• W. Austin Gardner

Your Future Told by Your Past


Genesis 49:1 And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. 2 Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; And hearken unto Israel your father. 3 Reuben, thou art my firstborn, My might, and the beginning of my strength, The excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: 4 Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; Because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; Then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch. 5 Simeon and Levi are brethren; Instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. 6 O my soul, come not thou into their secret;

Unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: For in their anger they slew a man, And in their selfwill they digged down a wall. 7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; And their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, And scatter them in Israel.

  1. Jacob’s dying words

  2. He told them their future 1 And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.

  3. He blessed them 28 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.

  4. He commanded them

  5. Jacob’s words reveal something about human character and conduct

  6. Their past would cost them in the future

  7. We reap what we sow in more ways than anyone can explain

  8. Our children learn from us

  9. Grace keeps you saved but doesn’t deliver you from the consequences of your sin

  10. Every decision you make is more than a step you are taking but a direction you taking

  11. I want to die instructing my children in the way

  12. I dream of my last days being them coming near to hear

  13. Me instructing them and my grandchildren to follow Jesus and do right

  14. Then pulling my feet into the bed and dying 33 And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people.

  15. What preparations are you making for your children’s future?

  16. Are you leading them right now?

  17. Are you giving them a good example?

  18. Are you preparing a life that will keep on leading after you die?

  19. Do you know that what you do says more to your children than what you are saying?

  20. Instability will cause you to fail 3 Reuben, thou art my firstborn, My might, and the beginning of my strength, The excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: 4 Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; Because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; Then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.

  21. Reuben is the oldest. His should be the privileges of the firstborn.

  22. Dignity and honor

  23. Leading the family

  24. Reuben’s sin caught up with him 35:22 And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine: and Israel heard it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve:

  25. In his arrogance, Reuben took his dad’s concubine, second class wife

  26. He wasn’t just lusting and having sexual relations

  27. He was declaring that he was now head of the family

  28. King David took Saul’s wives as his II Samuel 12:8 And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.

  29. Absalom took David’s wives when he took over the kingdom

  30. Reuben was refusing to wait to get his inheritance like the prodigal son

  31. Though grace will keep you eternally you can and will suffer from your sins and wrong decisions

  32. Instability, unstable like water speaks of turbulence and weakness

  33. Unstable here speaks of passion

  34. Unstable is like boiling water

  35. Reuben was quick to make decisions yet not strong enough to follow through

  36. Put your hand to the plow and do not look back

  37. Unstable people don’t get anything from the Lord James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

  38. Believing one day and doubting the next

  39. Trusting and then distrusting

  40. Believing then getting discouraged

  41. Looking back is a sure sign you are not fit Luke 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

  42. You can’t serve two masters Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

  43. Make up your mind to serve God. Die to yourself and your life. That is the only way to serve God Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

  44. Reuben’s family doesn’t do well in the future either. It seems that the dad’s lifestyle affected those that followed him

  45. His family gave leadership to the rebellion of Korah Numbers 16:1 Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men: 2 And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: 3 And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?

  46. They didn’t go into the promised land but stayed on the side where they first saw good land

  47. They didn’t go to battle with Deborah

  48. The way you live has an effect on your children and grandchildren. They are watching and learning

  49. Don’t think you can get away with sin even though you are in grace

  50. Don’t think that you can arrogantly take for yourself things that God is not ready to give you

  51. If you have a problem following through then start with something and finish it

  52. Learn to keep going. Don’t make excuses and look for reasons to quit

  53. Decide what to think. Don’t get discouraged. Don’t accept those thoughts or that way of reasoning

  54. Self-will and anger will destroy your family 5 Simeon and Levi are brethren; Instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. 6 O my soul, come not thou into their secret; Unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: For in their anger they slew a man, And in their selfwill they digged down a wall. 7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; And their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, And scatter them in Israel.

  55. Dinah got raped Genesis 34:25 And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males. 26 And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went out. 27 The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister. 28 They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field, 29 And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house. 30 And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house. 31 And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?

  56. No doubt that the brothers should have protected their sister

  57. No doubt that they should have judged those that mistreated her

  58. They lied to take advantage of the men. Telling them to be circumcised and be in a league together

  59. It appears that justice wasn’t their goal but rather an excuse to take their wealth covered up by their sister’s tragedy

  60. Even dad seems to have been more worried about his own health and welfare than that of his daughter

  61. Cruelty speaks of being hard, severe, fierce, and to be stubborn

  62. They had made up their minds

  63. They would not be stopped

  64. They would not only repay but go over and above giving them more than a just repayment

  65. Anger should be avoided Proverbs 22:24 Make no friendship with an angry man; And with a furious man thou shalt not go: 25 Lest thou learn his ways, And get a snare to thy soul.

  66. There is a right kind of anger against sin

  67. There is a way to be angry and sin not

  68. Self-will is the opposite of God’s will

  69. It is placing yourself in God’s place to make decisions

  70. They rebelled against their dad and did what they wanted to do

  71. The majority of my problems are me making the decisions that I want to make.

  72. When I am on the throne, deciding, figuring it out, and disobeying God then it is pretty obvious that I am my own god

  73. Give up your life and find life today

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