Genesis 48:15-16 (NIVUK)
15 Then he blessed Joseph and said,
‘May the God before whom my fathers
Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully,
the God who has been my shepherd
all my life to this day,
16 the Angel who has delivered me from all harm
– may he bless these boys.
May they be called by my name
and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
and may they increase greatly
on the earth.’
On Sunday we thought about the Parable of the Lost Sheep from Luke 15:3-7. Inevitably it didn’t take us long to leap to seeing it as describing God as a shepherd, searching for lost people (even if in the story itself, Jesus tells the religious leaders to go and find the lost sheep. This isn’t surprising because throughout the Bible God has been described as a shepherd who cares for his flock. Here is one of the earliest occasions. Jacob, the one who has fought to get what he believes should be his, finally gets there. A chapter before his death he recognises that God has been his shepherd, guiding him, and keeping him safe.
Father, help us like Jacob, to overcome our self-reliance and to recognise our reliance on you.