Exodus 48:15 And he blessed Joseph and said,
“The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,
the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day,
16 the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys;
and in them let my name be carried on, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac;
and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.”
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Bless the Boys
Jacob was old, and frail, and nearly blind, and was nearing the end of his days. Joseph came to visit him, and he "summoned his strength" and sat up in bed. He purposely put his right hand on Ephraim's head (the younger brother) and his left hand on Manasseh's head (the older brother). This was not the way it SHOULD have been done...normal practice would have been that the right hand would be placed on the older brother's head, and that the older brother would have a greater portion of the blessing.
This is what Jacob (Israel) prayed:
Notice some lessons I learn from this:
1. Jacob loved his grandchildren. "Bless the boys." He knew that they would be the ones to carry on his name, and the name of his own father Isaac and his grandfather Abraham. He called them "the boys" - a familiar, comfortable, loving term.
2. He knew that his greatest legacy was his progeny - his children and his grandchildren. The promise God made to his grandfather Abraham echoed in his mind - through you all the nations will be blessed.
3. He understood that the Lord was his shepherd. He wanted his children and grandchildren to understand that, too. He knew that only because of God was his life redeemed from evil.
4. He hoped and prayed for a multitude of progeny. I want at least 60 grandchildren, but if God gives me more, I will rejoice. My prayer is that they all will be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and that they will acknowledge that He is their Redeemer and Shepherd.
5. His blessing of Joseph's children was a blessing to Joseph, too. Any encouragement that I can be to one of my grandchildren is a blessing to my kids. They love to see their children prosper. They delight in their learning and growing and their creativity and skills. Just as my grandmother invested in my kids' lives (by paying for piano lessons), I can invest in my grandkids' lives (by teaching them French, by loving and praying for them, etc.). When I bless my grandbabies this way, I bless my kids, too. The blessings multiply.
So I pray, with Jacob, "Bless the boys, Oh Lord. And bless the girls, too!"