Word of Encouragement (05/26/2022)
Yesterday, we reflected on the beautiful harmony between the Lord’s work in us and our “work of faith” (1 Thess. 1:3). Today, we want to focus our reflection on the Lord, the Fount of every blessing.
God is described as “the Mighty One of Jacob (from there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel)....” Having gone all that he had gone through, Jacob refers to God as “the Mighty One of Jacob”. Even though he had his share of suffering, he did not hesitate to acknowledge God as the Mighty One. God granted him the birthright of the firstborn even though he was the younger one. God had increased his wealth abundantly. God blessed him with twelve sons and a daughter. God reunited him with his beloved son, whom he thought was dead. His beloved son was not only alive but exalted as prime minister of the most powerful kingdom at that time, Egypt. Even though Joseph could have taken vengeance on his brothers, he forgave them, acknowledging God’s providential work in his suffering. God had shown His power in wonderful ways.
It is from God the Shepherd and the Stone of Israel would come. It can mean that God is the Shepherd of Israel—the One, who had led and protected and provided for Jacob/Israel all His life. And by His covenant, He would do the same for Israel’s descendants. He is also the Stone of Israel, the foundation upon which the house of Israel would be built. It can also mean that God would send someone, who would be the Shepherd and Stone of Israel. Of course, God the Son would come and be our Good Shepherd and the Rock of Ages cleft for us.
Jacob is certain that his God would bless Joseph, his beloved son: “by the God of your father who will help you, by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that crouches beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb.” He can have this hope because of the covenant God extended to Abraham and his offspring. If the children should claim their parents’ God as their own, God will bless them as He has blessed their parents and more. With each successive generation of believing children, the testimony of God’s faithfulness will increase more and more, and the foundation of their faith will grow deeper and deeper. For, as they grow in the household of faith, the knowledge of God’s Word will shape their minds and practices more and more, consciously and unconsciously. How wonderful are the benefits of God’s covenant with His people!
The covenant children will come to know God as their Helper: “by the God of your father who will help you....” If God should be their Helper, what should we fear? God promised, “...call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me” (Ps. 50:15).
Would this be the kind of prayer we want to offer to God with our dying breath? Do we know and trust Him so much that we have no greater desire than for our children to know Him and walk with Him as we do? Is our God the greatest Gift we want to impart to our children (and, if we don’t have children, to those we love)? Do our children (and loved ones) know that and see that in us? May the Lord make this prayer our own for our children (and our loved ones)!