Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Put another way, faith is belief in God that is acted upon. That’s what the rest of Hebrews 11 demonstrates to us: it is a list of men and women throughout the Bible who had, and demonstrated, faith. The chapter recounts the actions of Abel, Enoch, and Noah, progressed on to the patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and Joseph. Then, it moves on to Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson and King David, and many others – some of them had significant accomplishments, others endured terrible persecutions, but the point of it all is that they took action based on their beliefs.
They had faith that God would do ‘that,’ so they did ‘this.’
So, what was Jacob’s big deal? What did the author of Hebrews point out as his big moment of faith? Here it is: “By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshipped, leaning on the top of his staff” (Heb 11:21).
That’s what we will be looking at this Sunday evening – the big moment of faith in Jacob’s life and how it played out. In Chapter 48 of Genesis, he knows that he is at the end of his life, and now he is taking the time to set things in order.
Jacob adopts his own grandsons giving them an equal share of the inheritance with their uncles – what he is doing is effectively giving Joseph a double portion by giving directly to the boys. We will consider aspects of this and comment on the fruitfulness of Joseph. But, our main focus will be upon Jacob. Instead of looking at what Jacob did, we will consider why he did it.
You are invited to join us on Sunday night the 19th of February at 6.00 p.m. for this study in Genesis 48 titled “Fruitful Faith”.