By: Ely Lagajino
For those blessed by Him will inherit the land, But those cursed by Him will be cut off.Psalm 37:22 (NKJV)
Israel called all his sons to gather around his dying bed, and he started the prophetic vision about the future of the tribes. Some of them received blessings, while others did not.
The birth right privileges were taken out from Reuben, the firstborn. He had an illegal relationship with Bilhah, the substitute wife of his father. (Genesis 49:4) He was unfit for the blessing of the birth right. His weakness resulted in selling Joseph. He was likened to unstable water. His tribe was the first one carried into captivity by the enemies in the land of Canaan.
Simeon and Levi, the second and third sons of Leah, were not given any inheritance. They were guilty of killing all the men of Shechem. They placed a cruel revenge in their hands by misleading them to undergo a painful circumcision to be united with Jacob’s family. After three days, they returned and killed them in revenge to Hamor son’s sexual abuse of their sister Dinah. Also, they were cruel to animals; they crippled the cows as they pleased. They were the guiltiest for selling Joseph. “I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel” (Genesis 49:7)
The tribe of Simeon was the smallest tribe that entered Canaan. They were given a small portion of Judah’s lot and later moved out and stayed outside the Promised Land.
Levi had no inheritance except to be scattered in 48 cities in the land of Canaan. However, the curse on Levi’s tribe was converted into a blessing when they did not worship the calf at the foot of Mount Sinai/Horeb. They were appointed as priests in tabernacles and later in the temples. Moses, Aaron, and Merriam came from the Levite’s tribe.
The lives of the tribes of Israel were written with their faults and recklessness for our warning and encouragement. They fall into temptations just like some of us. And yet others chose to change the curse into blessings through repentance and by the grace of God.