And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk…
There is a splendour peculiar to the meridian sun. There is a majestic and uncontrollable energy, and boldness, with which it spreads light and blessedness on all around. The sun shining in its strength is a grand and exhilarating sight. But there is a still deeper interest attendant on its decline; when the warm and mellow tints of evening soften the dazzling brightness of its ray; and when surrounded, but not obscured by clouds, and rich in a golden radiance, on which the eye lingers with chastened and inexpressible delight, it sinks below the horizon. It is with similar feelings that we regard the faithful servant of God, when he comes towards the close of a long, consistent, and useful life. It is when viewed in this light, that the last hours of the patriarch Jacob become valuable to us. All is resolved into the Divine care. All the vicissitudes of his course, when thus scrutinized, by the accurate discernment of one who from long experience could not be deceived, appear but as evidences to him of the gracious and providential guardianship of his Almighty Friend and Father.
1. He admits without reserve the providential care of God through a long life. "God Almighty that appeared unto me in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, hath fed me all my life long unto this day." Many there are whose last year's savour of a very different spirit from this. They have set out in life with false and unwarranted expectations of prosperity. They began without God for their friend, and they lived a life of business or of folly. They never cherished any hope, but the hope of extracting happiness from a world which was never calculated to give it. And what has been the result? Year after year has brought its disappointments.
2. There is another essential point of difference between the experience of this venerable Patriarch and yours. Jacob recognizes fully the gracious, as well as the protecting care of his God. In looking back upon his way, he broadly and joyfully admits the truth of God's redeeming mercy. This is the great secret of the exalted sublimity of his character, and the serenity of his end. We can recognize then in the creed of Jacob, precisely the same ground of hope as that of which we ourselves now rest. As truly as we see Christians in the full confidence of the faith of the gospel approaching their dying hour, and saying, "I have fought the good fight, I have kept the faith, henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness." "To me to live is Christ, and to die is gain"; so truly do we see Jacob in the exercise of the very same faith — a faith in a nameless Saviour. Learn that you can leave no better blessing to your children and your friends, than the mantle of your own piety — a measure of your own Christian hope. The last lesson is encouragement. Be encouraged to seek the Lord early, and to trust him through life. Jacob is one of an innumerable host of instances adducible in proof of the faithfulness of God. "He will never fail them that trust in Him."
Parallel VersesKJV: And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day,