A Prayer of Blessing

15 Then he blessed Joseph and said,

“May the God before whom my fathers
Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully,
the God who has been my shepherd
all my life to this day,
16 the Angel who has delivered me from all harm
—may he bless these boys.
May they be called by my name
and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
and may they increase greatly
on the earth.” Genesis 48:15-16

Once again we see a fatherly blessing. The words in these blessings are powerful and meaningful for the ones being prayed over.

The prayers we pray over people have impact too. When you hear your name when someone’s praying for you, it encourages you to know that you are not in this battle alone. A person may not consider you for the rest of the week, but for that moment in time, he spoke your name to God Almighty.

I know the times I’ve prayed for people in a nursing home, for instance, it meant something to them.

Don’t be bashful about praying for someone in their presence. You don’t have to be eloquent or wordy. A simple prayer of blessing encourages more than we think it does.

Continue Reading

Jumping to Conclusions

5 “Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. 6 Any children born to you after them will be yours; in the territory they inherit they will be reckoned under the names of their brothers. 7 As I was returning from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan while we were still on the way, a little distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).

8 When Israel saw the sons of Joseph, he asked, “Who are these?”

9 “They are the sons God has given me here,” Joseph said to his father.

Then Israel said, “Bring them to me so I may bless them.”

10 Now Israel’s eyes were failing because of old age, and he could hardly see. So Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them.

11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.”

12 Then Joseph removed them from Israel’s knees and bowed down with his face to the ground. 13 And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel’s left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them close to him. 14 But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn. Genesis 48:5-14

This switching of the blessings was generational. I believe this is the fourth time we’ve seen this, where the younger child is blessed instead of the older one.

As we’ll discover later, Jacob did it intentionally even though his eyesight was failing. He had his reasons to bless the younger child, but we don’t know what they were.

How many times have you been in a situation where you thought you understood someone’s motives only to find out they were completely different than what you thought? And the reasons the person did it were entirely reasonable. We’ve all done it. In the broad sense we were judging a book by its cover without really delving into a person’s motives.

Each person we come in contact with has reasons for why they do things. We may have known this person for year or for a few seconds, but why they do something may not match what you think about it.

The point I’m trying to make is we should be very careful to judge the motives of other people without first speaking with them. In other words, we often jump to conclusions faster than we should. It’s not malicious at all. It’s just a normal way of analyzing what others do.

Still, a quick conversation can go a long way.

Continue Reading

Is Your Memory Bank Underfunded?

Some time later Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him. 2 When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel rallied his strength and sat up on the bed.

3 Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed me 4 and said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful and increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.’ Genesis 48:1-4

Jacob was 147 years old and on his death bed. He was losing his eyesight, but the memory of what God had promised him was still as vivid as ever. The Lord reinforced the promise a couple of times until it was in his memory bank for good.

What’s in your memory bank about God’s promises? Do you have such a memory of what God has promised? The memory could very well have been just for you and not for public consumption. Those memories come from prayer and Scripture meditation.

I’m not sure who said it first, but this still applies: “Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light.

In other words, you may need to reach back into that memory bank at some point in your life to pull out those nuggets of wisdom and comfort during times of gloom and despair.

If you haven’t done so already, begin cultivating and adding to that memory bank. Memorize. Memorize, and Meditate.

Continue Reading

Only Passing Through

28 Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, and the years of his life were a hundred and forty-seven. 29 When the time drew near for Israel to die, he called for his son Joseph and said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise that you will show me kindness and faithfulness. Do not bury me in Egypt, 30 but when I rest with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried.”

“I will do as you say,” he said.

31 “Swear to me,” he said. Then Joseph swore to him, and Israel worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff. Genesis 47:28-31

Why was it important to Jacob to be buried in Canaan? Was it mere sentimentality or something deeper?

W.M. Taylor, D.D. put it this way in BibleHub:

The land of Canaan was his by God’s covenant. He had not yet obtained it. For aught that he could see, he was to die without entering on its possession; but even in his death he would show that he still believed that his children would have its ownership, and therefore he made Joseph swear that he would bury him in the sepulchre of his fathers. Nor was this all. He wanted his sons and his descendants to know that Egypt was not their rest. He desired to fix their minds on Canaan, and to fan in their hearts the desire to return thither when God should open up the way.

In other words, Egypt wasn’t Jacob’s home nor was it their home. They were promised another land.

We too as Believers have been promised another home. The world we live in, it’s not our home. God has something much better in store for us. Those of us who live in the West don’t have it too bad as far as life goes. But for many around the world, heaven will be a very welcome change.

While we don’t know much about it, we do know that it will be infinitely better than what we’re experiencing here, even for us who live in the West.

Think heavenly thoughts today. We’re only passing through.

Therefore, since you have been raised with Christ, strive for the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3

Continue Reading

A Blessed People

26 So Joseph established it as a law concerning land in Egypt—still in force today—that a fifth of the produce belongs to Pharaoh. It was only the land of the priests that did not become Pharaoh’s.

27 Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number. Genesis 47:26-27

Having the blessing of both Joseph and Pharaoh enable the Israelites to prosper. They didn’t have to worry about where they would find food in the middle of a famine. It would be easy to take that kind of blessing for granted because there was no struggle for it.

This is just so true of those in the West today. We don’t struggle and we forget that billions of people don’t have it so easy. We often neglect to give God the thanks for even the simple things in life.

Take a moment today to count those blessings. We have it really good here, and we are a blessed people.

Continue Reading
Close Menu