“The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him,” was said of Rachel’s younger son. Beloved in a special degree by his father, he is here spoken of as “beloved of the Lord.”
He was the son of his mother’s sorrow, and she would therefore have called him Benoni; but although she died at his birth, and Jacob thus lost a treasure for which he had laboured long, and a wife and friend whom he dearly loved, yet, in a faith that surmounted his bereavement, he named him Benjamin, son of his right hand. Jacob’s weeping was thus to endure for a night, and his joy to come in the morning. He wept as though he wept not, and the son of sorrow became the son of power and of victory.
Benjamin represents to us Christ in suffering, as Joseph does Christ in glory. The two form the complete picture of the suffering and the glorified Christ; but, whilst in Joseph’s blessing (see vv. 13-17) we find a superabundance of “precious things” and a table well supplied, we have in Benjamin the deeper and richer blessing of a covert beneath Jehovah’s wings and a place between His mighty shoulders. This is the place of solace for the sufferer. “Nowhere to lay the head,” there was yet the comfort of Jehovah’s bosom; and if the table were not groaning with earthly wealth, still there was the assurance, amid the trial of being the Beloved of the Lord, and of a safe dwelling with Him. And this, as we are told in the end of Proverbs 1, is the sign of the ear that listens to the heavenly voice: “He that hearkeneth unto me,” we read, “shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from the fear of evil.” For in order thus to hearken, the ear must be close to the lips of the speaker, must dwell, so to say, between His shoulders, and then in that nearness, that intimacy of communion, that place of love, the soul not only reposes safely, but is quiet from the fear of evil. What a portion!
How true of Christ as the sufferer, the Beloved One, who abode in the Father’s love! Shorn of all earthly glory, despised, rejected of men, He enjoyed in all its infinite fullness that place of deep and unruffled communion with the Father; so that out of that conscious storehouse He could say to the weary around Him, “Come unto me, and I will give you rest.”
Could Joseph have done more? Shall the glory of the coming kingdom proffer a sweeter rest or furnish a wealthier place? Nay! There is no glory like the glory of His grace, no dwelling-place like that of His bosom.
And Benjamin’s blessing may be enjoyed by us. We, too, may nestle in that bosom, and share the calm security of that safe dwelling. We, too, may know the power of these shoulders, and bask in the beams of that eternal love.