SEEING THE FUTURE THROUGH A PERSON’S HISTORY
Then Jacob called his sons and said, ‘Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you what shall happen to you in days to come. Assemble and listen, O sons of Jacob, listen to Israel your father.” Genesis 49:1-2
Is it possible to imagine someone’s future based on their past behavior? Yes. Their patterns of righteousness or unrighteousness spell out their future. If I know the principles of the kingdom, I can pretty accurately predict their days ahead. What changes a dark prediction, however, is someone’s repentance.
If someone has a history of anger, and I know him well, I can forecast what will set him off. I know his patterns from past experience. If someone is greedy, I know not to expect generosity. I’ve experienced him from our long history. Now, I am not a fortuneteller. I do not pretend to be able to call a person aside and declare, with certainty, how their days will unfold. I do not know if an unrepentant will repent. I also do not know if a faithful servant will throw in the towel and lead an ungodly lifestyle. I do know, however, the principles of scripture. God put us in a sowing and reaping world. What we sow, we reap. To be able to guess someone’s behavior from past experience is not rocket science. It’s biblical wisdom. To anticipate their future correctly is not judging, it is seeing someone with God’s eyes.
Jacob knew the patterns of his sons. He knew that God often defined the destinies of His people by the bent of their hearts. He proceeded to reveal the future of the twelve tribes of Israel to each of his sons. His knowledge of them, coupled with the revelation of God, accurately forecasted their destinies. I wonder how it felt to each one as the truth sunk in ~ What I’ve done with my life is determining my future.
What do I do today if I see the shipwrecked life of someone I love? I know that without a spiritual turnaround, the days ahead of them are foreboding. I ask God to have mercy on them. I ask God to destroy the schemes of the evil one to ‘blind the mind of my unbelieving loved one so that they might not see the glory of Christ.’ 2 Cor. 4:4 I ask God to reveal Himself to them and bring them to a place of spiritual need. Each of us knows that our past does not have to define our future. With God, there is mercy. With God, there is forgiveness and a clean canvas upon which He can paint a glorious destiny of grace.
Thank you for not giving me what I deserve. Thank you for forgiving me. Amen