In Genesis 48, Moses pulls back the curtain on a very intimate moment between Jacob, Joseph, and Joseph’s two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. In this intimate occasion we see Jacob leaving a final blessing to Joseph and his two sons. Through Jacob’s intentional and prophetic words Pastor Todd provided three areas we should focus on if we want to leave a lasting legacy.
Focus on God’s Goodness
God is good. Such a simple yet very profound statement. In Genesis 48 we read of Jacob recounting many of the blessings God bestowed on him. He recounts God’s calling and issuing the Patriarchal Blessing upon him.
Genesis 48:3-4 (ESV)
3 And Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me,
4 and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a company of peoples and will give this land to your offspring after you for an everlasting possession.’
We also see Jacob describe God leading him like a shepherd and if you know anything about sheep and Jacob, then you know there are many similarities. Out of all of the goodness God has showered on Jacob, there is one that revived his spirit in his old age (Gen. 45:27), the reuniting of father and son. Jacob describes it like this,
Genesis 48:11 (ESV)
11 And Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face; and behold, God has let me see your offspring also.”
How often do you sit and reflect on the goodness of God? How often do you sit and recount on the goodness of God to your family? God is good and we should recount his goodness to our family over and over again.
Focus on God’s Great Salvation
Genesis 48:15-16a (ESV)
15 And he blessed Joseph and said, “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day,
16 the angel who has redeemed me from all evil,
Jacob recounts the salvation of God upon his life to Joseph and his sons. When talking about God’s great salvation, there are two areas Jacob describes. One of them is God leading him like a shepherd. How many times do we see God coming to Jacob’s rescue or guiding him out of a mess in Genesis? As Jacob reflects on his life he recognizes God’s salvation in his leading like a shepherd.
The second way Jacob describes God’s salvation is redemption from evil. To be redeemed means for someone else to pay a debt that you cannot pay, in essence buy your freedom. God is Jacobs redeemer.
Here is the awesome news Christ is our Shepherd Redeemer too. For those who place their trust in Christ, he paid your debt. You are free. Jesus is your redeemer. It doesn’t stop there because he promises to be with you always. He is your shepherd too. We have a great Shepherd Redeemer who knows us and can sympathize with us and is our help in time of need (Heb. 4:15).
God’s salvation toward us who believe is great, but does your family know its greatness? Do they hear you talking about the greatness of Christ and the Gospel? More importantly, do they see you live it?
Focus on How God Works
Genesis 48:17-19a (ESV)
17 When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him, and he took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head.
18 And Joseph said to his father, “Not this way, my father; since this one is the firstborn, put your right hand on his head.”
19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know.
When Joseph placed the greater blessing on the younger son, Joseph wasn’t a happy camper. Joseph threw his red flag, he wanted a replay, a booth review. But Jacob’s tender reply says it all, “I know, my son, I know.”In those six words Jacob was telling Joseph,
Isaiah 55:8-9 (ESV)
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Many would like to portray God like a genie from a magic lamp granting your every wish because you know the right formula. But God is not a genie, God is the Sovereign ruler of all and part of the legacy we have to leave our families is, we may not understand all of what God does or allows to happen, but we do know all things work for the good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose (Rom. 8:28).
There is no such thing as worthless suffering for the believer. I can’t explain why three out of four of my kids were born with clefts and there were times when I was like Joseph wanting to throw my red flag, I wanted a replay, a booth review. But I can tell you this, God has been glorified and God has continued to shepherd our kids, my wife and I through it.
It is never too late to begin to leave a legacy.
As you you go through this life with your family Focus on God’s goodness, Focus on God’s great salvation and Focus on how God works.
until next time
Soli Deo Gloria