“The Blessing of Moses on Israel” Deut. 33:13
“And this is the blessing wherewith Moses, the man of God, blessed the children of Israel before his death. And he said, “The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; He shined forth from Mount Paran, and He came with ten thousands of saints. From His right hand went a fiery law for them. Yea, He loved the people; all His saints are in Thy hand: and they sat down at Thy feet: every one shall receive Thy Words.” Dt. 33:1-3
What a blessing Moses puts upon each of the tribes of Israel except for Simeon. Even Joseph is named in v. 13 and then Ephraim and Manasseh are mentioned in v. 17 but there is no mention of Simeon, the son of Leah. He is mentioned ten times in Genesis and Numbers and three times in Exodus but only one time in Deut. 27:12, and there he is named with five other tribes on Mt. Gerizim blessing the people of Israel when they pass over the Jordan River, there he is listed with Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin. On Mt. Ebal you have Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan and Naphtali to curse the people as they enter the promised land. But Simeon is not mentioned in Moses’ blessing for the nation of Israel before he dies, why? If you had 12 brothers and your father called 11 of them to his bedside and blessed them before he died, wouldn’t you wonder what Number 12 did, to warrant his disapproval?
The name Simeon means hearing; or hears and obeys; or hearing with acceptance; but that doesn’t bear out his life as we know it, even though we don’t know a great deal about his personal life with less then 50 references to Him in the Bible. And even though his name means hearing with obedience, he was deaf on the day when he should have been paying attention and disobedient when his future hung in the balance. He and his brother Levi slew all the male Shechemites who were just circumcised (ouch!) They acted in their ‘Self-will’, Gen. 49:6 and took delight in their gross sin. When Joseph tested his brothers in Egypt it was Simeon he put in prison, why? Was he the one who really sold Joseph to the Midianites and not Reuben? For some reason Joseph thew him in jail to test him, and separate him from his brother Levi. When the two of them were together they were devious.
When separated at first Simeon did not multiply as seen in I Chron. 4:24-27. During the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness the ‘decrease’ of the tribe of Simeon was remarkable. Why? Because of the idolatry in his tribe, thousands were slain, his “Self-Will” kept breeding from one family to the next. However, when he entered the ‘Promised Land’ he joined the tribe of Judah, (Judges 1:1-3) and that marked a turning point in the history of the tribe of Simeon. Even Ezekiel 48:24-25 mentions a portion of Simeon between Benjamin and Issachar. Then in the book of ‘Revelation’ chapter 7:7 you have, “12,000 sealed” from the tribe of Simeon. Because of their ‘Self-Will,’ God scattered and impoverished the Simionites; may that not be our curse, may we like Christ seek the “good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Imagine being one of the twelve tribes of Israel, the ‘apple of God’s eye’ and not even being mentioned in the final blessing of, “The Man of God” due to your own Self-Will. But you are not guilty of any of that, right? I didn’t think so!
From Deut. chapter 27 on, Moses is dealing with “Blessings and Curses.” In Dt. 28:23 he says, “And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be as brass…” Did it ever feel that way when you were praying and it seemed your prayers were just bouncing off the ceiling, because it was made out of brass or bronze? Sometimes I feel like I need to go outside and pray and I might have a better chance of getting through to heaven. Maybe the problem is not God or heaven but you, man and earth which has become like iron, (v. 23) due to ‘Self-Will.’ Webster defines ‘self-will’ as, “persistent carrying out of one’s own will or wishes; especially when in conflict with others; stubbornness; obstinacy.” Is He hitting any keys on your piano, he is plucking a few of my strings. I think I might have to get alone with God and deal with some of my “Simeon Syndrome,” how about you? And that’s not even why I started out in this passage. Funny how God’s Spirit takes you somewhere you had no intention of going. I would have liked to have climbed Mt. Gerizim and Mt. Ebal with you. They are right near Shechem where Simeon and Levi slaughtered the Shechemites, quite a distance from Jericho but God didn’t lead us up that mountain. Maybe He will take you mountain climbing, let me know what you find!
However, as far as this ‘Simeon Syndrome’ goes it can really affect your prayer life and your next generations and theirs too. So, if you are having a ‘bronze ceiling’ problem you better check out your ‘Self-Will’ problem first. The problem may not and usually is not God’s, it’s man’s and his iron earth. Satan finds more than one way to invade our prayer closets, if he can’t break the door down he will slither in through stubbornness or obstinacy, with words like, “I can do it myself!” So, keep your eyes open for the ‘Simeon Syndrome,’ it is rapid in the church today. On another note, ‘The Blessing’ in Deut. 33, is an amazing gift from God. We saw it with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and now Moses. Orthodox Jewish fathers will go around their dinner table on the Sabbath and lay their hands on their children and pray a blessing over each one of them or they will stand at the table and pray it. My father being an unbeliever, raised by a Jewish mother but no a Jewish father cursed me; He only got the Ebal side of the ‘Blessing & Cursing Commandment.’ I trust you take time to bless your children, your grandchildren, and your great grandchildren if you are fortunate enough to have any and you let them hear the blessing. It’s a powerful thing, instituted by God and it has never been revoked, eliminated or eradicated. Pastor’s should pray a blessing over their congregations, small group leaders over their groups and so on and watch what God does. He promised to bless His blessing and He can’t go back on a promise. This is the head of the families responsibility or the leaders obligation, but if there is no father then the mother must do it until God gives that family a father. But where was Simeon? Off doing his own thing, gathering some manna, killing a snake, pitching a tent or something important I guess.
I’m sure it was important in his own mind and heart. Important enough to miss out on,”The man of God’s” final blessing, just before he died. I’m sure they blew a trumpet to call a solemn assembly, I’m sure the Simeonites heard it, I’m sure they knew it was important, I’m sure they saw the others gathering for the meeting, but they had something else to do, something more important. More important than a sacred assembly; more important than a blessing; more important than God? What could be more important? “Self Will!” Till next time, I’ll se you, “…Between The Lines…”
“The Blessing of Moses On Israel” Deut. 33:1-3 2/22/18