by Kristen C. Strocchia
“By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed of each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.” Hebrews 11:21
Heir to Abraham’s promise and recipient of Isaac’s blessing, Jacob spent much of his life deceiving others. But God got a hold of Jacob’s heart and life and renamed him Israel–he who struggles with God.
Israel was later deceived by his own sons who told him that his favored son, Joseph, was dead. He never expected to see Joseph on this earth again. But he never turned from his faith in God.
And God was faithful. He raised Joseph up to second in command in Egypt, and, through him, saved Israel and his whole family, and all of Egypt from the famine.
By faith–absolute certainty in what he hoped for, but couldn’t see–Jacob before he died, blessed not only Joseph, but Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh.
Under such circumstances, it’s easy to imagine how Jacob–after blessing these two miracle grandsons–worshiped God though he himself was ill and close to death. It’s easy to understand how Jacob felt such admiration for his God who in one sense had given him his son back from the dead.
And he worshiped while leaning on his staff.
Jacob had been a shepherd his whole life, but the Lord was his Shepherd through it all. Held up by the shepherd’s staff even while his life was failing, Jacob lifted up His God in praise before his grandsons, completing the circuit so that God’s power could flow into their lives. He adopted them into his own earthly and heavenly inheritance, just as God has adopted us and thereby made us heirs of the promise with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob. Heirs with Christ of eternal life.
Have you struggled with doubt or turned from God because of the circumstances in your life?
Ask God to strengthen your faith. Begin to worship Him even now for the blessing that He wants to speak into your life, but that you do not yet see.