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Genesis 49:1-28 Mixed Blessings

The Book of Genesis  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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God is working to restore the lost blessings of Genesis 1.

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A Book About Blessing

Seeing the big picture
When God created the first people, he blessed them (, )
This was a universal blessing on all of mankind
But this blessing was lost due to sin and rebellion
The blessing was replaced by thorns, thistles, conflict, suffering, and death
Worst of all, the relationship originally enjoyed by mankind with their Creator was broken - they were driven out of the Garden and away from the presence of God
Blessing turned to curse
But God had a plan to restore the blessing
The Book of Genesis is the story of God working to do that
We find his promise to do that
And we find how the restored blessing has partially come into the cursed world
But as we read, we learn that the blessing would not come without struggle
It would come through pain
And it would come over a great amount of time
In , God calls Abraham and Sarah and promises to bless them
And to make them a blessing to the whole world
From Abraham, this blessing is passed to his son Isaac
From Isaac, this blessing is passed to Jacob

Context

happen within the context of the passing of the blessing of God
In , we read about the double blessing for the sons of Joseph - Ephraim and Manasseh
Now, in , Jacob gathers all of his children together to give a final word of blessing to each

“Blessings”

What do you think of when you hear the word “blessing”?
Something good, right?
Well, not everything within is going to be “good”
Some of these blessings do not seem like blessings at all
But we read in that Jacob blessed them with the blessing suitable to each
Genesis 49:28 ESV
All these are the twelve tribes of Israel. This is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each with the blessing suitable to him.
So, if some things are not good, how can we call these things blessings?
Because of the big picture
The entire family is blessed as the future nation of Israel (cf. )
These sons would become the twelve tribes of the nation
This nation would have a special relationship with God as his witnesses in the world
To bring blessing to the world
All of Jacob’s sons would be a part of the blessing (unlike Abraham and Isaac, whose other sons were not included)
Ishmael
Esau
So, even as we read this chapter and some things do not seem like blessings, keep the larger context in mind - and we see that all twelve are blessed

Blessing the Twelve

We will not look at every one individually, but I want to draw your attention to a few things
First, notice that some of the blessings are much longer than some of the others - some are several lines long, some are only a few words
Notice whose is the longest - Joseph’s ()
A reminder that it is Joseph who has received the double portion
Notice also what is said about the oldest three sons
Reuben’s sin with his father’s concubine
Simeon and Levi - their sin in slaughtering the men at Shechem to avenge their sister’s rape
As a result of these sins, these tribes would face judgment
Then we come to Judah
We find blessing without the mention of judgment

Judah

Let’s look at this one a little more closely, because it is important for the rest of Scripture
Jacob describes Judah’s future as a leader among his brothers ( - “your father’s sons shall bow down before you”)
He was granted the position of authority ()
Genesis 49:10 ESV
The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
This version says “until tribute comes to him”
Some translations say “until Shiloh comes”
Others say “until he comes to whom it belongs”
Why the differences?
Because there is debate about the meaning of the Hebrew word “Shiloh”
So, some translations do not translate the word, but just put the Hebrew word there
Some translate the word as “tribute” by accepting different vowels and looking at how it parallels with the next line - also this was a way it was understood in some ancient Jewish rabbinic teaching
“To whom it belongs” is used by some because if you apply still other vowels this is the meaning you get - and this is how it is translated in some other ancient translations like the LXX
The meaning, regardless of the translation, is that the place of authority would remain with Judah until the time of fulfillment
And we find a description of the abundance of the land that Judah would inherit in
Binding the foal and donkey to the vine? The choice vine?
You would not normally do such a thing because it could harm the vine
But when things are so plentiful, you do not worry about such things!
Things are going to be so good that you do your laundry in wine!
Not literally - probably wouldn’t be very effective!
Tells us of the abundance!
A modern day way of saying this?
Over one billion people in the world do not have access to clean water - think how they would respond to hearing that we use it to clean our floors and flush our toilets
Over one billion people in the w
His eyes and teeth are a picture of health and perfection because of the abundance
Many years later, the nation would ask for a king to lead them
The people would request Saul
He failed as a king
After Saul, God chose David - from the line of Judah - to be king
David
God would go on to make a covenant with David
God promised David that his throne would never end ()
2 Samuel 7:16 ESV
And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’ ”
This promise is what led the people to look for a Messiah
Jesus
The Gospels tell us that Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise
The promise originally spoken to Judah in
Later given to David
This is what we read in - Jesus’ relationship to the line of Judah and David
Matthew 1:2–6 ESV
Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah,
This is why we see Jesus referred to as the “Son of David” in the Gospels
And we find these words in
Revelation 5:5 ESV
And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
The Lion of the tribe of Judah (cf. )
The root of David
The Throne of Christ
In the blessing of Judah, we find the promise of the reign of Christ
The Messiah who would bring blessing to the world by paying the penalty for sin
And the Messiah who would rise from the dead to reign forever
Revelation 22:1–5 ESV
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
No more curse - but healing
The eternal throne of God and the Lamb
The blessings restored!
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