Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Jacob considers how God is keeping the covenant

At the end of Jacob’s life, he talks to his son Joseph in Egypt and we see in the JST of Genesis 48 what his perspective is about the events of his life and how they fit with the covenant God made with him so long ago.
And Jacob said unto Joseph, When the God of my fathers appeared unto me in Luz, in the land of Canaan; he sware unto me, that he would give unto me, and unto my seed, the land for an everlasting possession.
Therefore, O my son, he hath blessed me in raising thee up to be a servant unto me, in saving my house from death;
In delivering my people, thy brethren, from famine which was sore in the land; wherefore the God of thy fathers shall bless thee, and the fruit of thy loins, that they shall be blessed above thy brethren, and above thy father’s house; (JST Genesis 48:7-9)
Jacob realized that in order for the Lord to keep the covenant to give the land Canaan to Jacob and his posterity, the Lord saved Jacob and his family from the famine.  (After all, if there are no people left to inherit, then the Lord can’t keep the covenant.) 

It must have given Jacob a good feeling to know that even if the Lord’s covenant hadn’t been fulfilled in his lifetime, he could still see how the Lord was working to prepare the way for it to be fulfilled in the future.  This gave him the hope that it would be fulfilled as the Lord said.  That’s a really faithful attitude—to not be angry that it wasn’t being fulfilled in his own lifetime.

Looking at it from another perspective, even though Jacob would die soon, his spirit would get to see over generations how the covenant would be fulfilled.  It would give a righteous spirit something to look forward to, wouldn’t it, seeing the culmination of all the promises and prophecies fulfilled little by little throughout the history of the world.

Both Jacob and Joseph had great spiritual maturity to see how their mutual suffering and grief was turned to the good of themselves and families.  I hope that at the end of my life I’ll be able to look back and see how my suffering 1) turned to my good and 2) helped prepare the way for the Lord to fulfill His covenant.