Genesis 48 is a powerful picture of a father blessing and praying over his son and grandsons. Jacob had been reunited with his son, Joseph, after years of believing that wild animals had devoured him in the wilderness. Instead, what Satan had intended for evil, God intended for good by sending Joseph into Egypt to prepare the way for their survival during the famine. I can picture tears streaming down Jacob’s eyes as he tells Joseph, “I never expected to see your face; and behold, God has let me see your offspring also (Genesis 48:11).”
Jacob then blesses Joseph and his sons with a blessing that teaches me how to pray over my son.
- The blessing is rooted in the past. Jacob reminds Joseph that his Grandfather and great Grandfather also walked with God. They had a real, personal relationship with God in which they had faith in promises that were never revealed to them. It is a great gift for man to look back at his genealogy and see fathers who walked with God all the days of their lives.
- The blessing is rooted in the present. Jacob then reminds Joseph that this same God who their fathers walked with is the same God that has cared for him. Jacob uses a shepherding metaphor denoting the kindness and care in which God had provided for him. Shepherds know, feed, lead and protect their sheep. This is what God faithfully did for Jacob.
- The blessing is rooted in the Godhead. The word “angel” in verse 16 is probably referencing the Angel of Yahweh who appeared to Jacob earlier in his life. Verse 16 also uses the singular form of the word “bless” (versus the plural form) which gives no distinction from the word “God” used in the previous two references in verse 15. This is pointing towards the Trinitarian nature of God; three in one. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit were walking with and shepherding them.
- The blessing is for future generations. Jacob asks this God who was with their fathers, who has been with him, and who is Trinitarian in nature to “bless the boys.” He shows a concern for the generations to follow and wants them to receive God’s blessing.
This prayer fuels my prayers for my son, jolting me from the praying ruts I can so often get into. God’s Word is fuel for an intensely-driven, passion-fueled prayer life.