I’m reading this chapter for three days now!

Trying to make sense of Jacob’s parting words to his sons. He told them, “Gather around, that I may tell you what will happen to you in days to come.”

I wonder what would happen if they had taken this as a warning rather than as fate. For example, he  noted the excellence of Reuben his first-born and then told him “Unstable as water, you shall no longer excel because you went up onto your father’s bed; then you defiled it- you went up onto my couch!”

I wonder what would happen if they took this as warning rather than as fait accompli. For example, the future looked really bright for Judah, who I can’t forget, was leader of the band of brothers who sold Joseph into slavery. Reuben wasn’t even around when that happened.

Judah, your brothers shall praise you;
your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
your father’s sons shall bow down before you.
Judah is a lion’s whelp;
from the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He crouches down, he stretches out like a lion,
like a lioness—who dares rouse him up?
10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until tribute comes to him


My concern, I suppose, is that this chapter makes it sound like there is no way beyond a future as decreed. Yes, I know that wrong actions have consequences; and I also know that God’s promises are 100% reliable. But I must admit that I do have a problem when it seems that blessings or curses cannot be somehow reversed, when the blessed or the cursed, live in contradiction to what is stated as a decree.

In short, I believe it is never too late to let God set one free from the limitations of his/her past. And I also believe that of someone lives outside of God’s plan, that he/she should expect no guarantee of blessings for that!