Genesis 49:33

March 1, 2011

“When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed and breathed his last and was gathered to his people.”

I love it.

This final act of drawing up one’s feet into the bed… It is like returning to that primal position we assumed in our mother’s womb, curled up into a ball, into the smallest space possible.  It is the last act of humility, knowing one’s place in the ultimate scheme of things, the final acknowledgement of one’s mortality.  This tired, wearied Jacob, who has lived 130 and some years, this liar and cheat who God has redeemed and loved, now full of wisdom and prophetic visions, saw his place before his Maker clearly, as nothing, as undeserving of His inexplicable mercy and love.

Yet there is also a sense of something celestial.  Jacob drew up his feet, for the feet of those who fly do not touch the ground.  For along with the humility comes this supernatural lift; angels fly because they think lightly of themselves.  (Chesterton, I believe).  I am reminded of Elijah and Moses at the mount of transfiguration, how these glorified bodies touched the dirty, grimy soil with their shining feet…. Oh what delightful reversal of our physical death!  We shall draw up our worn and tired feet into glory, and touch down upon the new earth, in the presence of our Lord in the New Jerusalem!

There is a scene at the end of Pilgrim’s Progress, where Mr. Ready-to-Halt is about to cross the river to heaven.  He exclaims that he won’t need his crutches anymore, because he’ll be riding on chariots!  Oh how wonderful it is to proclaim our weaknesses, for His glory will be manifested more completely through them, both in this lifetime, and more fully in the next!

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