Monday, 24 January 2011

A Time to Sow and a Time to Reap

Genesis 49 Jacob "blesses" his sons, although, if I were Dan, I'm not sure I would call what he gave me a blessing! But that's probably because I have a very self-centered view of what blessing is. These words are at one and the same time judgemental (in the sense of summing up) and prophetic in nature.

Reuben is an unstable man - so will his descendents be.

Simeon and Levi - Men of violence (remember the incident with Dinah). Yet, Levi becomes Israel's priesthood. If that ain't grace working on conversion, I don't know what is - unless there's some deeper level of symbolism going on here - a possibility, but I haven't got time to investigate it.

Judah - who ransomed himself in the place of Benjamin sees something of a restoration and the words spoken over him are very great for it would be through his descendants that Messiah would come.

Joseph, the true firstborn of Jacob, who has been this beautiful picture of the suffering, then exalted Christ: saving the nations and welcoming back his own family is given the greatest blessing by his father, who then curls up into the foetal position, ready to be born again at the resurrection of the righteous.

Psalm 22 Go on, watch this video again, it'll do you good!

Matt 9:27-38 Jesus continues healing. He reveals the heart of his Father as he cares for those who are harassed and helpless. He tells his disciples that after much sowing has been done, a time of great reaping is here, it is only the workers who are lacking.

Acts 14 Paul and Barnabas - two workers who go out in the harvest field. They are mistaken for gods and almost worshipped. Their hearers clearly paid more attention to the miracles than the message. Yet how quickly the mob is turned on them by malevolent influences! Nevertheless, symbolically if not literally, Paul is resurrected after the stoning to live again and they return to report on their exploits and prepare for further Kingdom expansion.

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