The Redeemer from All Evil
The LORD said, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Genesis 28:15 NASB
As we near the exit of Genesis’ art gallery, we come to Jacob’s deathbed scene. Joseph hurried with his two sons to his father’s side when told that he was ill. Seeing his beloved son, Jacob said, “I never expected to see your face, and behold, God has let me see your children as well” (Genesis 48:11 NASB).
Jacob blessed Joseph and then his sons, saying, “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; And may my name live on in them, and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and may they grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth” (Genesis 48:15-16 NASB).
Seeing Joseph brought back memories of Jacob’s own life. He had spent many years apart from his father just as Joseph had. He had prospered in that land and God had given him sons too.
As Jacob reflected on the events of his life, he remembered God’s sovereign guidance, including Someone he met as an angel or as a man—Someone who was later identified as “The Lord” or “God” Himself (Genesis 28:12; 31:10-13; 32:28, 30). This person, whom Jacob called “the angel who has redeemed me from all evil,” was a Christophany, an appearance of the pre-incarnate Christ.
This Lenten season take time to reflect on the One who has redeemed you from all evil. You may want to sing wonderful hymns of praise to Christ your Redeemer, such as the one by Philip P. Bliss (music by James McGranahan):
I will sing of my Redeemer,
And His wondrous love to me;
On the cruel cross He suffered,
From the curse to set me free.
Sing, oh sing, of my Redeemer,
With His blood, He purchased me.
On the cross, He sealed my pardon,
Paid the debt, and made me free.
Celebrate Christ the Redeemer who ransomed us out of slavery to sin and death, paying our debt with His own blood.
The Hebrew word meaning “to redeem” is ga’al and requires payment by a near relative. Read Hebrews 2:14-15. How did Jesus Christ become our near relative so He could be our kinsman-redeemer? See also the book of Ruth, which describes the kinsman-redeemer Boaz.
The Hebrew word translated “angel” in Genesis 48:15-16 is mal’ak, which means “messenger.” In Malachi 3:1 who is the second “messenger”? How is He described?
For other instances of an “angel” who turns out to be “God,” also called “the Angel of the Lord” see Genesis 16:7-13, Exodus 3:2-22; Judges 6:11-24; Isaiah 63:9.
To read all the lyrics of Bliss’s hymn, “My Redeemer,” go to http://nethymnal.org/htm/m/y/myrdeemr.htm. Other redeemer hymns include “O for A Thousand Tongues to Sing My Great Redeemer’s Praise,” Crown Him With Many Crowns,” “There Is A Redeemer,” and “Since I Have Been Redeemed.”
See two other devotions about God’s presence in Jacob’s life: “Mighty” under Dig into Words and “Leah” under Dig into People.
Nancy J. Baker