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Genesis 49:1-7

Talks for Growing Christians

Jacob’s Prophecies about Reuben, Simeon and Levi

Genesis 49:1-7

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Lesson Number 106

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Uncontrolled lust disqualifies a believer from spiritual leadership.
  2. Uncontrolled emotions deprive a believer from spiritual reward.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t ruin your future for momentary pleasure.
  2. Don’t associate with hotheads.

Questions

  1. What did Jacob do when he realized that he was about to die?
  2. Genesis 49 is a prophetic oracle, but still called a blessing. Why?
  3. What are the “last days” of Genesis 49:1?
  4. Reuben, as a firstborn son, had a lot going for him. Why did he lose the privilege and responsibility of being the spiritual leader of his family?
  5. How did Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, demonstrate doctrinal point #2?
  6. What happened to the tribes of Simeon and Levi?

Answers

  1. He called his twelve sons together for the patriarchal blessing. This was his final act (Genesis 49:33).
  2. In some of Jacob’s blessings on his sons, we see less of a blessing and more a prediction of the future for those tribes. It is an oracle/blessing because the tribes continue to live on in the Jewish people and will be part of our Lord’s kingdom when He returns to this earth. See Ezekiel 48.
  3. What was said of each of the tribes would be fulfilled in the future. This future would stretch until the “last days,” so some of what we read here has already been fulfilled, but some will be fulfilled in the future.
  4. Because of uncontrolled sexual lust. As a consequence of his sin, Reuben was told that his tribe would not excel. And in fact, no prophet, judge, king or ancient hero came from this tribe.
  5. They were cruel, angry and violent when they massacred the whole male population of Shechem.
  6. They were deprived of reward. The tribe of Simeon was dispersed in the tribal area of Judah and the tribe of Levi lived in cities scattered throughout all the tribal areas.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Read the qualifications for spiritual leadership in the church today in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Satan will try to attack spiritual leaders in these areas. What can you do to encourage and protect the spiritual leaders in your church?
  2. For one uncontrolled moment of sexual pleasure, Reuben removed himself and his descendants from a leadership position in Israel. Was it unfair of God to do this? Are there times when you think that God is unfair in His dealing with your sins?

Challenge

  1. Don’t ruin your future for momentary pleasure. God considers this a serious matter.

Key Verses

  • “Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days.” Genesis 49:1

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