In his deathbed Jacob blessed Joseph and his sons. Having lived for more than 100 years and many years in the wilderness of Midian and then losing Joseph his favourite son for more than 20 years Jacob had lived his life to the full through plenty and want, through abundant harvests and famines. Through it all he could say to Joseph that it was God of his fathers Abraham and Isaac before whom Jacob walked and it was this God who had fed him all his life long (Gen 48:15). The use of “fed “ instead of “shepherded “ in KJV is interesting because the latter could be spiritualised that God was a shepherd of one’s soul but He was not interested in feeding His people. The life of Jacob and the lives of Israelis throughout history has seen poverty struck God’s people yet God was faithful in making sure His people survived by giving them enough food for sustenance even in the most difficult of times.
Jacob had vowed to give a tithe of everything if God would feed and clothe him. This vow is voluntary and God did not require of a human to vow to secure his blessings. How often till this day people give tithes because they think that would oblige God to act to bless them. How silly in the time of grace when God had given everything to us in the person of his only Son, should He not give us all things? If we know of God’s grace and power we will not make deals with God even as Jesus now forbids oaths and vows. Let your yes be yes and no be no anything more than that is evil.
But God is faithful to Jacob in good times and bad times. God was faithful to Jacob when Jacob was faithful and when Jacob was unfaithful even as Paul says God remains faithful when we are unfaithful. He who gives rain to the good and the evil and sun shines over all, shall He not care for His beloved? Today I had this sense of joy and peace. Last night I was singing on top of my voice while driving worshipping the Lord with words of understanding and in unknown tongues. I felt heavens opened and God’s angels were everywhere over the city of Kota Kinabalu. Did He not give his angels to minister to those who are heirs of salvation?
When I watched YouTube on early retirement and saving plans I laughed most of the times. I have lived my life carelessly for the Lord. At 42 years old I did not own anything except for a Kancil, malaysian smallest car then. I did not have a house and my savings were enough to tie me up over a couple of months should I lose my job or ministry. Yet I have always moved by faith trusting in the God of Jacob who is the shepherd of my life. Not only had He fed me until today but I have more than I need. Indeed how true when one seeks after His kingdom and his righteousness all things are added unto him. Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help.
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