God's word in today's world

On the staff of faith


The author of Hebrews gives an overview of the forefathers to show the readers how their faith made them keep going and holding on. Remember, we said that what God did in the past helps to shape the lens of our faith to look into the future. If God had done this with the forefathers, why wouldn’t He do it with us too?

Jacob was the third patriarch after his grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac. Jacob’s journey up to this point had been quite difficult. He had to work for his uncle for seven years to marry his wife. Then his uncle tricked him and made him marry the wrong wife. So, he had to work another hard seven years to marry the right wife.

He dreamed about ladders and had to wrestle a stranger the whole night long. Despite this, he was blessed and had 12 sons. His other sons didn’t like it that he spoiled the youngest, Joseph, a little, and so they sold Joseph to a slave trader.

That must have been very hard for a father to bear! His beloved son, simply gone. And the famine in the country made it even harder.

There was much happiness when Jacob heard that his sons had found food in Egypt, but he must have been overjoyed when he heard that it was Joseph who had given it to them. Could this be true? His son was alive!

So, he went to Egypt, where he lived until his death.

An ordinary life with ups and downs. At times it went well and at times it didn’t go so well. At times he must’ve wrestled with God, because although God had given him this wonderful dream, in the hard times things didn’t add up. But he held onto his faith and even though he did not always see God’s hand, he knew God was there.

Therefore, the day that he knew that his life on this earth was coming to an end, he passed on the baton: 21By an act of faith, Jacob on his deathbed blessed each of Joseph’s sons in turn, blessing them with God’s blessing, not his own—as he bowed worshipfully upon his staff.

He had personally experienced the presence of God. Throughout his hardship on earth, he knew that Someone was holding him by the hand, leading him through the unknown. Even though things didn’t always go well, God was always with him. And now, leaning on his staff, he prayed God’s blessing over his grandchildren.

May we learn from Jacob. May we keep holding on, trusting, knowing and believing that God is with us, even though life may be hard. Even if life throws rocks at us, we can know that we will find shelter with God.

May we, like Jacob, use our life experiences and shower the people around us with God’s blessing. Not only when we’re close to death but starting now.

Scripture
Hebrews 11:21

Reflection
How is your life going?
Are you experiencing God’s presence?
Do others experience God’s blessing through you?

Prayer
Father, it’s good to know that I’m not the only one struggling. I want to experience your blessing more in my life. I would like to share it with others more often too. Amen.

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