One of the verses in the Bible that has always caused a lump in my throat is Galatians 6:7: ”Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” There is a law at work in the Scriptures that affects every moment of life, and it should cause pause each moment of our day. Sin has consequences, and those consequences affect us and others. We are even affected by the sin of others.
- How has your sin affected someone else? How have you been affected by someone’s sin?
READ THE WORD: GENESIS 49:1-12 (ESV)
49:1 Then Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you what shall happen to you in days to come.
2 “Assemble and listen, O sons of Jacob,
listen to Israel your father.
3 “Reuben, you are my firstborn,
my might, and the firstfruits of my strength,
preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power.
4 Unstable as water, you shall not have preeminence,
because you went up to your father’s bed;
then you defiled it—he went up to my couch!
5 “Simeon and Levi are brothers;
weapons of violence are their swords.
6 Let my soul come not into their council;
O my glory, be not joined to their company.
For in their anger they killed men,
and in their willfulness they hamstrung oxen.
7 Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce,
and their wrath, for it is cruel!
I will divide them in Jacob
and scatter them in Israel.
8 “Judah, your brothers shall praise you;
your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
your father’s sons shall bow down before you.
9 Judah is a lion’s cub;
from the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He stooped down; he crouched as a lion
and as a lioness; who dares rouse him?
10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until tribute comes to him;
and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
11 Binding his foal to the vine
and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine,
he has washed his garments in wine
and his vesture in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth whiter than milk.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- How was Reuben’s future described (vss. 3-4)? What was the reason given for Reuben’s fate?
- What was said about Simeon and Levi (vss. 5-7)? What was going happen to them and why?
- Describe what was going to happen to Judah (vss. 9-12). Knowing that Jesus is from the line of Judah, what is here in these verses that foreshadows the rule and love of Christ?
- Are there spiritual disadvantages and consequences from others that affect your life? Are you providing spiritual blessing or negative consequences to those you care for most? How will your legacy be remembered in your family heritage?
RESPOND TO GOD
Not many of us are allowed to have great speeches on our deathbed. As a matter of fact, Jacob was the first afforded this opportunity in the Bible, and all he said actually happened. Reuben never had any prominent sons to speak of. Simeon and Levi acted in anger and haste, and their lineage suffered for it. Judah had a great heritage, including Solomon, David, Josiah, and Jesus. Sin never affects only you. Is there sin/struggle in your life that you need to confess and move away from? What will be the effects for others if you continue to ignore that sin? Sin has consequences, and we should take advantage of spiritual advantages. So, consider how you live.
- Use the following as a way of talking to God about sin and its consequences. Dear Father, I confess to you today the sin of _______ in my life. I realize that sin never just affects me and that what I sow I will also reap. I pray that you will redeem this area of my life and protect the ones I love from consequences that will be hurtful and negative. Please show me where I need to work on sowing righteousness. Please convict me of any relationship that I need to reconcile so that negative consequences are avoided. Thank you, Father, that you are a God of second and third chances, and that your grace is more powerful than my sin. Help me to live according to grace and not my flesh. In Jesus’ name, Amen.