17 Oct 2021

Let Me Tell Your Future [Genesis 48-49]


Fortune-telling, or clairvoyance, is fascinating to us. So it is interesting that Jacob would be able to tell the future of his children in Genesis 49. I suppose he could do it only because God had first revealed it to him. And so when he was about to die, Jacob would call his sons together to bless them, in order to encourage them regarding God's promise to flourish them. We will take a quick look at the blessings of the 12 tribes of Israel in Genesis 49. This is a sermon that continues to explore the thread of the promise of the Messiah. This is also a message that reminds us of our own future.


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Well, this morning, let's come to the book of Genesis and we will be looking at chapters 48 and 49, but we will put our major focus on chapter 49.

I remember when I was growing up, I would see stalls and maybe indeed tables set up in places like Ang Mo Kio and Toa Payoh here in Singapore, where fortune tellers would tell your future for a fee. I've always wondered if they were truly vested with such powers of clairvoyance. I found it rather mysterious, mystical and enigmatic.

And so, it is very interesting that when we come to chapter 49, we see a chapter of prophecy, of telling the future of the descendants of Jacob. Now, of course, Jacob here tells the future of his children not for a fee, but I trust in order to encourage them.

You see Jacob is going to die, and they are still a rather small family. But Jacob wants to ensure that all his children would be filled with this hope and anticipation and eager expectation, that God will bless them, that God will flourish them, that God will do according to what He has promised to his grandfather Abraham, to his father Isaac and to himself.

So in his desire, in his zeal to bless them with encouragement, he will now bless them with the foretelling of what's going to happen to each one of them. Now, this will be the one of two things that Jacob did before he dies. You remember last week, we said that he gave specific instructions with regard to his burial, and today we see how he's going to give specific blessings to his descendants.

Now, if the burial was about a message of faith that Jacob wanted to give out, then the blessings is a message for their faith, as he's about to die. So it's all about an encouragement, and so we are going to go through this chapter, blessing by blessing. So it's a rather simple look through of chapter 49, nothing very unusual, very different from what you are reading in your Bible.

So we're going to start with the oldest to the youngest based on what you read in chapter 49. I'm not going to deal with them in equal timings, because some are a bit more rich or richer, some are less so. Now, not every prophecy is easy to understand, because some are really short. The specific fulfillment is also not so clear, so I will not be able to be too exact. I think commentators as far as I read, are not able to come to some exact conclusions, as well.

[1] 1st Son - Reuben
So all that as preamble, let's dig right in and let's start with the first born, and he is Reuben.

So, Reuben is the oldest son, he is born of Leah and Jacob said this to Reuben before he dies, "Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the first fruits of my strength, preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power." [Gen 49:3]

So according to ancient times, according to the Jewish tradition, the first born is always seen to be the one who is the best. He's seen to be the one who will inherit a double portion. That's the birthright of the firstborn.

So Jacob says, "You are my firstborn, you are supposed to be the strongest," and so on and so forth, however, "Unstable as water, you shall not have preeminence." [Gen 49:4] So he's gonna lose his birthright. Why? Because, "... You went up to your father's bed; then you defiled it — he went up to my couch."

So Jacob knew about the incest, that his son Reuben committed with his concubine, as it were, with his hand maid. "While Israel lived in that land ..." in Genesis chapter 35:22, "... Reuben went and lay with Bilhah, his father's concubine. And Israel heard of it." So this was committed years ago, and now in the final days of Jacob's life, he would say, "This is the due consequence of your sin against me, you will lose your birthright."

Now, this is repeated in the book of 1st Chronicles 5:1. So centuries later, the chronicler said, "Reuben the firstborn of Israel, for he was the firstborn, but because he defiled his father's couch, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph."
So, Reuben here is said to lose his birthright.

So sometimes in life, we don't always get the immediate consequences of sin, but you can be sure you will reap what you sow, and that's what happened to Reuben. We do not read of blessings upon Reuben, we only read about him losing the blessing of the first born, losing the birthright.

[2] 2nd and 3rd Son: Simeon And Levi
Now, what about sons number two and number three? And that's what we're going to look at Simeon and Levi. What is the pronouncement upon these two sons?

"Simeon and Levi are brothers; weapons of violence are their swords. Let my soul not come into their council; O my glory; be not joined into their company. For in their anger they killed men, and in their willfulness to hamstrung oxen." [Gen 49:5-6]

"When did this happen," you say? Well, if you have been joining us in our journey through the book of Genesis, you'll remember that their sister Dinah was raped by the Shechem prince, Shechem himself. And so Simeon and Levi, they cooked up a ploy; a plot to get all the men of Shechem to be circumcised under the guise that they must be like the Jewish people, in order for the two people to unite in marriage. Shechem wanted to marry Dinah, who he has raped.

So when they were all circumcised, when they were still sore, Simeon and Levi went and decimated the city, killed all of them and it was a violent revenge. So Jacob knew all that, remembered all that and said now, "That cursed be their anger, for it is fierce, and their wrath, for it is cruel! I'll divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel." [Gen 49:7]

So because of what they have done, Jacob says, "Simeon and Levi, your tribes will be scattered, your people will be scattered." Now, I am sure you would know by now that the sons of Levi would eventually become the Levites, who are the priests in the nation of Israel. So very interestingly the way they will be scattered, is that they will be distributed throughout the whole of Israel, performing the role of the priests.

Now, Simeon, however will be the smallest tribe, at least during the time of the census, the second census that you read of in the book of Numbers. Now, why is it called the Book of Numbers, the fourth book of the Old Testament? Because in the beginning of the book, and at the ending of the book, there are two population census that are conducted. So, they are called Numbers - the numbering of the people. And during the second census; second numbering, it is said that, Simeon would become the smallest tribe.

And very interestingly, their inheritance; their allotment of the land in the promised land will be very unusual. They are found to be in the middle of Judah. You can see right at the bottom, Judah would be purple and Simeon will be in a sense, scattered in the middle there. No man's land as it were, but that will be the lot given to Simeon.

Now, you may say, "This is not very encouraging! You started off by saying Jacob wanted to bless his descendants by encouraging them with regard to God's promise, to flourish them about the land, about the nation, about the great name and about the great Savior, but so far it's not very encouraging." I agree with you, but things are going to change with son, number four.

[3] 4th Son: Judah
Son number four is Judah, and we are going to camp here for just a while. It is the most in my opinion significant blessing of all the sons of Jacob. So let's look at Judah.

"Judah, your brothers, shall praise you ..." [Gen 49:8]

Now, it is very interesting that the name Judah means praise. The reason why he's called praise is found in Genesis 29:35, "And she conceived again and bore a son and said, "This time I will praise the LORD." Therefore she, she called his name Judah."' So he's called Judah, as a reflection of his mom's desire to praise God for him.

So his name is praise, but here in the blessing, there's another reason for praise, in that, "His brothers will praise him." Not only that, "... Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies." [Gen 49:8] He will be so powerful and victorious. He's all conquering. His hand will be on the neck of your enemies ... of his enemies.

Besides that, "... Your father's sons shall bow down before you." [Gen 49:8] So, he is obviously the greatest amongst all of the sons. So he will be praised, he will be all powerful; conquering, and he will be the greatest amongst the sons.

Besides that, he will be likened in majesty and power to a lion. "Judah is a lion's cub; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down; he crouched as a lion and as a lioness; who dares rouse him?" [Gen 49:9] So he's going to be paralleled, his animal's symbol is that of a lion. Many of the other sons who have imageries, metaphors, pictures of animals, so Jacob is or Judah is said to be like a lion.

Now, why is he so great, why is he so powerful, why is he so praise-worthy? It is going to be revealed in the next verse. This is the key verse, it says in verse 10, "The scepter ..." which is a kind of an instrument that depicts the authority of the king, "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples." [Gen 49:10]

Now, I'm sure at first glance, this is not an easy verse to understand and rightly so. The exact meaning of these words, especially in the third line is not absolutely conclusive. In other words, it's not easy to understand it, not every commentator under ... uh, has the same exact understanding, but the general meaning is well received or well accepted.

What is this verse all about? Well, if the hardest part is the third line, then that's where we need to tackle, we need to get to the bone, as it were. So let's go to this word, 'tribute'. We can only understand what this whole verse or whole statement of blessing is if we understand what 'tribute' means.

Now, interestingly in the Hebrew, the word, 'tribute' is actually the word, 'Shiloh'. Now, I know, you would like to pronounce it as Shiloh, many Americanized pronounced ... pronunciation would take it as Shiloh, but I think it's to be pronounced as Shiloh. "And until Shiloh comes in ..." now, this is the only time in the Hebrew Bible this word occurs, that's why it is hard to understand. You don't have easy correspondences elsewhere.

Now, the basic meaning of the word, 'Shiloh' means — he to whom it belongs. That's what it means! "So until Shiloh comes ..." And what is Shiloh? Shiloh means to whom it belongs, to he to whom it belongs. Now, you may ask, "Belongs what?" Commentators would suggest — he to whom peace belongs, or he to whom rest belongs, or even he to whom authority belongs.

So that's the hard part, it can mean different things! But basically 'Shiloh' means he to whom it belongs, whether it is rest or peace or authority or rulership. The basic idea here is that Judah will see a day where someone who brings peace and rest and rulership will come. And almost everyone understands that this 'Shiloh' will be someone who rules, who is powerful, who is great, who is to be praised, He will be like a king, ruler, chief figure.

And that's why it makes sense that in the last slide, it says, "... And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples." [Gen 49:10] So almost all commentators agree that Genesis 49, verse 10 is a messianic verse. In other words, this is a verse that foreshadows, that speaks of, that foretells the coming Messiah. That's why messianic, coming Messiah King, the King that God has promised throughout the entire Bible.

Now, this idea is also I think repeated in 1st Chronicles, chapter 5:2. Now, "Judah became strong, among his brothers ..." He will be the greatest amongst them, "... and a chief came from him." Now, I would say, immediately the application or the reference of this chief is to none other than David. He is the beloved king that God has established in Israel, not Saul. Saul is from Benjamin, but David is from the tribe of Judah.

And so this 'chief' refers immediately to David, in the immediate term. But in a longer range prophecy, in a longer range hint, I think it refers to the son of David, to the seed of David, to the Everlasting King who will come from David, and He is none other than Jesus Christ, God's Son.

So we read of this reference of the ruler from Judah, as a reference to Jesus Christ in many parts of the Bible. For example, in Micah 5:2, now, we all know that Micah 5:2 is a prophecy about Jesus, because when Herod was inquiring the wise men, or inquiring amongst the Jews, the religious leaders, "Where will the king of the Jews be born?" They all could say, "In Bethlehem of Judah."

They all knew it. Why? Because they understood Micah 5:2 to be a messianic verse, to be a messianic prophecy. That before Jesus was born, God would already reveal some of the details about His coming Messiah King. And it is said here, "But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be the ruler in Israel, who's coming forth is from of old, from ancient days."

In other words, this coming ruler has been prophesied since a long time back. I would say to you, since the Garden of Eden, since the Jacob prophecy that is given upon Judah, He is the ruler, He is the Messiah, He is the Lord Jesus Christ. And He comes from Judah, the tribe of Judah.

And then in Jeremiah 33, verse 15, in my own devotional reading, I'm now in Jeremiah and it says, "In those days and at the time, I'll cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and He shall execute justice and righteousness in the land." Again, this idea of a ruler, who will come from Judah, the Messiah.

Hebrews 7:14, "For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah." So Jesus came from the tribe of Judah, not from Reuben, not from Simeon, not from Levi but from Judah. "Weep no more; behold, the Lion ..." [Rev 5:5] Remember the imagery in Genesis 49, "... the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, the family of David. He comes from the offspring of David has conquered, so that He can open the scroll and it's seven seals."

So now, when you put all this back together, what Jacob is prophesying in Judah is saying, "You will be praised. You will be all conquering. You will be the greatest amongst your brothers." Why? Because, "He to Whom belongs all peace and rest and authority and power, this kingly figure will come from you." "And unto Him shall be the obedience of all the peoples." [Gen 49:10]

Therefore, you will be like a lion, majestic and powerful. Not because Judah was a great guy, but because God in His grace would send the Messiah through him. So, Judah will be the greatest of all the brothers, not because he was strong or because he was smart, but because the Messiah will graciously come from his line.

And so, we see the power, the preeminence of the tribe of Judah, and indeed, we also see of his prosperity. We go on in verses 11 and 12, "Binding his foal to the vine, and his donkeys colt to the choice vine, he has washed his garments in wine and his vesture in the blood of grapes." [Gen 49:11]

Now, this is I think just a poetic language to say, just how prosperous his tribe will be, so many vines you can use it to tie the donkey and the foal, so much grapes that it'll be used to even wash his clothes. "And his eyes are darker than wine and his teeth whiter than milk." [Gen 49:12] I think this speaks of his beauty in poetic language.

So, Judah will be a tribe of prosperity; of power; of preeminence; of praise, everything. And again, if you think about it, this pronouncement of blessing upon Judah is none, it ... it conveys nothing more, uh ... nothing less than the grace of God, isn't it? Because if you remember Judah, he was a wretched man. He ... he had this terrible sinful episode recorded in Genesis 38, when he laid with Tamar, his daughter-in-law. And Judah was the one who suggested selling Joseph to the Ishmaelites.

So, God did not bless Judah because of Judah, God bless Judah in spite of Judah. I think that has always to be one of the key themes when we read the Bible. God's blessings upon us is not because of who we are, but in spite of who we are. So Jacob has blessed Judah, because God is so gracious to Judah.

Now, I know that's a lot packed-in already. But let me assure you, the next few, I'll run through like a breeze, like ... like really fast, alright? So, just before I move on from Judah, one more clue or one more detail that I left to the end, and that is, "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler staff from between his feet until Shiloh comes." [Gen 49:10]

So this is very interesting, the timing of the arrival of the Messiah would be such that Judah will no more be king over the people. So, if you read the rest of the Bible in the Old Testament, you would see that from David onwards, Judah would always be the ruler over the nation of Israel. Always! From David's time, Always, the king will come from the tribe of Judah, even through the Babylonian captivity, there will still be a king in Judah, and even right up to the time of the Romans and Herods.

Now, it will only be at about AD 7 I read, when capital punishment, this right will be taken from them, and the Romans would have the absolute right. But right up to AD 7, right through even the captivity in Babylon, the nation of Israel with generally have a king that comes from Judah. Now, on the day, during that time that Judah is no more king, it will also be the day that Shiloh comes, it will also be the day that the Messiah comes.

So it's very interesting that Jesus is born in a time where Israel will no more have a ruler from Judah. And indeed, after AD 70, where Jerusalem is destroyed and the genealogies of all these tribes are no more traceable, that we can see this prophecy made thousands of years ago is absolutely spot on!

[4] 5th Son: Zebulun
Alright, let's go on to Zebulun. Like I said, I'm going to really speed through this.

"Zebulun shall dwell at the shore of the sea; he shall become a haven for ships, and his border shall be at Sidon." [Gen 49:13] So, not a lot of specificity there except to say, that Zebulun will be given a land between the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean sea. Galilee sea ... and the ... and so they are like a sea-faring people. And I think that's all I could would really say. Of course, you remember Jesus walked by these coasts and shores at Sidon.

[5] 6th Son: Issachar
Then, we go to Issachar, that says that, "Issachar is a strong donkey, crouching between the sheepfolds. He saw that a resting place was good, and that the land was pleasant, so he bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant at forced labor." [Gen 49:14-15]

Now, it's very hard to, like I said be specific about these prophecies all the time, but some people say that, Issachar would be in an agricultural land, or Issachar would be forced into forced labor. That's as much as I would want to deal with today.

[6] 7th Son: Dan
Then we look at Dan and, "Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel." [Gen 49:16] So, they will be a tribe where many judges would be coming from. Maybe the most famous one will be Samson, he's from the tribe of Dan.

But at the same time, "Dan shall be a serpent in the way, a viper by the path, that bites the horse's heels, so that his rider falls backward." [Gen 49:17] Well, some people say that, this is how a description of how many of the judges from Dan actually worshipped idols themselves, and lead Israel back into trouble. That may be so, but again it's very hard to be precise, or exact about the prophecies here.

[7] 8th Son: Gad
Then we have Gad, "Raiders shall read Gad, but he shall raid at their heels." [Gen 49:19] It may be a reference to how they are constantly being attacked, or constantly in battle.

[8] 9th Son: Asher
Then we come to Asher. "Asher's food shall be rich, and he shall yield royal delicacies." [Gen 49:20] So, he shall be living in a land of abundance, near Carmel. That's what I'll again focus on.

[9] 10th Son: Napthali
Napthali, "And Napthali is a doe let loose that bears beautiful fawns." [Gen 49:21] A description of maybe their prosperity, how they are admired, or how they are favored by God, this tribe.

[10] 11th Son: Joseph
And then, alright, we have sped through them but we will now dwell again a little at Joseph. "Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a spring; his branches run over the wall." [Gen 49:22]
So number one, Joseph would be very, very fruitful; very, very blessed. "And the archers bitterly attacked him, shot at him, harassed him severely, yet his bow remained unmoved; his arms were made agile by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob from there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel." [Gen 49:23-24]

Now, the question is — did Jacob know what happen to Joseph? Was he really attacked by beasts, and killed by beasts, as what the brothers said? I think Jacob knew, somewhere along the line that Joseph was not killed by beasts, of course, he met with Joseph thereafter. But this prophecy tells us that probably, Jacob knew what happened. That the brothers are like the 'archers' who attacked Joseph, harassed him severely. But Joseph never retaliated, Joseph never took revenge, his bow remained unmoved.

He had maybe the right and the power to take revenge but he did not. And he was able to hold in this position, he was able to hold in grace and not retaliation because his arms were made agile or strong as you could also understand it, by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob. So Joseph had composure and temperance, because of the grace of God, the enabling of God.

And he was enabled, "By the God of your father who will help you, by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that crouches beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb." [Gen 49:25] So, he will be an abundant people. "The blessings of your father are mighty beyond the blessings of my parents, up to the boundaries of the everlasting hills. May they be on the head of Joseph, and on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers." [Gen 49:26]

So, you will read here that Joseph will be extremely blessed. Now, he's the favored son of Jacob, and it is no surprise that he would have such blessings. But how did Jacob actually bless Joseph? He did not bless Joseph directly actually, but he blessed Joseph by blessing Joseph's sons. So, we read of that in chapter 48. So, I'm doing a bit of a reverse gear, I wanted to run through chronologically with you the blessings and then to point you back to chapter 48, where Joseph blessed or Jacob blessed Joseph by blessing his two sons - Ephraim and Manasseh, putting his hands on their heads and pronouncing blessings upon them.

Now, you remember that Reuben was supposed to have the birthright, the preeminence. But because of his sin with Bilhah, he lost his birthright. And now, we read explicitly in 1st Chronicles, chapter 5:1, "That the birthright of the double blessing will be resting on Joseph," son number 11.

So, I like to say this clearly that the birthright is now on Joseph, even though the privilege of having the Messiah born into your family would be given to Judah. So this is where the birthright of double blessing and promise of the Messiah will bifurcate, previously on Abraham, on Isaac, on Jacob. The birthright, and the promise of the Messiah would go together, but from henceforth, the birthright will go to Joseph, but the promise of the Messiah will go to Judah.

So the birthright of double blessings lands upon Joseph, and therefore the blessing is on both the sons of Joseph. You would see that, "Israel stretched his right hand and laid it on Ephraim, left hand on Manasseh, crossing his hands." [Gen 48:14] And this is what we see, and this is about blessing Joseph. So it's very interesting, it is a blessing on the two sons, but actually it's explicitly said to be blessing Joseph, blessing Joseph through the two sons.

Now, why right hand on Ephraim? Well, the right hand for the Jews symbolizes the power and blessing, because usually we are right-handed, most people are right-handed. So this is a used arm, this is a stronger arm, so the right arm speaks about greater power, greater blessing. So the right hand is going to go on Ephraim, even though he's the younger one.

Now, that's again not usual because usually the firstborn is a stronger one. So it's very interesting, I think obviously, God has revealed to Jacob that the blessing will be first on Ephraim, just as how God sovereignly decided that it will be Isaac not Ishmael who will be blessed, and Jacob not Esau who will be blessed. So again, this is God's sovereign choice, I believe Joseph or Jacob knew about it from God. And that's how it is.

So, if you look at the 12 tribes of Israel, it's very interesting, Reuben or rather, let's look at Asher, Dan, Ephraim, Gad, Issachar, Manasseh, Napthali, Reuben, Simeon, Zebulun, Judah and Benjamin, these are the 12 tribes. But you will not see Joseph, even though he is one of the 12 sons. He's not there! Why? Because instead of him, the blessing will go to his two sons - Ephraim and Manasseh, they are part of the 12 tribes here.

But you say, "It doesn't make sense, because if you take away Joseph, that's 11. And you add, Ephraim and Manasseh, there will be 13 of them, but there are 12 tribes. Why?" But you realize also there is no Levi, because Levi will not exist as a distinct tribe, but they will be scattered throughout Israel as priests. So, here you have the 12 tribes of Israel.

"Israel said to Joseph, "I'm about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you again to the land of your father." [Gen 48:21] So, interestingly, Jacob didn't say, "Joseph, you're having a good life now, you're the Prime Minister, you are a ruler over Egypt, your sons are raised in RI, RJC, they are going to the Stanford and the Harvard of the day, keep them here, let them have a good career. Oh no! You are not meant to live here. This is not your future, this is not your destiny. I will be with you and your people because they are a people of God's promise. I want you to remember God will bring you again to the Promised Land."

Well, I hope that will be our parenting, that we would remind our children that the most important thing is not about the Harvards or Stanfords here, but about heaven. And may we be pointing them to God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

11] Last Son: Benjamin
Well, finally, let's come to the last son, and that will be Benjamin. Just, just a simple verse here, "Benjamin is a ravenous wolf, in the morning devouring the prey and at evening dividing the spoil." [Gen 49:27]

So, it is a reference probably to the amazing combativeness, viciousness and the capability of battle in this tribe. Now, Saul and Jonathan will be from the tribe of Benjamin, but to me the most graphic reminder of their cruelty and viciousness must be the story in Judges. I think chapter 19 and 20, where they were absolutely vicious. It's so R-rated, I don't even want to say it here! But if you look at it, you would see how vicious this tribe, how powerful this tribe can be.

So, I've done my job. These are the 12 tribes of Israel, the various blessings upon them, and it's about Jacob foretelling and prophesying about their future. Now, how did Jacob know all this? I don't read off him having a crystal ball, neither do I think it is all deduced from observing their behavior. There is some correlation between their behavior and so on, but I think most of all it must have been revealed to him by God.

And why did Jacob do this before he died? Well, I think as I've mentioned, it is to encourage the people of Israel about the promises of God. Yes, Jacob will die, yes, they are still small, but God will flourish them. God will bless them according to the promise made to Isaac, Abraham, Jacob, that God will give them a great land, a great name, a great nation and of course, a great Savior.

So, I think that is why this is written, this is so right in the end of the book of Genesis. But let me also today tell you your future, I'm not a ... I'm not a fortune teller. I don't have the gift of clairvoyance or prophecy, but I do know that God has a beautiful future.

And again, I take it from one of the devotional readings I have this week, 1st Peter, chapter 3, or 1st Peter, chapter 1:3-4, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading kept in heaven for you."

This is your future, if you are born again to a living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For all of you, who are believers of Jesus, for all of you who realize your sinfulness and your helplessness in and of yourself, and who have turned, and look to Jesus and who follow Jesus in your life, this will be your future.

You may be small, you may be in trials, you may be in pain, but God will be faithful to His promise. He will flourish you, He will bless you, because He has an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, unfading in heaven for you. There will be a place of amazing joy and bliss — no more sorrow, no more tears. A place of everlasting communion with God! I can tell you your future! And so even if we were to go through hardships today, let us be faithful, let us serve Him, let us live in such a way that glorifies Him.

Now, if you're not a believer of Jesus Christ, let me encourage you today to turn your eyes to Jesus Christ. He is not a dead man hanging on the cross forever, because three days later the Bible tells us, He rose from the dead. And that is a graphic; visible message of saying, "I have conquered the grave. I've defeated sin and death and hell. And those who believe in Me shall not perish but have everlasting life." I pray today you will turn from your sin, and believe in Jesus Christ and be born again. I pray this will be your future too. I pray you will come into the everlasting bliss and joy of knowing God.

Let's bow for word of prayer together.

Father, again thank You for this simple tour of the future, of the destiny, of the people of Israel. Such blessings bestowed not because they are a great people, not because they are smart, or that because they are capable, but all because of Your grace.

Preeminently, we are so amazed and thankful for Your promise of the Messiah through the tribe of Judah. Thank You for the Lion of Judah, who alone took our sins, suffered and died, that He might save us and bring us back to You. O God; I pray that Your people today will have hearts filled with hope, filled with that joy, that one day even though we go through the trials and tribulations of life, one day all these will cease and we will be with you in joy forevermore.

May You today also work in hearts of friends, guests that they too might turn from sin and believe in Your Son. Thank You, we pray all this now in Jesus' Name. Amen. God bless.

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