40 Days of Faith
"By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph,
and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff."
A life has not been lived for God unless it is finished for the glory of God. Perseverance is absolutely a necessary ingredient for the life of a Christian. Jacob, now Israel, exemplified this trait. He wrestled with the Angel of God until he was blessed. These many years later, after all of the trials and disappointments that he endured, he stands before his lost son, Joseph, and his sons. Once again, he heard in his mind the promise of God that had been passed down from his grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac. He is the first of these three men to stand before a great number of descendants and see the reality of what was only once a vision. He blesses Joseph's sons with this same promise in mind as he faces his own death.
There is something quite sobering in the thought that death is so near. How do you face that which you know nothing about? It is truly a mystery when we consider our own mortality. Jacob shows us how to die by faith. First, we prepare those that we love for that day. We do that in several ways. We live a life that teaches them of faith in the Almighty. Death has no hold on the one that has been living for eternity already. We speak often to those that we love of the peace in our hearts for all that God has in store for us. There will most assuredly be grief when that day comes, but the joy that awaits us is greater than the grief that dwells here on this earth. We continually remind our loved ones of God's promises to those that walk after Him by faith. There are literally thousands of examples in Scripture and in our world today of people that have experienced the mercy, grace, and faithfulness of our Lord. We bless them with the promise of God's grace according to their faith in Him.
Second, we come to the end of our lives in worship to the great and mighty Jehovah God. The Bible tells us that Jacob worshiped as he leaned on top of his staff. His staff served as a walking stick not simply because he was old. When the Angel of the Lord fulfilled the promise to Jacob, he also touched his thigh/hip so that he limped for the rest of his life. When you saw Jacob walk, you were made aware of God's promises. Each time that Jacob reached for that old staff he remembered the day that God gave him grace and made him a nation. Jacob's remembrance of his past by that limp reminded him of a merciful and faithful God. As he limped toward his descendants with the knowledge that death was soon coming, he gave praise and glory to a God who does all things well.
May you see the faithfulness of God today!