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 past behavior? Yes. Their patterns of righteousness or unrighteousness spell out their future unless they make a course change. The principles of the kingdom accurately predict their days ahead.
If I know someone well who has a history of anger, I can forecast what will set him off down the road. If someone is greedy, I know not to expect generosity in the future. However, I do not know if an unrepentant will repent. I also do not know if a faithful servant will throw in the towel and choose an ungodly lifestyle. I do know, however, the principles of scripture. God put us in a sowing and reaping world. What we sow, we will reap. To be able to guess someone’s behavior from experience is not rocket science. It’s biblical wisdom.
Jacob knew the patterns of his sons. He knew that God often defined the destinies of His people by the bent of a men’s hearts. Jacob revealed 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 this truth sunk in ~ What I’ve done with my life so far 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 your fathomless mercy. Amen