds for us, even after we are gone.
Let us go on with what God has given us already. Be strong. Let the past go. Your life is so much more important and you have so much more to give.