Genesis 48

Genesis 48 is a very personal moment between Jacob (Israel) and Joseph.  Jacob is about ready to die.  He is blind and ill.  Joseph is told and goes to see his father along with his two sons.  They arrive and Jacob reviews his interaction with God and remembers God’s faithfulness to him.  He talks about Joseph’s mother Rachel and her death along with the inheritance he has planned for the brothers.  Then it is as though a lightbulb went on.  Jacob “noticed Joseph’s sons and said, ‘who are these?’”  I am not sure if Jacob had never seen Joseph’s boys before, but this appears to be an introduction.  What happens next is an important and powerful lesson for all of us – the power of blessing.  We have seen it in Genesis a few times before.  And here, Jacob asks Joseph to bring the boys up close so he can “bless them”.  Joseph sets Epraim to the right and Manasseh to the left, who was the first born.  Then Israel proceeds to bless them. 

Have you ever blessed anyone?  Have you ever had anyone bless your kids?  Have you blessed your kids?  I remember doing this with my own kids some years ago – placing my hands on them and praying God’s blessing.  I had no idea what I was doing, but Jacob gives us a pretty good idea of what a blessing should look like: “The God before whom walked my fathers Abraham and Isaac, The God who has been my shepherd all my lifelong to this very day, the Angel who delivered me from every evil, Bless the boys. May my name be echoed in their lives, and the names of Abraham and Isaac, my fathers, and may they grow covering the Earth with their children.”  Not a long prayer, but a very powerful one calling on God who has been faithful for many generations to continue that on these boys.  We need to pray like this a lot more often – remembering the past and the heritage we have as believers and asking God to bless those around us like Israel did.  Joseph tried to change the way Israel did the blessing, he crossed his arms and put his right hand on the younger boy Ephraim’s head but Israel explained that it was no mistake.  He blessed them both but put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.   The power of blessing…..I encourage you to study how scripture demonstrates it and then practice it in making an impact for eternity!

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