Jacob was about to speak by inspiration. The blessing of a parent whose tongue is taught of God is priceless beyond conception.
Though he was the firstborn Reuben missed the. birthright, because he was light and loose. Whatever good points may be in a man, if he be not sober, steady, and substantial, he will come to nothing. To be unstable as the waves of the sea is one of the worst of faults and mars the whole character.
A great wrong was here disavowed by Jacob. He could not prevent it, for his sons acted hastily in selfwill, and he knew nothing of their murderous deed till it was over, but he takes care to bear his witness against it in the most solemn manner. The follies of youth will come home to men in their riper years. It is a great mercy when from our childhood, we walk uprightly.
When the dying patriarch reached that name which is a type of Christ, he rose to a higher key, he had no more faults to mention, but fell to blessing.
Who dare defy the Lion of the tribe of Judah? Jesus the Lord is terrible to his enemies.
When our Lord came his enemies said, “Behold, the world is gone after him.” To this day he is the greatest of loadstones to attract mens’ hearts. He came just when the kingdom had gone from Judah, and now he reigns as our Shiloh, the Prince of Peace.
Genesis 49:11, 12
Truly in our Immanuel’s land the wine and milk flow in rivers. Come ye and buy without money and without price.
May our sea-faring people be favoured of the Lord, and never sit in darkness as Zebulun came to do.
Genesis 49:14, 15
Though quiet and industrious, it may be Issachar was somewhat deficient in courage and energy. There are no perfect characters; but it were greatly to be wished that our contented brethren were also more energetic. Yet as Issachar was a true son of Jacob, we trust our slow-moving brethren are the same. It were well, however, for each of us to be more in earnest than ever, for we serve an earnest God.
We leave the rest of the blessing for our next reading.
God of mercy, hear our prayer
For the children Thou hast given;
Let them all Thy blessings share,
Grace on earth, and bliss in heaven!
Cleanse their souls from every stain,
Through the Saviour’s precious blood;
Let them all be born again,
And be reconciled to God.