Sunday, 22nd August 10.30 am Order of Service

WELCOME

HYMN I do not know what lies ahead

(We should NOT need this YouTube link, we should just use the DP on the screen, but just in case anything goes wrong…)

1. I do not know what lies ahead,

The way I cannot see;

Yet One stands near to be my guide,

He’ll show the way to me:

Chorus

I know Who holds the future, And He’ll guide me with his hand.

With God things don’t just happen; Everything by Him is planned.

So as I face tomorrow, With its problems large and small,

I’ll trust the God of miracles, Give to Him my all.

2. I do not know how many days

0f life are mine to spend;

But One who knows and cares for me

Will keep me to the end:

Chorus

I know Who holds the future, And He’ll guide me with his hand.

With God things don’t just happen; Everything by Him is planned.

So as I face tomorrow, With its problems large and small,

I’ll trust the God of miracles, Give to Him my all.

3. I do not know the course ahead,

What joys and griefs are there;

But One in near who fully knows,

I’ll trust His loving care:

Chorus

I know Who holds the future, And He’ll guide me with his hand.

With God things don’t just happen; Everything by Him is planned.

So as I face tomorrow, With its problems large and small,

I’ll trust the God of miracles, Give to Him my all.

PRAYER

READING Genesis 49 : 1-33

Then Jacob called for his sons and said: “Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come.

2

“Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob;
listen to your father Israel.

3

“Reuben, you are my firstborn,
my might, the first sign of my strength,
excelling in honour, excelling in power.

4

Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel,
for you went up onto your father’s bed,
onto my couch and defiled it.

5

“Simeon and Levi are brothers—
their swords are weapons of violence.

6

Let me not enter their council,
let me not join their assembly,
for they have killed men in their anger
and hamstrung oxen as they pleased.

7

Cursed be their anger, so fierce,
and their fury, so cruel!
I will scatter them in Jacob
and disperse them in Israel.

8

“Judah, your brothers will praise you;
your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;
your father’s sons will bow down to you.

9

You are a lion’s cub, Judah;
you return from the prey, my son.
Like a lion he crouches and lies down,
like a lioness—who dares to rouse him?

10

The sceptre will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he to whom it belongs shall come
and the obedience of the nations shall be his.

11

He will tether his donkey to a vine,
his colt to the choicest branch;
he will wash his garments in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.

12

His eyes will be darker than wine,
his teeth whiter than milk.

13

“Zebulun will live by the seashore
and become a haven for ships;
his border will extend toward Sidon.

14

“Issachar is a rawboned donkey
lying down among the sheep pens.

15

When he sees how good is his resting place
and how pleasant is his land,
he will bend his shoulder to the burden
and submit to forced labor.

16

“Dan will provide justice for his people
as one of the tribes of Israel.

17

Dan will be a snake by the roadside,
a viper along the path,
that bites the horse’s heels
so that its rider tumbles backward.

18

“I look for your deliverance, Lord.

19

“Gad will be attacked by a band of raiders,
but he will attack them at their heels.

20

“Asher’s food will be rich;
he will provide delicacies fit for a king.

21

“Naphtali is a doe set free
that bears beautiful fawns.

22

“Joseph is a fruitful vine,
a fruitful vine near a spring,
whose branches climb over a wall.

23

With bitterness archers attacked him;
they shot at him with hostility.

24

But his bow remained steady,
his strong arms stayed limber,
because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob,
because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,

25

because of your father’s God, who helps you,
because of the Almighty, who blesses you
with blessings of the skies above,
blessings of the deep springs below,
blessings of the breast and womb.

26

Your father’s blessings are greater
than the blessings of the ancient mountains,
than the bounty of the age-old hills.
Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the prince among his brothers.

27

“Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;
in the morning he devours the prey,
in the evening he divides the plunder.”

28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him.

The Death of Jacob

29 Then he gave them these instructions: “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite. 31 There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried, there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried, and there I buried Leah. 32 The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites.”

33 When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people.

SERMON Genesis 49 : 1-33 Jacob’s sons blessed

1-2 Jacob’s last words to his sons spell out the book’s major theme: God’s plan to restore the lost blessing through the offspring of Abraham. We are explicitly told that Jacob was speaking about those things that would happen “in the last days” (NIV, “in days to come“; see also Nu 24:14-24; Dt 31:29) – namely God’s future deliverance of his chosen people. At the centre of that deliverance stands a king (Ge 49:10; Nu 24:7; Dt 33:5). In Ge 49 that king is connected with the house of Judah. Jacob’s last words look to the future – “in days to come” – and draw on the past – God’s blessing of humanity.

3-4 The word to Reuben – “you will not excel” (NIV, “no longer excel“). – because he violated the honour of his father.

5-7 Simeon and Levi, because they instigated the bloodshed against the city of Shechem, would not have their own portion in the inheritance of the land.

8-12 Jacob foretold a future for the tribe of Judah that pictured him as the pre-eminent son. Judah had been chosen over all the others as the royal tribe. And note this – “and the obedience of the nations is his.” Other writers took this to mean the universal reign of the future Davidic king (e.g., Ps 2:8; Dan 7:13-14; Rev 5:5, 9). In his day there will again be plenty for everyone. Jacob’s words regarding the remaining sons, with the exception of Joseph, are noticeable for their brevity.

13 Zebulun, will extend its borders to the sea as far as Sidon.

14-15 Issachar, is pictured as a strong donkey who sees that his land of rest is good and applies his back to the burden.

16-18 Dan, is the one who will judge his people. This includes the hope of all Israel. That hope is of a future prosperity for the nation and a future victory over their enemies. At the centre of that hope is the king from the tribe of Judah.

19 The brief statement regarding Gad looks to the hope of the final defeat of the enemy.

20 Asher – Asher’s sons will enjoy great abundance and rich delicacies.

21 Naphtali – a picture of a time of great future prosperity and abundance.

22-26 Jacob has much to say about the future of the tribe of Joseph. Jacob’s words to Joseph explicitly refer to this future well-being as a “blessing.” Jacob’s words in v. 28: “he blessed them; each according to his blessing, he blessed them” (lit. tr.). The reference to the “Shepherd” in v. 24 appears to be an allusion to Jacob’s earlier blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh (48:15).

27 The picture of Benjamin is similar to that of Judah – namely a victorious conquest over the enemy.

28 The writer sums up Jacob’s words to his sons. They are an expression of the theme of the blessing.

Note first, the defeat of the enemy is the prelude to the messianic peace.

Second, the positive side of the blessing is stressed in the imagery of great prosperity and abundance. Behind such imagery is the Garden of Eden – the Paradise lost.

Finally, Jacob’s burial instructions repeated (49:29-33)

29-33 The specific place he had in mind was “Machpelah,” the burial place purchased by Abraham in ch. 23.

He wanted to be buried with Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, and Leah. And so Jacob “he . . . breathed his last and was gathered to his people.”

So… how do you think Jacob was able to tell the future??

Of course God spoke through Jacob. We are reading God’s Word and all Scripture is God-breathed!

Jacob was able to tell the future because God knows the future and God spoke through Jacob.

God knows the future and God can intervene in people’s lives at anytime. Do you believe this?

If we truly believe this about God, how then should we relate to God??

We are to completely trust God!

We are to completely trust God’s Word, the Bible!

We are to completely trust Jesus Christ, the Son of God!

How much of your life have you trusted God with: 25%, 50%, 70%, or near 100%? Remember, you can’t fool God!

And yes, Jacob was also able to predict the future of his sons because Jacob knew the personalities of his sons and how they lived. You reap what you sow.

And because Jacob knew them, many of his statements about his sons are more like warnings, weren’t they?

Like a good parent, Jacob was telling his sons, “I’ve seen how you react and make decisions in life. Be careful!

God, like a good Father, warns us as well.

What does God tell Christians in Galatians 6.

Verse 7 says, Do not be deceived. God can not be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

Yes, God can intervene in our lives. But,

How are we sowing our lives for the future?

God continues in Galatians 6:8-10,The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

What’s the best way to shape our future?

We are to do it God’s way!

  1. Trust God and Jesus Christ! And God tells us that when we trust Jesus Christ, God the Holy Spirit will indwell in us.
  2. And so, God’s way is, Listen to to the Holy Spirit within you!

PRAYER

Hymn Breathe on me Breath of God

Breathe on me, Breath of God

fill me with life anew,

that I may love what thou dost love,

and do what thou wouldst do.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,

until my heart is pure;

until my will is one with Thine,

to do and to endure.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,

‘Til I am wholly thine;

until this earthly part of me

glows with thy fire divine.

Breathe on me, Breath of God:

so shall I never die,

but live with thee the perfect life

of thine eternity.

Benediction

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