Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 16:1-6 | Genesis 48:1 – 49:33 | Matthew 15:29-16:12 | Proverbs 4:20-27
Today’s Scripture Focus: Genesis 48:1 – 49:33
“Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh…” (Genesis 47:8, 10 NIV)
“Bring them to me so I may bless them.” 48:9
“Then he blessed Joseph…” 48:15
“Then Jacob called for his sons and said: “Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come.” 49:1
“All these are the twelve tribes of Israel and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him.” 49:28
Throughout these chapters, the emphasis is on the blessings given by Jacob. He blessed Pharaoh. He blessed Ephraim and Manasseh (Joseph’s sons). He blessed Joseph. Then in chapter 49, he blesses each of his 12 sons.
In these blessings we see some of the common characteristics of blessings. There is often physical contact, usually placing one’s hand on the one being blessed. The blessing is spoken over the person so they can hear the blessing. The one blessing looks to the Lord for insight, and speaks words of insight and expectation.
In more informal ways, we often bless people through our prayers when we pray for them, seeking God’s best—his blessing. We also bless people through our words of encouragement. These are important too. But there is something even more powerful about the traditional blessing seen here, where one places their hand on you and looks to God for insight as they speak words of blessing over you.
In a world where we hear and experience more curses than blessings, these words are needed and encouraging. Blessings bring healing to wounded emotions and encouragement to the discouraged and disheartened. They bring joy, peace and hope–and we all need that.
Too often our words wound–they bring a curse rather than a blessing. James says, “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” (James 3:10, ESV). Allow God to control your tongue, then you will become the source of blessing he intends for you to be.