Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | June 2, 2022

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world”

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 49:19-21.

“19 “As for Gad, raiders shall raid him,
But he will raid at their heels.

20 “As for Asher, his food shall be rich,
And he will yield royal dainties.

21 “Naphtali is a doe let loose,
He gives beautiful words.” Genesis 49:19-21.


It is interesting to compare the prophecy of Jacob in today’s Scripture for Gad, Asher, and Naphtali with the following blessings of Moses for them.

But first, we should recognize the difference between prophecy and blessing.  Notice Scripture’s descriptions of each.  

“Then Jacob summoned his sons and said, “Assemble yourselves that I may tell you what will befall you in the days to come.”  Genesis 49:1.

“Now this is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the sons of Israel before his death.”  Deuteronomy 33:1.

Here is how Moses blessed Gad, Asher, and Naphtali.

“20 Of Gad he said,

“Blessed is the one who enlarges Gad;
He lies down as a lion,
And tears the arm, also the crown of the head.
21 “Then he provided the first part for himself,
For there the ruler’s portion was reserved;
And he came with the leaders of the people;
He executed the justice of the LORD,
And His ordinances with Israel.” Deuteronomy 33:20-21.

“24 Of Asher he said,

“More blessed than sons is Asher;
May he be favored by his brothers,
And may he dip his foot in oil.
25 “Your locks will be iron and bronze,
And according to your days, so will your leisurely walk be.” Deuteronomy 33:24-25.

“23 Of Naphtali he said,

“O Naphtali, satisfied with favor,
And full of the blessing of the LORD,
Take possession of the sea and the south.” Deuteronomy 33:23.

In conclusion, as we consider by this comparison how much more favorable blessings are, let us appreciate all that more the blessings that we receive from God, our Father.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.  In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”  Ephesians 1:3-6. 

And, let us recognize the basis for those blessings:  “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world”.  Ephesians 1:4.

As stated in the Canons of Dordt in the section titled FIRST HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of Divine Predestination, “election is the fountain of every saving good”.  

Article 9.  This election was not founded upon foreseen faith, and the obedience of faith, holiness, or any other good quality of disposition in man, as the pre-requisite, cause or condition on which it depended;  but men are chosen to faith and to the obedience of faith, holiness, etc., therefore election is the fountain of every saving good;  from which proceed faith, holiness, and the other gifts of salvation, and finally eternal life itself, as its fruits and effects, according to that of the apostle:  “He hath chosen us (not because we were) but that we should be holy, and without blame, before him in love,”  Ephesians 1:4.

“For you are a holy people to the LORD your God;  the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

“The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.”  Deuteronomy 7:6-8. 

But, there are many in the church who nevertheless still shun God’s predestination and election, preferring that God prophesy about their works and their will so that they will be glorified.

There are few in the church who treasure and cherish God’s predestination and election, preferring God’s blessings so that God will be glorified.

“But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;  for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD;  you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.”  1 Peter 2:9-10.


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