Jacob’s Final Chapter by Chaplain Dwight

The character study of Jacob is a fascinating one. The Bible has a wonderful way of presenting all the heroes of the faith—flaws and all. Jacob is, in many ways, the father of Israel (his sons are the heads of the 12 tribes).

Genesis 46-49 Jacob has one last journey….to Egypt. On the way, as in times past, God assures Jacob of His presence and blessing. Israel (Jacob) has the beginnings of a great nation that God promised.

Once in Egypt, Jacob has an emotional reunion with Joseph and a brief but powerful visit with Pharaoh. Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and Pharaoh asked him his age. I love his answer: “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers.”

Jacob refers to his life as a pilgrimage. How appropriate. He never owned any land. He made several “pilgrimages” in his life, I think his perspective echoes the words of the familiar hymn, “This world is not my home; I’m just a passin’ through.” Now to us, 130 years is a long time. Yet Abraham lived 175 years, Isaac 180. So, to Jacob, his time was short. He also sees them as difficult. Later, when blessing Joseph (48:15-16), he has a more optimistic view, that God had been his shepherd all the days of his life.

Jacob finished well. He worshiped, gave testimony to God’s blessing, gave blessings to each of his children, and then breathed his last. May God grant us Jacob’s perspective. We are all on a pilgrimage, with hard times and good, all in God’s care. By God’s grace, let us remain faithful and finish well – however long that may take.