Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Blessings through generations
“Then Israel said, “Bring them to me so I may bless them.” (9)
Have you ever wondered what your last moments before death would be like? Who would you want to be near you? What would your last words be? What would your family, friends, and even strangers say about you? Being young parents, my priorities have been realigned to serve God and my family first, with all other relationships and responsibilities as secondary. I’ve realized that my daughter observes my words and actions more closely now than ever before. She points out the hypocrisy, remembers the promises, and has even become like a second conscience for me.
In Genesis 48: 1-14 we can read about Jacob’s last moments and his last requests to his son and grandchildren. He recounts to Joseph the challenges he faced in his life, his own unfaithfulness to God, yet the blessings that poured out purely because of God’s faithfulness. With his grandsons Ephraim and Manasseh before him, Jacob professes that he wants to adopt them as his own sons, to essentially take the place of Simeon and Reuben. In essence, Jacob is giving Joseph the double blessing often set aside for firstborn children. In verses 13-14, Jacob blesses his grandsons and in a very non-traditional way –he calls them close, Joseph positions the boys in front of their grandfather and he embraces them. Jacob blessed both boys but purposely gave Ephraim the firstborn’s privilege because he predicted his superiority in the future. As we look into our own families, this can serve as a source of encouragement if you happen to be a younger sibling. Jacob’s actions towards Ephraim and Manasseh provide hope that birth order is not the final determination of God’s favor. Many of the Bible’s greatest leaders felt this way in their lives yet God used them to conquer nations.
Jacob had this chance with Joseph, Ephraim, and Manasseh because he poured love into his relationships. When his grandsons were brought to him, he embraced and kissed them. As a man, showing this much emotion may be hard to fathom especially if it was not shown to you as a child. Parent’s blessing is crucial in a child’s life – even the smallest encouragement and motivating words can positively direct your small one’s life. It’s easier to point out the mistakes, failures and shortcomings than speak a blessing to your child, but the latter must be done. Point out the strengths and talents that your children and loved ones have – these are gifts from God and should be sharpened. When I look back in my old age, my Prayer is that my children might come to me like Joseph did. I Pray that I would have raised them in a way that my words and actions would not come into question but would be admired and Christ-like. I want the opportunity to lay hands on my grandchildren and speak blessings into their lives. Can you look into your life and see if the same applies?
Prayer: Lord, we praise you for our generations. Help us to be models to them to grow them in faith. Amen
Thought for the day: Blessings are to be shared especially to our generations
Sarah Jacob, Long Island MTC, NY