By Faith, They Believed in the Future Generations
20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. 21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and he worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, as he was nearing the end of his life, mentioned the exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions concerning his bones.. (Hebrews 11:20-22)
In verses 20 and 21, both Isaac and Jacob blessed the youngest son instead of the oldest, believing that it was all according to God’s plan. In Isaac’s case, in Genesis 27:27-29, Isaac blesses Jacob, believing that it was Esau. Although this deception occurs, Isaac realizes that God is still in control and sends Jacob off to fulfill the promise passed down from Abraham to now Jacob in Genesis 28:4, “May God give you and your offspring the blessing of Abraham so that you may possess the land where you live as a foreigner, the land God gave to Abraham.”
In Jacob’s case, he blessed Joseph’s younger son Ephraim over Manasseh in Genesis 48:15-20. Joseph exclaims that Jacob made a mistake in verse 18, but Jacob recognized God’s plan as seen in Genesis 48:19-20:
19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know! He too will become a tribe, and he too will be great; nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his offspring will become a populous nation.” 20 So he blessed them that day, putting Ephraim before Manasseh when he said, “The nation Israel will invoke blessings by you, saying, ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”
Instead of resisting this unconventional plan of God, both Isaac and Jacob went along, being guided by their faith in God’s sovereignty.
Finally, in verse 22, while the Israelites were in Egypt, Joseph gave instructions concerning his bones. He believed that one day, the Israelites would leave Egypt and escape bondage and be brought to the promised land, and he wanted to be buried there, as seen in Genesis 50:24-25,
24 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will certainly come to your aid and bring you up from this land to the land he swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” 25 So Joseph made the sons of Israel take an oath: “When God comes to your aid, you are to carry my bones up from here.”
Each man had different circumstances, but each displayed their faith in God’s leading, even to the point of death.
Isaac De Guzman