Thursday, September 17, 2009

Worshipping Without Excuses- Hebrews 11 part 7

"By faith Jacob, as he was dying,
blessed each of the sons of Joseph,
and worshipped,
leaning on the top his staff."
(vs 21)

I almost zoomed on past this one. In verses 20 and 21 we find these brief - incredibly brief - mentionings of Isaac and Jacob. Of all the things that happened in their lives they are only momentarily mentioned in the hall of faith, and the thing that is held forth relates to their giving blessings to their children.

In reading over these verses, I almost missed it. Then IT grabbed me. Jacob is about to die and is granting a paternal blessing upon the sons of Joseph. This is almost his final act this side of heaven - but there is one more thing he MUST do. He must worship!

Obviously worship was not "easy" for him at this point in life. Come on, the man is dying. He is not even able to sit up in bed by himself. He has to lean on the top of his staff. Jacob has PLENTY of excuses to just fall back on his pillow and go to sleep. But he does not - and he shames us in the process.

For many, any excuse will do to miss worship. For Jacob - not even looming death and utter physical inability would suffice.

Matthew Henry writes: "Jacob worshipped, leaning on his staff. He praised God for what He had done for him, and for the prospect he had of approaching blessedness. He was not able to support himself, so far as to sit up in his bed without a staff, and yet he would not make this an excuse for neglecting the worshipping of God; he would do it as well as he could with his body, and well as with his spirit."

Pardon me for a moment - I need to go find some sackcloth and ashes, shall I bring some for you as well?! I am shamed!!

May we love and long for worship. May we "not forsake our own assembling together, as is the habit of some" - not even on our death bed, not even if we must lean upon a staff to do it. Thanks for the almost missed lesson, Jacob!

Leaning and longing for worship,

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