Words of Life: Speaking Blessings Over the Next Generation
“Gather around, I want to tell you what to expect in the days to come…” (Genesis 49:1)
These words from Jacob to his twelve sons set the table for what he was about to do — speak a word of blessing over each of them. Jacob was on his death-bed, and as was the custom in that time, the Father purposefully took time to speak to the future of his kids before taking his last breath. It was a treasured moment for them all. I imagine in this story, each of the boys sitting on the edge of their seat in anticipation of what their dad would say about them.
My favorite blessing in this passage is Jacob’s words spoken over Joseph. Perhaps it’s because he was the underdog in the story. The last brother, favored and then betrayed, then elevated to a position of leadership in Egypt and finally restored to his family. I cheer for him. I relate to his story at times. I love the reminders of God’s faithfulness in his life, because it reminds me God is faithful in my life. This blessing moment is one of those reminders for him. The words Jacob held for this son were many and heartwarmingly beautiful. As I read through it recently, these words leapt off the page –
“And may The Strong God – may he give you his blessings, Blessings tumbling out of the skies, blessings bursting up from the Earth – blessings of breasts and womb.” (Genesis 49 Message)
As I think ahead to my oldest son’s graduation from high school this Spring and his passage to the next season of his life, the tradition of speaking a blessing over our offspring during these life changing moments especially hits home. Our children are a large part of the legacy we leave on this earth. They are our arrows we shoot out into the world (Psalm 127). As we send them out we have a responsibility to pray for them and speak words of life and God’s blessings to their future.
What are some ways you do this in your family?