Direct Descendants

Genesis 46:8-27

8These are the names of the sons of Israel (Jacob and his descendants) who went to Egypt: Reuben the firstborn of Jacob. 9The sons of Reuben: Hanok, Pallu, Hezron and Karmi. 10The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman. 11The sons of Levi: Gershon,

Kohath and Merari. 12The sons of Judah: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez and Zerah (but Er and Onan had died in the land of Canaan). The sons of Perez: Hezron and Hamul. 13The sons of Issachar: Tola, Puah, Jashub and Shimron. 14The sons of Zebulun: Sered, Elon and Jahleel. 15These were the sons Leah bore to Jacob in Paddan Aram, besides his daughter Dinah. These sons and daughters of his were thirty-three in all.

16The sons of Gad: Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi and Areli.

17The sons of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi and Beriah. Their sister was Serah.

The sons of Beriah: Heber and Malkiel. 18These were the children born to Jacob by Zilpah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Leah—sixteen in all.

19The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. 20In Egypt, Manasseh and Ephraim were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 21The sons of Benjamin: Bela, Beker, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim and Ard. 22These were the sons of Rachel who were born to Jacob—fourteen in all.

23The son of Dan: Hushim. 24The sons of Naphtali: Jahziel, Guni, Jezer and Shillem. 25These were the sons born to Jacob by Bilhah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Rachel—seven in all. 26All those who went to Egypt with Jacob—those who were his direct descendants, not counting his sons’ wives—numbered sixty-six persons. 27With the two sons who had been born to Joseph in Egypt, the members of Jacob’s family, which went to Egypt, were seventy in all.

NBA Season

Those who love to watch or play basketball may have been waiting for the opening season of NBA (National Basketball Association). What do you think? Will Toronto Raptors be able to defend their NBA title this season?

Basketball, like any other sports, is an avenue of dominance over others. Players have to compete at highest level possible to win the game. The Toronto Raptors were not the best team but they are the reigning champion.

Can you accept that God is interested which team would be champion? Does God choose which player would receive the Most Valuable Player award?

It says in Jeremiah 27:4-6, This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Tell this to your masters: With my great power and outstretched arm I made the earth and its people and the animals that are on it, and I give it to anyone I please. Now I will give all your countries into the hands of my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon…”

Nebuchadnezzar was not the most righteous, kind or intelligent king. Yet, the Lord declared that Nebuchadnezzar was His servant. Should notorious king be God’s servant? Yet, God called Nebuchadnezzar as His servant, not once but multiple times. It doesn’t necessary mean that God has approved everything that Nebuchadnezzar did. Actually, God punished Nebuchadnezzar for his abuses.

Likewise, the Lord calls ordinary individuals or kings to serve His purposes. Our actions, decisions, and lifestyle are proofs that we have received our calling.

2 Peter 1:10-11 says, Make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

So, how do we confirm our calling and election? What practical proofs will guarantee us that our names are included in the book of life?

It says in Revelation 20:12-15, Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Twice it mentioned that the Lord judges everyone according to what we do. Let’s not deceive ourselves by assuming that we have faith in Christ. Don’t even think that since we gather in the same church, we are all saved.

Let’s learn more about our calling and election from the lists of names and numbers of the direct descendants of Jacob who entered Egypt.

1. Names

8These are the names of the sons of Israel (Jacob and his descendants) who went to Egypt:

The names and numbers of direct descendants of Jacob were recorded but the names of the wives of his sons and grandsons were not included, why?

Wives, servants and extended relatives who were not direct descendants of Jacob have possibly joined when they entered Egypt. Their names were not mentioned because Jacob’s journey was a prophecy about believers’ destiny.

It practically illustrates names of believers listed in the book of life. Have you sincerely trusted Christ as Savior? Your name is listed in the book of life!

It says in Ephesians 1:11-14, In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,  in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,  who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

People assume they are saved after they prayed to accept Christ as Lord and Savior. Do you adhere to the doctrine: “Once Saved Always Saved”?

This doctrine cannot save anyone. If you believe this doctrine to be real, you have also received a godly desire to live a godly lifestyle that brings praise to the glorious name of the Lord, and not embarrassment to His kingdom.

Blame Game

Everyone can commit a mistake. Can you accept that genuine believers can violate traffic rules? Have you been caught driving over speed limits?

It was reported that one Thursday morning, a 25-year-old driver was pulled over by police just before 9 a.m. He was going 161 km/h in a construction zone with posted speed limit at 60 km/h. The driver told the police that he’s speeding because he was late for church accordingly. He’s given a $2,694 ticket and a serious offence notice for going more than 100 km/h over the limit.o be spiritual, he learned a great lesson that deception has deceived him. Justice has served its purposes.

Not a few assume that they can pretend as believers. They pretend to be spiritual by imitating other believers but they are just deceiving themselves.

Does going to church make anyone spiritual? During the week, different people come to church building for inspection or to deliver something. Anybody can deceive anybody but nobody can deceive the Lord. That’s for sure!

King David declared in Psalm 139:16, Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Jeremiah 10:23 says, Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps. Philippians 2:13 declares, For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Genuine believers can still commit mistakes like anybody. How significant is it for us to determine if we are genuine believer or not genuine believer?

If we trusted in Christ, action and lifestyle are patterned to His teaching.

Have you sincerely trusted Christ as Lord and Savior? Have you received the Spirit of Christ into your life? How do we know that we received Christ’s Spirit in our life? Christ’s Spirit prevails in our life, and He regenerates us. He turns us into new creation, and we’ve got desires to live godly lifestyle acceptable to God.

Someone may inquire, “What if I prayed to accept Christ into my life but I still want to do things that please me?” Friend, listen carefully. If you’ve sincerely believed in Christ, the Lord gives you desire to have a godly lifestyle.

If you enjoy vices, addiction, or bad habits and cannot stop it then pray: “Lord to give me faith to trust that Your instructions are meant for my betterment!”

It warns us in Revelation 6:10-11, They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.

The Lord will soon return when enough believers reaches the full number that the Lord has decreed to live with Him in His eternal heaven. Make sure you are included. Godly lifestyle is best practical proof of Christ’s presence in us.

When the Bible mentioned the names and numbers of direct descendants of Jacob who went to Egypt with him, it represents the names and numbers of believers whom God has predestined and elected to live with Him forever.

2. Number

26All those who went to Egypt with Jacob—those who were his direct descendants, not counting his sons’ wives—numbered sixty-six persons. 27With the two sons who had been born to Joseph in Egypt, the members of Jacob’s family, which went to Egypt, were seventy in all.

When 70 members of Jacob’s family went to Egypt, what’s its significance?

Why not 79, 99, or 100? Bible scholars suggest that 70 represent a period of judgment. Ancient Israel spent a total number of 70 years in exile. 70 elders (not counting the High Priest) composed Israel’s great tribunal or Supreme Court. (Exodus 24:1, Numbers 11:16) In the New Testament, it’s called the Sanhedrin.

Christ sent out 70 disciples to preach about the ‘Kingdom of God’ (Luke 10).

The names of 70 direct descendants of Jacob who went to live in Egypt were recorded but the exact number of people who joined him was not recorded. The number of sheep, goat cattle or donkeys they brought with them was not also recorded. The numbers and names signify that the direct descendants of Jacob were certainly taken care of and made sure they lived in Egypt.

It says in Exodus 1:5, 5The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy in all; Joseph was already in Egypt. In Deuteronomy 10:22, 22Your ancestors who went down into Egypt were seventy in all… But it says in Acts 7:14-15: 14Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all.

Noticed a discrepancy? What was Stephen’s source when he said that 75 members of Jacob’s family went to Egypt? Interpreters suggest that Joseph had other sons aside from Ephraim and Manasseh. Others suggest that the wives of Jacob’s sons were added. Bible scholars suggest that the source Stephen was the Septuagint. The oldest Greek version of the Hebrew Bible is called LXX (Septuagint)—evolved from Latin septuāgintā for seventy, after 70 Jewish scholars had translated the Hebrew Bible to Greek around 3 B.C.

In the Septuagint version of Exodus 1:5, it is translated that 75 direct descendants of Jacob went to Egypt instead 70 descendants only.

There was no clear explanation why Stephen mentioned 75 members of Jacob’s family went to Egypt instead of 70 when he preached before the 70 members of the Sanhedrin. Speculations have been entertained and useful for discussion but cannot justify mysterious information included in the Bible.

It takes faith to believe the Scriptures. It says in Deuteronomy 29:29, The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.

It can be very frustrating to inquisitive people but we can practise faith. Do you accept that the Lord allows us know things helpful to our faith in Him, and things that He won’t disclose or reveal may confuse us instead of clarity. Our Savior saved us not just from eternal punishment but also from futile ventures.

Nonetheless, it says in Romans 8:29-30, Those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Information that the Lord reveals are useful for us to develop a character similar to the attributes of Christ. Our opinion or general notion about seemingly contradictory information in the Bible may reveal the intensity of our faith in God.

3. Notion

8Reuben the firstborn of Jacob… 10The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman… 12The sons of Judah: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez and Zerah…20In Egypt, Manasseh and Ephraim were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On.

Take note: Reuben was listed here as firstborn. That’s right! He was the firstborn child of Jacob. The right of the firstborn is a double portion of inheritance but Reuben forfeited his right to double portion when he defiled the bed of his father. The double portion right of the firstborn was given to Joseph so that two Israel tribes were named after his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh.

What is your notion? What is your opinion when Reuben did not receive double portion right as the firstborn of Jacob? What does it teach us?

It says in John 1:12, Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…

 All believers have been given the right to become children of God but what is our inheritance in terms of privileges in heaven? What’s our portion?

The names of those who went to Egypt were direct descendants of Jacob. Daughter-in-laws of Jacob weren’t his direct descendants. It’s possible that they went to Egypt with him. It’s also possible that they chose to remain in Canaan or return to the community they originated from. Some wives of Jacob’s sons were not necessarily Canaanites. Perhaps, they were Edomites, Moabites or Amorites.

Yet, the ethnicity of the mother of Shaul son of Simeon was mentioned. She’s Canaanite. And, the names of Joseph’s wife and father-in-law were also mentioned. In contrast, the ethnicity of the wives of the rest of Jacob’s sons was not mentioned. Judah married a Canaanite woman (Genesis 38:2). His daughter-in-law Tamar was Canaanite but not mentioned when they went to Egypt. Why?

It’s possible that Shaul had inherited the behavior of his Canaanite mother. Whenever there’s disagreement in their practices, they can look back to cultural influences. Similarly, Joseph’s wife and father-in-law could have influenced the spirituality of Joseph’s sons. His sons may have been taught by his father-in-law.

In contrast, the Canaanite mothers of Judah’s sons were mentioned. Why? Perhaps, Judah’s sons may have behaved according to the cultural practices of their father Judah and their grandfather Jacob, and their lifestyle and behaviors were not influenced by their Canaanite culture of their mothers.

Check your lifestyle! Do you behave according to the teaching of Christ?

A while back, we ask: What’s our inheritance as God’s children in terms of privileges in heaven? What portion can we expect?

The Lord declares in Revelation chapter 2: 7Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

11The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.

17The one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.

26The one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter…

And in Revelation chapter 3: 5The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. 

12The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name.

 21The one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.  Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

As celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we are reminded that Christ is coming soon. He will reward us according to our lifestyle, behavior and actions.

When Christ was crucified, He took all our sins, iniquities, guilt and shame and nailed them on the cross. Ask the Lord to increase your faith to believe and fully experience that sin cannot pressure or influence you anymore.

All who believed in Christ are freed from the penalty of sin.

All who believed in Christ are freed from the pressure and power of sin

And eventually, all who believed in Christ are freed from the presence of sin when Christ takes us to His heaven. Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus Christ!

><((‘> …><(((‘> tmec\2019 <‘)))>< … <‘))><

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.