There was a tradition for a father to bless his sons before he died. That tradition went back further than Jacob to his sons and probably further back than Abraham to his sons. Now before Moses died he continued the tradition, but he blessed each tribe of Israel, his spiritual children. As with the other patriarchal blessings in Scripture, they were prophetic and meant for good. And also like other prophecy in Scripture there are multiple layers and we can see Jesus, our Lord and Savior revealed in each one. Verses 1-5 read,
This is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the people of Israel before his death. 2 He said,
“The Lord came from Sinai
and dawned from Seir upon us;
he shone forth from Mount Paran;
he came from the ten thousands of holy ones,
with flaming fire at his right hand.
3 Yes, he loved his people,
all his holy ones were in his hand;
so they followed in your steps,
receiving direction from you,
4 when Moses commanded us a law,
as a possession for the assembly of Jacob.
5 Thus the Lord became king in Jeshurun,
when the heads of the people were gathered,
all the tribes of Israel together.”
The Lord chose Israel to be His people and receive His Law. He chose us to receive His Word, Jesus Christ. He chose to indwell us and write His Word onto our hearts. His glory and presence is so magnificent and bright that when He came to Sinai His light shone on Mt Seir as well. God’s Law, His Word is like fire. It purifies, melts hearts, and divides bone and marrow. His Word is Righteous, His Law is Justice.
Moses’ blessing echoed Enoch’s prophecy. Jude verses 14-16 talked about false teachers. It reads,
It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.
Who are the ten thousands of holy ones? Believer, they are us, gathered with Jesus Christ on the Day of the Lord executing justice to the nations. As God was King of Israel, He is our King too. But we don’t reject Him for earthly kings. Jesus is our Christ, our King of kings. His fiery Word is written on our hearts and executed by our lives. His presence rests in us and shines out for the world to see. He is obvious in us. The Edomites and Ishmaelites could see The Lord’s glory on Sinai; the world can see His glory in us.
Verse 6 reads,
“Let Reuben live, and not die,
but let his men be few.”
This short blessing for the descendants of Jacob’s eldest son says they will endure. Although they were on the outskirts of The Promised Land, faced many battles and hardship, they would endure. They wouldn’t endure because of their strength but because of God’s power. We do not persevere because of our might but The Lord’s. It is He who strengthens us and it is He who is glorified in the victory when we are weak.
Believer, I know you’ve struggled. I know you’ve been blessed. I know you have suffered through trials and I know you have overcome and conquered. How do I know? Because The Lord saved you, He resides in you and He is glorified through every circumstance of your life when you abide in Him and let Him be The Lord. Paul described it this way in his letter to the Philippians,
I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:12-13).
Verse 7 is Judah’s blessing.
And this he said of Judah:
“Hear, O Lord, the voice of Judah,
and bring him in to his people.
With your hands contend for him,
and be a help against his adversaries.”
God hears you when you pray. Your prayers are not mere venting or whining opportunities. They are a conversation with The Lord your God. Prayers unite the church and call God to fight for us. Your prayers have great effect and impact! James 5:13-16 read,
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working
Prayer is the first line of defense in the war with the enemy. During a recent battle, I was praying constantly. God spoke to me and to several other people for me. The word I received was always the same. God said, “I will fight for you, you only have to be silent. I am defending you. I am God; I am your Justice.” God does fight for you. Your prayers are powerful because they let you let God be God for you.
Prayer also allows you to act, to obey and fight for the lost, the weak, and those in need. Judah was not only blessed to be a praying people but a people who fought for others against the enemy. Jesus was born out of Judah. He prayed for us (John 17:20-26). He laid down His life for us. He resurrected for us. And He fights for us. If we are glorifying Him, if He lives in us, we ought to be doing the same, praying for and fighting for people, even loving them to the point of laying down our lives if it comes to it. 1 John 3:16-18 reads,
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
There is so much to glean from these blessings that it would be a shame to gloss over each section and take it in all one sitting. So we will continue the chapter tomorrow.
Believer, The Lord fights for you. He conquers your adversary. He saves. His Word is in you, inscribed on your heart, purifying your soul, renewing your mind, and living out in your hands. Let Him shine into the world. Show the world who Jesus your Warrior King is.