September 09, 2010

The Blessing of Jacob

Genesis 48:1-16

“May the God before whom … Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully … —may he bless these boys.”
Genesis 48:15-16


As Jacob’s life drew to a close, he blessed his children and grandchildren. While blessing the sons of Joseph, Jacob called on the Lord, before whom his father and grandfather had “walked faithfully.” Jacob’s prayer was that now a faithful walk with God would follow in the generations to come.

Notice that Jacob described the Lord as “the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day.” What a beautiful declaration of God’s guidance and care! In this way Jacob gave God all the credit for the “walk” he experienced during his life—and that’s the way it should be. Without God’s shepherding care, Jacob would have been a hopelessly lost sheep headed for certain destruction. That’s true for the rest of us too.

Even Jacob’s blessing on his descendants was guided by God. Through the Lord’s guidance, Jacob had grown to understand how important God’s covenant promises were, and he wanted to pass along reminders of those promises to his descendants so that they too would know they should walk in God’s ways.

Walking with God encourages the next generation to do the same. And in covenant faithfulness God honors the faith of our spiritual fathers and mothers in their walk through life, guided always by the Lord, our good Shepherd. (See also Psalm 23; John 10:11-16.)

Bless all who walk with you, Lord. May we walk before you faithfully, knowing we need your shepherding care each day. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Adrian A. Helleman

Dr. Adrian Helleman served as a pastor in British Columbia before being called to serve as a missionary-teacher in the Philippines. He and his wife, Wendy, later taught philosophy at Moscow State University in Russia, and then philosophy and theology at the University of Jos in Nigeria. They have also lectured in Canada, the United States, South Africa, and Tanzania. They have three children and three grandchildren.

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