The Blessing Of The Tribes By Jacob

It seems to me that we have the whole moral history of Israel, the purposes of God, and the accomplishment of them in Christ as regards this people, in the blessing of Jacob in Genesis 49. I can only briefly set it forth here. First, Israel as it was, and its moral failure in Reuben, Simeon, and Levi. The universal characters of the development of sin are given: corruption and violence; defiling and instruments of cruelty. God in the testimony of the Spirit rejects their assembly. The violent passions are the latter form. The beast is destroyed after Babylon. God’s purposes are in Judah. The King, the Lawgiver, is there; the gathering of the peoples is to be to Him. But we know when presented to the responsibility of Israel He was rejected. There was no gathering of the peoples. The staves of Beauty and Bands were broken—those by which the people were to be gathered and the two divisions of Israel united in one under one head. Then, in Zebulun and Issachar, Israel is presented as mixed up with the world, like Tyre in Ezekiel, and content to be subject to strangers for ease, as if they were not God’s people at all. Dan is still, in spite of all, owned, and represents Israel recognized as God’s portion in spite of all, but at the same time points out the apostasy and power of Satan in Israel. The remnant, taught of God, look beyond the whole position of the people to God’s own salvation, who cannot but be faithful to His word. Thereupon we have unmingled blessing, crowned with the heavenly and earthly glory of a rejected Christ—channel of all the resources of God’s blessing to His people beyond all previous knowledge of blessing. Israel had been overcome, but overcomes at the last. Asher (not like Zebulun) has his fatness in his own pastures, and royal dainties are there. In Naphtali is joyful liberty—the liberty God has given, and full of goodly words. Then comes the crown of all—the rejected one of his brethren sorely tried and shot at: Christ—personally considered the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel made strong by the power of God, exalted when rejected, to be at the King’s right hand and Head over the Gentiles—is the exhaustless source of every divine blessing with which the heart of man can be made glad; all richly coming from God are upon the crown of the head of Him who was separated from His brethren. Such is Christ as rejected and glorified, and the medium as partaking of heavenly glory of all divinely given blessings which are to His glory who was separated from His brethren. In Benjamin, finally, we have the royal strength, a kingly power in Israel, and of the people when Christ is returned as King amongst them, and makes Judah His goodly horse in the day of battle, and fills His bow with Ephraim. Such in general is the prospect of which the outlines seem to me to be given in this prophecy.