Gen 49:1-2 – Then Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you what shall happen to you in days to come. Assemble and listen, O sons of Jacob, listen to Israel your father.” ESV
There is so much material on Jacob in the Bible, that we can make a really good assessment of his character. He was deceitful, shrewd in business, fearful, compulsively lustful, angry, self-centered, argumentative and more. He was a very flawed individual and yet God chose him to bring forth the twelve tribes of Israel from whom sprang the beginning of the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen 12:1-3) and ultimately the Messiah, Jesus. It is easy to wonder why God would choose such an imperfect character to be the seed of the promise.
In our focus verses we see Jacob on his death bed about to bless every one of his sons. (Gen 49:1-33) Here we see a man that has changed. He is no longer the disobedient trickster of his youth and early manhood. He has matured to the point where God has trusted him with prophetic words for his sons. He has ceased to walk in his own ways and is walking in God’s ways.
For us in Christian recovery Jacob personifies hope and the never ending pursuit that God has for our hearts. Hope because he was like the worst of us, lying, thieving, murdering, sexually immoral, envious and highly dysfunctional, and yet he was able to overcome all of these things to become a godly man. Pursuit because God took him and transformed him day by day into the man God designed and planned for. What is true about Jacob is true for us. God will work with us to develop godly character, and will pursue us until the day we die in His quest to fulfill His plans for us.