“The days of the years of my sojourning are 130 years. Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their sojourning.” Genesis 47:9
There’s no hiding the disappointment here. “How old are you, Jacob?”
“I’m 130 years, but that’s not much. Compared with my father and grandfather, my years are few. I don’t amount to much beside them. And if I was to pick one word to describe my years, the word would be evil. All my life I’ve known sorrow and loss. I wish my life had been different. I wish I’d done more with it. It went by so quickly. Pharaoh, you ask me about my years. I’d say they were few and evil.”
The old man is full of regret. But to Jacob’s great surprise, God gave him seventeen more years, and at the end of that time, Jacob gives another testimony, “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day, the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys; and in them let my name be carried on”
(48:15-16). He comes to Joseph full of regret. “My years have been few and evil.” But now after these 17 years with Joseph, he has a completely different view of his own life.
There’s more here than God giving Jacob a happier extra chapter at the end of his life. During these years Jacob came to see that the good hand of God was on him even in his darkest hours. So instead of looking back on his years with regret, this man was able to say, “The Lord is my shepherd. He redeems me from all evil. He always has, and He always will.”
Do you have some regrets? Or are you able to look back on some of the darkest moments of your life and see the good hand of God on you?