Shabbat Shalom!
Isn’t it good to be basking in the glorious rest of Messiah on this Shabbat! This week’s Torah reading is without a doubt, one of the most emotionally charged ones. It’s the first time we encounter human forgiveness, it’s a cutting story of both loss, reconciliation and loss again. While reading through the chapters, I was struck by the humanness of the story, the way it speaks to us. The depth, the highs and lows of the experiences we read as Bible stories, are in fact retelling of people’s lives, these events happened! And they speak to us.


One particular passage I wish to focus on today, is something Yeshua has laid on my heart for you reading this. It’s the moment where our patriarch Jacob is lying on his bed surrounded by his sons. He senses that his time here on earth is drawing to a close and he wants to do something that is central to the Hebrew lifestyle, he wants to bless his sons before he leaves. Blessings are huge in the Hebrew faith, even in Judaism today, we bless everything! A blessing for our candles, for our mama’s and papa’s, blessings for when we travel, or when we have a bad dream or when we wash our hands, go to the toilet, you name it and Judaism can bless it. Blessings are special, this year I have truly learned about the value of blessing, and it’s something I want to make central to my life.


Yet, Jacob’s blessings for his sons, are not for themselves only but for their descendants, the ones still to come.


Genesis 49: 1
“Then Jacob called for his sons and said; Assemble yourselves and I will
tell you what will befall you in the end of days.”


The end of Days? Are you kidding me! That’s us, that’s our blessing right there, that’s our time, so was Israel our father blessing us? Yes, he was! And the original Hebrew of this sentence provides a very important key to correctly understanding what Jacob wanted to tell them through these blessings. First of all, Jacob tells them to assemble themselves. The type of assembling that is referred to here, is the call to unity, the call to join as one body, one community and one person. It’s the type pf unity required for Israel today, the type of unity displayed in the book of Acts, where we are told that the believers were joined together with one accord and one message. Unity between faithful believers is required for these final days, there is such potential for disunity that rises from greed, hatred, bitterness, and self – righteousness. The very things that Jacob saw in his own sons, is the very things that can overtake believers if they do not deal with their heart issues. Unity happens across oceans, across borders, nations and colour codes, it happens when true believers connect in the spirit of Yeshua.Which brings us to the next part of Jacob’s sentence.


While the English says, “I will tell you what will befall you in the end of days,” as though this is a prophecy of truth, the Hebrew does not use the familiar karah – which means befall. Rather it uses the word kara, which means call. Jacob does not say certain things will befall them, but rather certain realities will call to them in the final days. Wow. Why is this important? Because the blessings he goes on to pronounce, tell each of his sons who they truly are, it paints the destiny of their descendants. Each tribe of Israel had a different role in the kingdom, there were scholars, business men, successful warriors, fishermen, fulltime priests, and all had to use their positions to honour their God.


So too with us today, we each fulfil a different role in the kingdom. But with each role we fulfil comes the potential call to use all we have for the glory of God, or the call to use our roles and our talents for selfish gain. What will call to us in these final days? Goodness, holiness, self, pleasure or pain? Jacob knew how different his sons were, that is why he acknowledged who they were and that some of them were prone to be self- centred, while others were prone to be selfless. Yet, the greatest gift and weapon they had in their hands as their destinies called to them, was the blessing of a father. How special, if only we had the same weapon and yet we do!


John 17, is again another deeply moving passage of scripture, one we should make personal. It’s the prayer of our Saviour Yeshua, as he stood on the edge of His death bed. He knew what would call to us in these final days – disunity, strife, envy, the enemy. Yet, He prayed for us, prayed for us to be unified, to be sanctified, to be overcomers, bold believers, complete in love and joy and one with His Father. Wow again!


John 17: 20 – 24


“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”



Friends, what will come our way is beyond our knowing, yet how we respond is in our hands. We can lean on the Hands and the Prayer of our Saviour King or we can lean on self and find ourselves overcome. Jacob loved his children enough to caution them with the protection of a blessing. Yeshua loves His children enough, to likewise caution them and seal them with His fervent prayer, right before He would endure the most horrible death imaginable. Right before He took the suffering of the world on to Himself, He prayed for me and He prayed for you, you and I were on His mind and thoughts even when He sweat blood and tears. We were there in His Hands and in His heart and that for me, is the greatest blessing I need. Your Father has blessed you no matter what calls to you in these final days, the call of despair, depression, fear or guilt, tough times or hopelessness. He prayed for you and He believes in you, so don’t give up! While we may not know the outcome, He does and He has prayed for you to make it.

I want to share this song with you today and pray you will take a listen, no matter what He’s a Good Father and He loves you! 



Much love in Messiah!

Aliyah bat Yisrael

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