"All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that their father spake unto them, and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them."
(Genesis 49:28 KJV)
Here are a few facts about Isaac's son, Jacob (Israel). Jacob was one of the revered patriarchs of the Old Testament, but at times he was also a schemer, liar, and manipulator. Our Awesome God gave him twelve sons. At one time, Jacob even wrestled with an angel because the angel wouldn't give him what he wanted and he walked with a limp after (Genesis 32:24-32). After wrestling all night, God renamed him Israel, which means, "he struggles with God." In fact, Jacob struggled with God his entire life, as many of us do. As he matured in faith, Jacob depended on God more and more.
God is Awesome and Jacob or Israel needed Him frequently as Jacob's sons increased in number and matured. These twelve men would become the men God would work through to produce the Twelve Tribes of Israel. They were always doing something they shouldn't have done (1 Chronicles 5:1-2; Genesis 34:25). They were jealous of each other and often hated each other, especially Joseph (Genesis 37:5-8). In the scripture records, only Joseph ever had any relationship with God.
Reuben lost his birthright because he slept with his father's concubine. Judah slept with his daughter-in-law; but kings came from his tribe (Genesis 38:25-26). Levi, the son that produced the priests for God, and his brother, Simeon, murdered the men in the city of Hamor (Genesis 34:24-25). All the sons, like their father, sinned repeatedly and were a heartache to Jacob and God.
So these were the men Our Awesome God had chosen to become founders of the twelve tribes of Israel that made up His chosen people. Just like we sin, they sinned (remember, God views all sins as equal). But God can and will use sinners for His purposes. He prefers to use His obedient people (who are forgiven sinners), but He does not hesitate to use pagans and atheists. We need to fully understand: His purpose will be done. Are we going to help Him or are we going to slow our maturity in Christ up as sinning always does?
We (as a church) want all people in church, worshipping Our Awesome God with faith and obedience every Sunday. If you are not yet a Christian, it is time that you should know and love Our Awesome God as your Creator and Savior. Join us at Living Word Baptist Church as we pray and worship Him this Sunday at 10:30 AM and at 6:00 PM for Bible Study along with AWANA for children 7:30 PM. On Wednesdays, we meet at 7:00 PM for Prayer Requests and a Bible Study follows along with Youth Chapel until 8:00 PM. We love visitors!
Flo & Bill