A Sheep All My Life

[15] And [Jacob] blessed Joseph and said,

“The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day, [16] the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, ….” 1

Oh Lord,

I love this so much. I unfortunately see myself in Jacob the Deceiver, thief of birthright and blessing, practicer of shady shepherding, foolish husband, fearful brother, and favorite-playing father.


I also identify with Israel, heir to a promise, chosen before the foundation of the world, receiver of visions, wrestler with God, disarmed and renamed to the Glory of God.

It brings me so much joy to read this prayer of Jacob's, here at the end of his tale. It's so personal. You are his God.2 You are his shepherd.3 You are the wrestling, redeeming angel.4 Most importantly, after years of Jacob's conniving and bargaining with God, Jacob confesses: You have been there the all his life.

Lord, give me the same gospel-soaked vision and confession. That unworthy as I am, you have been my shepherd my whole life. This morning I am a grateful, humble sheep. Amen.

  1. Genesis 48:15–16a, ESV. Emphasis mine. 

  2. Jacob spends much of Genesis describing God as merely "the God of my father." Here at the end, we get to see a much more intimate view. 

  3. Jacob spent a lot of time as a shepherd. Well he knew that sheep are stupid, prone to wander, helpless, and defenseless. It's impossible to imagine that for him "My shepherd" is merely a figure of speech. 

  4. Jacob choosing to say redeeming instead of renaming here is fascinating. He understands what is at play… not his reputation, not his place in history… something deeper. 

  • 2022-06-08 11:31:29 -0500
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  • 2021-02-15 07:57:31 -0600
    New: A Sheep All My Life