SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Jacob, Joseph's father, has come to the end of his life.
- Joseph takes his two sons to see Jacob. Jacob is understandably very happy to see them. He never expected to see Joseph again much less his grandchildren.
- Jacob blesses his grandchildren. This is a little odd as we don't see this in our day, but it is something we see a lot of in the Old Testament of the Bible.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- Leaving a lasting legacy is one of the most important things you can do for your children. Jacob's life had been marked by conflict, struggle, heartache and sin. However, even though Jacob was imperfect, he tried to be a spiritual leader to his family. He blesses Joseph's children by passing down the promise God had made to him. With his dying words, he tells them the story of his relationship with God. That's a great gift to give your grandchildren.
- Your relationship with God must be your own. In verse 5, Jacob says that Joseph's two sons "will be reckoned as mine." What's going on here? Jacob had 12 sons. The founding of the nation of Israel would include 12 tribes - one from each son. But we'll see in the next chapter that Jacob disqualifies two of his sons: Simeon for being a murderer and Reuben for being a pervert. So Jacob replaces them with Ephraim and Manasseh.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Tell your story to your kids. If you are a parent or grandparent, share your story about how you met God and what He's done in your life. Write it down so later generations can read your story of faith. Leave a legacy that can continue long after you're gone.
- You can have a Christian Dad, a Christian Grandpa, and a Christian Great-Grandpa. You could have grown up with missionary parents or in a pastor's home. You can have a long legacy of faith but if you don't love God (see Simeon and Reuben), God is not going to bless you just because of your parents. You can't borrow their faith. You have to have your own relationship with God. Are you leaning on the faith of your parents, or are you pursuing your very own relationship with God?