Word of Encouragement (05/31/2022)
“Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a spring; his branches run over the wall. 23 The archers bitterly attacked him, shot at him, and harassed him severely, 24 yet his bow remained unmoved; his arms were made agile by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob (from there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel), 25 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. 26 The blessings of your father are mighty beyond the blessings of my parents, up to the bounties of the everlasting hills. May they be on the head of Joseph, and on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers.” (Gen. 49:22-26)
Last week, we reflected on Jacob’s blessing on Joseph. In it, he presented God as his Helper. Today, we will reflect on God being the Fount of every blessing.
Jacob blesses Joseph “by the Almighty who will bless you....” How wonderful it is to have such a relationship with the Almighty that you can bless your children by His almighty name! How confident do you have to be about the Almighty’s love for you that you can pray for His blessing upon your children without any doubt that He will bless them richly as He has done so for you! Jacob’s confidence was grounded, first of all, in God’s covenant with him, which He initiated by His grace, to bless him and his descendants. His confidence was also grounded in his experience of God’s grace in his life through all the ups and downs of his life. If the Almighty should choose to bless you, what can hinder Him from doing so?
Notice also how Jacob wants the Almighty to bless his son: “with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that crouches beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb.” This shows Jacob’s faith in the sovereignty of his God over all things and all realms. He knows that his God can bless his son with the blessings of heaven above because He is the LORD of heaven and all it contains. He knows God can bless his son with the blessings of the deep. Of course, “the deep” was a realm of chaos and terror. But Jacob was sure that the LORD was the Ruler of the deep as well, and, if there should be any blessing to be derived from the deep, He would gladly empty the deep to bless His people. He also knows that God can bless his son with “the blessings of the breasts and of the womb”—that is, with many children and cattle.
Then, Jacob goes on to make a bold statement: “The blessings of your father are mighty beyond the blessings of my parents, up to the bounties of the everlasting hills.” When it came to the number of sons, Jacob had so many more than his parents, Isaac and Rebekah, who had only two sons. And it is likely that Jacob accumulated more wealth that his father, too. But he is also declaring that the blessings he is bestowing on and praying for his children are so much greater, too. Here, he may not be simply comparing himself to his father; he may see himself standing on the shoulders of his father, Isaac, and his grandfather, Abraham, whose covenant blessings he has received and built on. The legacy of faith grows with each succeeding generation.
Then, how rich must our blessings be after so many generations from Jacob, especially after Jesus Christ, who was the fulfillment of all God’s promises! If Jacob could say that his blessings were greater than his father’s, how much greater are Jesus’ blessings! He was the essence and fullness of the blessings the Patriarchs received from the LORD. And in Him, we have received better blessings, which are imperishable, undefiled, and do not fade away. For He has pronounced His blessing upon us, which are mighty beyond the Patriarchs’ blessings! And let us pray a prayer of blessing upon our children and our loved ones in the name of Jesus Christ, in whom all of God’s promises and yes and amen.