POWER GAMES – GENESIS 47:28-49:33
A relational God…
“And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning–the first day. 6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” (Gen.1:3-6)
“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:8-9)
“…and Israel [Jacob]worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.” (Genesis 47:31)
1) God loves you and you can never earn that!
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
“Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed me 4 and said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful and will increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.’” (Genesis 48:3-4)
“here above it stood the LORD, and he said: “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”” (Genesis 28:13-15)
“God said to him, “I am God Almighty; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will come from your body. 12 The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.”” (Genesis 35:11-12)
“Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number. Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years,” (Genesis 48:27-28)
Jacob wastes most of his life trying to earn what God wanted to give him anyway!
To go deeper into relationship with God we’ve gotta do NOTHING!
“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. It does not…depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.” (Romans 9:15)
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–…not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)
We can’t earn God’s favour. Here’s the standard we’d have to reach:
“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt.5:48)
Take a decision to stop trying to be worthy and receive God’s love as a gift.
2) Give the shepherd his due
“May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the Angel who has delivered me from all harm –may he bless these boys.” (Genesis 48:15)
My Way -> The Lord’s My Shepherd
Shepherds: feed the sheep, keep them healthy, shear them, deliver lambs, lead the sheep, protect the sheep, search for lost sheep.
So Jacob’s saying…the Lord – his shepherd – deserves the glory for his life.
“Then Jacob called for his sons and said: “Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come.” (Genesis 49:1)
All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him.” (Genesis 49:28)
3) Put God’s vision for your life first
- Go and make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20)
- Get involved with you local church (Acts 2:42,46, Hebrews 10:25, Colossians 3:16, Romans 10:17, Matthew 16:18)
- Use your God-given gifts to serve in your local church (Romans 12:4-8, 1Peter 4:10)
- Be generous with the resources God has given you (Acts 20:35, Luke 6:38, Luke 21:1-4, Matthew 6:21, 1Tim.6:17-19, 1John 3:17)
- Seek to bless your community (Gal.6:10, James 2:14-17, Romans 12:20-21, Jeremiah 29:7)
- Get a job and work hard at it (1Thess.4:11-12)
- Love your neighbour (Mark 12:31, among others)
- Encourage your fellow Christians (Hebrews 10:23-25, 1Thes.5:11, Ephesians 4:29)
- Service not self (Philippians 2:3-11)
1) Where does your vision for your life differ from God’s vision for it?
2) Where in my life is God not getting the credit for my success?
3) Why do I think I can earn God’s love?
I want to know more:
- What is Christianity? 321 The Story of God, the World and You: https://youtu.be/tKyZjvK-d2M
- More on this story:
Genesis 48: The View from the Graveyard, Bob Deffinaugh, https://bible.org/seriespage/view-graveyard-genesis-481-22
- The Purpose ofProphecy, Bob Deffinaugh, https://bible.org/seriespage/purpose-prophecy-genesis-491-28
- Book: What’s so amazing about grace? (Philip Yancey)
- Book: Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, by Tim Keller (superb book!)