The Daily Fountain Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 24 November 2020 – The Reuben Tragedy

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Topic: The Reuben Tragedy

Read: Genesis 49:1-13 (NKJV)

  1. And Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days:
  2. “Gather together and hear, you sons of Jacob, And listen to Israel your father.
  3. “Reuben, you are my firstborn, My might and the beginning of my strength, The excellency of dignity and the excellency of power.
  4. Unstable as water, you shall not excel, Because you went up to your father’s bed; Then you defiled [it — He] went up to my couch.
  5. “Simeon and Levi [are] brothers; Instruments of cruelty [are in] their dwelling place.
  6. Let not my soul enter their council; Let not my honor be united to their assembly; For in their anger they slew a man, And in their self-will they hamstrung an ox.
  7. Cursed [be] their anger, for [it is] fierce; And their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob And scatter them in Israel.
  8. “Judah, you [are he] whom your brothers shall praise; Your hand [shall be] on the neck of your enemies; Your father’s children shall bow down before you.
  9. Judah [is] a lion’s whelp; From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; And as a lion, who shall rouse him?
  10. The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him [shall be] the obedience of the people.
  11. Binding his donkey to the vine, And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, He washed his garments in wine, And his clothes in the blood of grapes.
  12. His eyes [are] darker than wine, And his teeth whiter than milk.
  13. “Zebulun shall dwell by the haven of the sea; He [shall become] a haven for ships, And his border shall adjoin Sidon.


We are familiar with the great blessings and privileges that accompany the firstborn position in most families. Reuben as the firstborn son, represented the primacy of his father’s manly strength in procreation, and held the place of power and dignity. The birthright with its double portion belonged to him. It was possible that by the time Jacob called all his children to speak into their future, Reuben may have been the most excited and eager to receive the double portion as his birthright demanded. But he never knew that he forfeited his pre-eminence on the day he boiled over with dark passion and slept with Bilhah, his father’s concubine.

Beloved, life is a seed and whatsoever we do with our lives, we will reap the fruits in the future. Certain things we do today whether good or bad will speak for or against our lives when it matters most.The tragedy of Reuben must bring us to the realities that even though sin is forgiven, the consequences and scars of some may remain to our detriment. We must therefore make up our minds to exercise great caution as we live in this land of our pilgrimage.

PRAYER: Father, help me to avoid the errors that will scatter your plans for my life.

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