The idea of blessing is powerful in the Old Testament.
Issac blessed Jacob. Even though Jacob tricked Isaac into thinking he was his older brother, Issac couldn’t take the blessing back. He had given it to Jacob and it was done (Genesis 27).
When Jacob was older, he blessed Joseph’s two sons. Much to Joseph’s dismay, he blessed the younger one with his right hand.
I like Jacob’s blessings for his grandsons in Genesis 48. The blessings were both in words and in actions.
Here are components of Jacob’s blessing:
Generations Of Faithfulness
God had been faithful to Jacob’s grandfather, Abraham, and his father, Isaac. And they were faithful to walk with God in obedience.
This same God has been my shepherd all my life to this very day. It’s important that no matter our age, we continue to trust God and fully be alive in him. I often notice parents who are fully engaged in the church when their kids are younger, but their faith begins fading as their kids grow. As you bless your older kids, and eventually grandkids, all the way to the end of your time, you want to be able to say, “to this very day.”
Blessing For Success And For God’s Work
Each generation is called to carry on the mission. Jacob’s prayer is a blessing of continued promise. God had already promised that their people would multiply greatly. He had promised Abraham would be the father of many nations, but it barely happened: Isaac’s birth was a miracle, Jacob’s story was a close call, and Joseph was nearly taken out. But God worked everything out. We can trust God’s promises as we take part in the process, praying and blessing along the way.
Oldest and Youngest
The hierarchy in the Bible era was dominated by firstborn males. The firstborn son received it all: blessing, land, and inheritance. But the birth order stuff was flipped in scripture. Consider Ishmael and Isaac (Genesis 21), Jacob and Esau (Genesis 27), and Ephraim and Manessah (Genesis 48). Even in the New Testament, the younger son asked for his portion in the parable of the lost son. While times have changed over the centuries, these stories are reminders that God can use whoever is willing. We should bless both younger and older and expect that God is going to use the firstborns, middle-borns, and last-borns for his glory.
How are you blessing your children and grandchildren?
One great book I recently read is Everyday Talk: Talking Freely And Naturally About God With Your Children by John Younts. A great book for parents to read!