Hebrews 11:20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.
22 By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
Isaac was the promised son of Abraham and Sara. He was the long awaited son. Abraham was not sure if God would keep His promise at one point and he complained to God about this and admitted that Eliezer was the steward of his house. Then, in desperation, Abraham listened to the bad counsel of his wife Sara and committed sin with Hagar and a son was born out of that. God acknowledged that son, and warned that this son would be a problem for the nation of Israel until the end. That is still true today.
God rejected Ishmael as the promised seed. At just the right time, showing Himself to be in charge, God provided the environment for Abraham and Sara to have the promised son.
We do not read much of Isaac in the book of Hebrews. He is mentioned briefly in the account of Abraham and then he is mentioned here in verse 20.
In Genesis 25:21 we read that Isaac intreated the LORD regarding his wife Rebekah because she was barren. God answered Isaac’s prayer by granting her conception and she gave birth to twins. It was a unique situation with those twins while they were in her womb. God told her that she had two nations within her womb. He also told her that the elder would serve the younger.
God continued to reveal His sovereignty over the affairs of men. He rules and controls those aspects that affect His eternal plan for mankind. He also gives man the opportunity to choose his eternal destiny within His eternal plan.
We read in verse 20 that Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau by faith. God gave Isaac understanding of things to come. Several of the patriarchs were given insight into the future as they blessed their children. The circumstances surrounding Isaac’s blessing of Jacob and Esau are given to us in Genesis 27. Isaac exercised faith in God in the blessing he gave. He wrongly assumed the primary blessing would fall to Esau, although God had already told Rebekah that the elder would serve the younger. The blessing that Isaac gave to Jacob laid out God’s plan for the nation of Israel. The circumstances used to get the order right were not according to God’s will. Isaac most likely knew what God told Rebekah. God made sure that the primary blessing went to Jacob and not to Esau. Isaac trusted the words of Jacob. Jacob deceived his father into thinking that he was Esau. Jacob had the help of Rebekah in that deception. God’s will is always that people obey Him and be truthful. We cannot look at this account and assume that we can be deceptive at times to get what we want. Those who are saved need to keep in mind that our purpose in all things is to glorify God. We need to obey Him and we need to be honest in our dealings.
In verse 21 we read of Jacob blessing his sons prior to his death. Jacob also was given insight into the future regarding the 12 tribes of Israel. Even though the priesthood would be in the tribe of Levi, the sceptre would be in Judah. In Genesis 49:10 we read that Shiloh would be the desired seed of Judah. The Hebrew word translated as “Shiloh” means “the peaceful one.” Isaiah 9:6 tells us that the Messiah would be called “the Prince of Peace.” That is Who Jesus Christ is. Jacob was given the words regarding the coming of the Messiah.
In our text we read in verse 21 that Jacob was an old man and in a physically weakened state. We also read that he worshipped. His mind was sound and God directed him in his prophetic blessing for his sons.
In verse 22 God mentioned Joseph. Joseph was the 11th son of Jacob. He was the favoured son of Jacob. He was the firstborn son of Rachel, the woman that Jacob asked Laban to give to him in marriage. Joseph was given two dreams by God that spoke of future events in the history of his family. His father and mother wondered about those dreams, but his older brothers hated him for the dreams and the favour their father showed to him. Joseph was not a rebel like his older brothers. He was hated for a time, but later his brothers came to respect him. God blessed Joseph greatly. Joseph also believed that God would eventually bring the nation of Israel into the land of Canaan. He died in Egypt, but he made the elders of Israel promise that when they were brought out of Egypt, they should bring his bones out with them and bury them in the land of Canaan. He trusted God to honour His Word first given to Abraham. It would be some four hundred years later that the nation would be brought out of Egypt, but God kept the request of Joseph before them and they brought his bones out and they buried them in the land of Canaan.
God is good.
Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
God can and does receive the glory even when people do not follow His way. The wise person chooses to follow His way and save himself the grief and guilt of sin.
As we noted in an earlier devotional, God chose to record the aspects of the patriarchs here that would show us the importance of choosing the faith that has substance. He did not give us all the details that we can find in the Old Testament on these people. We can learn both what not to do and what we should do if we study God’s Word to seek His approval.
Today, God is not giving us visions and dreams to look into the future. We have all we need recorded in God’s Word. If we are saved and studying to meet God’s approval we will see how His hand is at work even now in the midst of the chaos in our country. The collapse of this nation is no surprise to Him. The subtilty with which our current P.M. entered the political scene and how he became a dictator is very similar to that of some other dictators. It is also a picture of how the anti-christ will come on the scene. We have mentioned before that our P.M. is not the anti-christ, but he is certainly an anti-christ. Those who are saved need to pray for his salvation. We also need to pray for boldness to proclaim God’s Word in these evil days.