And when Jacob had finished commanding his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people. (Genesis 49:33)
The way the text reads, it sounds as if Jacob passed away from this life almost immediately after prophesying over his sons and their descendants. So first of all, consider how important it was to him to do this before he died; it must have been weighing on his mind considerably. Then thank about the determination this old man possessed to muster the psychical strength to do this, considering that he was slowly dying throughout the process. The writer of Hebrews said:
By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. (Hebrews 11:21)
My point is that Jacob persevered right up until the very end; he didn’t stop until all he had been commissioned to do was fulfilled. You might say that retirement wasn’t something he considered as an option. In my view, he epitomized what all of God’s people are to do with the lives we have been given — keep moving forward and leave nothing undone that God has given us to do.
When Joshua, the son of Nun, died it is written that, “He left nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded Moses” (Joshua 11:15). That is an amazing testimony and one that all of us should strive to leave behind for those who will follow us. If we are to do such, we must acknowledge that perseverance is a must. Obstacles and seemingly insurmountable challenges will always be in our path but, with God’s help, we can overcome all of these impediments. And so, let us remember the words of Paul who said:
“I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14)
Blessings and Shalom,