Christmas begins with something not-so-Christmas-like. But our broken relationship with God quickly leads to something powerful – something that often fuels our very will to live: Hope.
In Genesis 49, Jacob is at the end of his life. He’s been betrayed by his sons in many ways. They lied to him, sold their brother Joseph into slavery, and they watched their father grieve for years, thinking Joseph was eaten by a wild animal. He never fully recovered. (When he was old, the truth came out and Joseph and Jacob were reunited)
Of course, Jacob’s boys learned to deceive by watching and learning from their father. Jacob – the ‘swindler’ – was the master of manipulation. Whatever mess his family became was easy to trace back to his own life.
So as Jacob lies on his deathbed, he assesses each of his sons’ lives. Read Genesis 49 here.
Note especially verse 18: “I wait in hope for your salvation, God.”
It’s a very interesting thing to say in the midst of some not-so-flattering predictions about his own sons. It’s almost like Jacob takes a breath in the middle of the blessings to acknowledge something powerful for him – and for us. God can save us from ourselves. He can save us from our past. And we wait in hope for Him!
- What are some of the predictions Jacob makes about his sons? If you were one of the sons that didn’t receive a favorable forecast, how would you feel?
- Based on the PAST, if someone were making a prediction about your FUTURE, what would they say?
- What do you hope God will do differently in your future? In what ways might God put you on a different course?
- Jacob says, “I wait in hope for your salvation, God.” In what ways are you waiting in hope for salvation from God? What does that mean to you?
Pray today that God will renew a sense of hope in you, that you will look at your life not with despair, but with Hope that God can do something in your future that is beautiful and honoring of Him.