1 Chronicles, chapters 5-7

“[Reuben] was the firstborn, but because he defiled the bed of his father, his right as firstborn was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel […]”
~1 Chronicles 5:1

The “sons of Israel” totaled 12, but the first born was supposed to receive double the inheritance portion of the others.
Israel’s first-born, Reuben, slept with his father’s concubine, thereby forfeiting his right to his double portion of inheritance (Ge. 35:22).
Joseph was Israel’s favorite son, long believed to have died before reappearing in Israel’s life as savior and provider for their entire household (Ge 45:25–46:4).
Also, he was the first-born son of his favorite wife, Rachel (Ge. 29:30; 30:22-24).
Joseph had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, and Israel prophesied that the younger would dominate the older (Ge. 48:13-20; Jos. 14:4).
The distribution of tribal land was to be divided among twelve tribes (Ge. 49:2-28).
This significant number worked out well when we take into account that the sons of Levi, whose jobs were directly related to the worship of Jehovah, would not receive their own territory (Nu. 18:20).
Therefor, there were thirteen total tribes of Israel, twelve of which had territories.
Israel’s prophecy that the tribe of Ephraim would grow more than his brother’s began to materialize in chapter seven of this week’s reading.
In fact, Ephraim grew so large as a tribe that it eventually came to represent the northern nation of Israel, after the original nation divided in two (Ho. 13:1).
From Ephraim came both spiritual people inclined to serve God, while other Ephraimites became apostates (1 Ki. 12:25-30; 2 Chron. 15:9).
The point I wish to highlight from this reading is that while God can decide our future in general terms, as he did with the tribes of Reuben, Manasseh and Ephraim, it is up to us as individuals to decide whether or not we want to serve him.

Genesis, chapters 47-50

Genesis 49:9,10~

Judah is a lion cub. From the prey, my son, you will certainly go up. He has crouched down and stretched himself out like a lion, and like a lion, who dares rouse him? The scepter will not depart from Judah, neither the commander’s staff from between his feet, until Shi′loh comes [meaning: He Whose It Is; He to Whom It Belongs], and to him the obedience of the peoples will belong.

On his deathbed, Jacob passed down the birthright of preserving the Messiah’s lineage to the eldest of his sons who did not sin against him.

The lion and the scepter represent the right to rule as king, and Shi’loh refers to the then unborn Messiah.

This is a noteworthy prophecy because as we now know, King David proceeded from the tribe of Judah and Jesus’ ancestry was traceable to David on both his parents’ sides (2 Sam. 2:4; 2 Sam. 7:16,17; Matt. 1:1-16; 3:23-33).

Of Jesus, it was said: “This one will be great and will be called Son of the Most High; and Jehovah God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule as king over the house of Jacob forever, and there will be no end to his kingdom,” (Luke 1:32,33).

Jesus asked us to pray for that kingdom to come: Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth.” (Matt. 6:9,10).

After his death, Jesus’ followers expected him to one day begin ruling from heaven:

God resurrected this Jesus, and of this we are all witnesses […] For David did not ascend to the heavens, but he himself says, ‘Jehovah said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet,”’ (Acts 2:32-35).

This in turn makes reference to Jesus’ first act as king: to do God’s will in heaven, that is, to throw out God’s enemies from it (Rev. 12:7-12).

Then the prophecy refers to us, saying: “the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing that he has a short period of time.”

It might take thousands of years for God’s prophecies to come to full light, but they are always fulfilled unfailingly.