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October 18, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“Then he blessed Joseph and said, ‘May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the Angel who has delivered me from all harm—may he bless these boys. May they be called by my name and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they increase greatly on the earth.’”—Genesis 48:15-16 (NIV)
As I read the opening of Jacob’s blessing upon his son, Joseph, and his grandsons through Joseph, I was reminded of my absolute favorite chocolate chip cake recipe. You may be seriously questioning why I think that, so let me give you some background.
Whenever I bake this cake, I remember the person who taught me the recipe and the season of life I was in. In a time where I had to trust God with my unknown future due to the uncertainty of my mom’s teaching job, a great woman of faith invited me and my friend to her house to spend some quality time together cooking and talking. She showered me with kindness, love, and wisdom all the while baking this delicious cake with me. Later that day when my mom picked me up, she came with news almost as great as the cake! She had received and accepted the job offer to work as a 4th grade teacher at CCA! As a result, anytime I bake this cake or share it with someone else, I can’t resist sharing the story behind its meaning in my life.
In the same way, Jacob can’t help but recount the greatness of God in his personal life as he passes on this blessing to Joseph and his sons. His opening statement proclaims the faithfulness of God to both himself and his family in the past. There is no doubt that he has told his sons and grandsons about Abraham and Isaac’s personal experiences with God. Bringing their history to mind, Jacob continues to proclaim the beauty of his God “who has been [his] shepherd all [his] life” and “who has delivered [him] from all harm.” It is this very God Jacob so passionately describes that he calls upon to bless and protect Joseph and his sons.
In view of this, I pray we will also proclaim the goodness of God as Jacob did! In reiterating the perfect and holy attributes of God to his family, Jacob was able to bless them with far more than just the promise of God for their family. He blessed them by sharing stories with them about God’s faithfulness. He blessed them by leaving them with a greater knowledge of the truth of who God is and who He created them to be! Therefore, we can bless those around us in the same way: by proclaiming and reminding all of the goodness of God!
DIG: Consider the attributes of God that Jacob proclaims in today’s Scripture. Where else can we see these attributes of God throughout the Bible?
DISCOVER: How have you personally encountered these attributes of the Lord?
DO: Ask God to reveal to you someone who you should bless with encouragement today. Text or call them to remind them of God’s goodness and faithfulness!