And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. (Gen 48:15-16 KJV)
Papa Jacob was 130 years when he finally got to Egypt. It was not an easy journey for him. No, not just the physical journey, but the journey through life had been quite stressful. When he was brought by his son before King Pharoah, and the king asked him how old he was, he replied,
“I have lived only a hundred thirty years, and I have had to move from place to place. My parents and my grandparents also had to move from place to place. But they lived much longer, and their life was not as hard as mine.” (Gen 47:9 CEV)
In Papa Jacob’s estimation, his life had been a rather hard one, unlike those of his fathers. He had wandered from one place to another and had experienced one challenge after the other. Sometimes, he had thought that he was at his lowest point and will not be able to make it, but he saw the gracious hands of the Almighty God pull him through. Yes, though life had not been easy for him, but if he looked back at how it had all gone till the time, he would clearly see the merciful eyes of the Almighty guiding him.
Therefore, some months later when he was on his sick bed and Joseph, his son, came to visit him with his two sons (Manasseh and Ephraim), he said to him, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a company of peoples and will give this land to your offspring after you for an everlasting possession.’ (Gen 48:3-4 ESV)
He was essentially declaring the foundation of his life’s journey and how God had been faithful unto him till them.
Joseph had brought his children so that Papa Jacob will bless them. Joseph’s children were the most privileged in all of Egypt (apart from Pharoah’s children). They had every comfort of life they needed. They had the best kind of educational training available then. All their needs were amply supplied by their able father. What else could they need? Their future was already secured. There was no need for fear; so why seek a blessing? In fact, what exactly would be the prayer that Jacob would pray for these children? What would he ask God to give them which they do not have already? These were the questions that plagued my mind when I first studied this place many years ago.
But Papa Jacob knew what to pray about. He got the children to kneel down, then he started praying for them: God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. (Gen 48:15-16 KJV)
Papa Jacob was essentially saying, “the God that was with me, bless the lads, and that is enough for me”. There was no better prayer or wish he would declare on his grandsons apart from the fact that God should bless them. There was no better security for those children and their future than that God should bless them.
There is something called the blessing of the Lord. It is not money, or fame, or business breakthrough. Rather, it is a spiritual substance. Yes, it can bring a man to wealth, but it is not in itself wealth.
See this, “The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.” (Pro 10:22 KJV).
The blessing of the Lord makes a man rich and adds no sorrow to that man. This was what Jacob prayed for his grandsons. He also declared that they were a direct part of the commonwealth of Israel (just like their father Joseph) and made Ephraim the superior over his elder brother Manasseh.
AND SO? That God appeared to you and spoke to you before you embarked on any journey, does not mean you will not experience lots of challenges on the way. However, if we will learn to trust in Him, to be grateful and to follow as He leads, we will arrive at our destination; and when we look back, we will have no regrets, rather we will wish that other generations will be helped by Him that helped us. The story of your life has not ended. This may be just the beginning. Put your trust in the Almighty God, and He will see you through.
I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. (Psa 27:13-14 KJV)