If ever there was a beautiful way to go out in this world, this is the way to do it. Wow. I’m just in awe of the beauty of this chapter. While the things Jacob had to say to some of his sons were harsh, I admired the way the writer (Moses) expresses Jacob’s praise, as well as his disappointment, in the form of a poem. Seeing lines of poetry anywhere tells us one thing for sure: these words came from the heart. Ain’t no denyin’. I know they don’t rhyme and seem to have no rhythm as we read them in English, but in the original text, I bet this passage is a stunning tear-jerker! Plus, it shows that it’s ok to dabble in other forms of writing. I’m not a poet by nature, but when I am challenged to write poetry, I absolutely love it. I joined an 11-day ASEAN poetry challenge in 2019. Each day presented a different poetry prompt that required using a unique form of poetry from one of the 11 countries that make up ASEAN. Fascinating! We dove into 11 traditional forms of poetry throughout Southeast Asia. I didn’t even know such styles existed! Some people submitted their poems in their native languages and then translated them into English, so some of the meaning and rhythm was lost, but oh wow, did knowing the context and topic make such a difference! Truly one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. It even made me read the Bible differently, as you can see from what I wrote above. I would challenge you to read some different styles of poetry, even if you don’t think you’re a poetry person. (I would call myself a non-poetry person, for sure.)
Getting back to the poem at hand, though, Jacob right off answered three of my questions noted in past chapters: what was to become of the dastardly deeds of the son who slept with his wife, the sons who murdered an entire village and the son who sold his youngest son into slavery? Reuben is given great praise – as only a father can give to his first born – and then scolded and humiliated in front of everyone; Simeon and Levi are cursed for all eternity; and Judah gets a pass (and the crown, it seems *wink, wink), I’m guessing for showing true repentance during his moving confrontation with Joseph. Confession and repentance can yield some mega props, guys!
I had to highlight a few of the blessings for Jacob’s younger sons. We don’t know a lot about some of them. I mean, there were 12. I have trouble keeping up with my own three kids! Verse 13 might be my favorite: Zebulun will settle by the seaside. He’ll be a harbor for ships. Gorgeous. I want to be Zebulun. I also loved verse 20: Asher will dine on rich foods (probably not a good thing for someone like me 😆), and produce food fit for kings. LOVE! If you are a culinary genius, or just some awesome mama or daddy who loves to feed small armies whenever you get the chance, please know that you are blessed! If ever you feel small in your skills and talents, consider that out of 12 brothers, Asher was the only one blessed with these skills. In fact, each brother has a unique characteristic just like each of us. We can’t all be hunters and governors (Dan) and carriers of scepters! That’s what makes the world go ‘round – individuality coupled with team spirit. I’ve said it before, but the Holy Spirit is urging me to say it again: YOU ARE UNIQUE, HOLY, SET APART, SMALL BUT MIGHTY, CHOSEN, BLESSED, TINY, YES, BUT FILLED WITH THE BIGGEST MOST POWERFUL FORCE IN THE UNIVERSE! Sorry for shouting. I hope you get my point. You are loved.
Writing prompt: poetry time!
Well, you knew it was going to happen, didn’t you? That’s right, it’s “Write a Poem Today Day.” I already challenged you above to read some different styles of poetry. Better yet, join a poetry challenge! This was helpful for me in getting the poetry vibe going. Whatever you choose, enjoy writing from your heart!