Israel said his final good-byes to his twelve sons, and as he did so he blessed each of them. All these are the tribes of Israel, the twelve tribes. And this is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each one with his own special farewell blessing. Jacob (Israel) went on to repeat his burial desires while he had everyone assembled, and then he died. The whole community (both the Israelites and the Egyptians) mourned his death and a very impressive procession traveled from Egypt to Canaan. Jacob was buried next to his wife Leah since Rachel had been buried where she had died while giving birth to Benjamin on the journey to Bethlehem. Jacob’s parents and grandparents were all buried together in the same cave back where it all began when God gave Abraham the promise and blessing that he would be a great nation and all nations would be blessed through him.
Three generations of God’s blessed people have now died. But the blessing lives on. God blesses people to be a blessing. It is humbling to realize that we are a part of God’s blessing cycle. Thank You, our Father for Your loving kindness toward us. Way beyond what we will ever know, You give to us good gifts. May we live lives that honor You as we share with others from the abundant favor You have supplied so that all can know You. Amen.