Jacob led a full and eventful life. He gathered his sons together before breathing his last breath and shared “what shall happen…in days to come.” He offered insights into each son’s character as well as a snapshot of each one’s future.
These same sons of Jacob became the tribes of Israel. Their father spoke to them with a blessing for each one. The Scriptures say that he blessed them, “blessing each with the blessing suitable to him.” He offered each son what he needed based upon what he knew and understood.
My Grandpa Harvey called such things wisdom and know-how. His sage advice was different for me than it was for my cousins. We all probably thought he was playing favorites, but once I got older I realized what he was doing. he was preparing each of us for the way we would have to walk in this world and face the realities of everything in our lives. For those of us who needed to become leaders, he pushed us to do our best and be our best. He even forced us to do more hard labor than the others. I had thought he was being mean and unfair, but I recognize how much he was humbling us.
Just try to picture the image of Jacob looking into the faces of his boys and seeing the eagerness in their eyes as they awaited to get a blessing from Daddy. How emotional must that have been for him as a father? Think about how full circle his life had gone until that point. Here he was with his sons, the future tribes of a great nation, God’s chosen people, his very own sons.