Simply the Bible Blog

Daily Devotion and Podcast

Genesis 49:16-33 “Israel Blesses His Other Sons”

“Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well; his branches run over the wall.”

Genesis 49:22 (NKJV)

As Israel blesses his six remaining sons, he comes to Joseph. Being the firstborn son of Rachel, Joseph always had a special place in the heart of his father. But it was God who separated Joseph from his brothers. They sold him as a slave to the Egyptians, but God used this evil deed to bring about good and save their entire family. As we have seen, Joseph was a type or picture of Jesus Christ.

Now as Israel blesses Joseph, he says:

“The archers have bitterly grieved him, shot at him and hated him. But his bow remained in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob (from there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel).”

Genesis 49:23–24 (NKJV)

Even though Joseph was shot at, he did not retaliate. Like Jesus, he entrusted himself to the One who judges justly (1 Peter 2:23). How did he do this? He relied upon God’s strength. In Israel’s blessing, I love the fact that he calls God the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel. Jacob had found Yahweh to be his Shepherd who led him wherever he went. He was also his Stone–the Rock and foundation on which he built his life. And now Jacob was well-pleased to see that the LORD was also Joseph’s Shepherd and Stone.

I don’t think there is anything better in life than to see your children walking with God. The apostle John wrote:

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”

3 John 4 (NKJV)

If you have children and grandchildren, my prayer for you is that this joy will be yours. And if they aren’t walking with God now, then keep praying for them that they will come to know Jesus as their Shepherd and Stone! Can there be any prayer that is dearer to the heart of our heavenly Father than this? Pray that they will be fruitful boughs hanging over the wall, providing sweet, succulent nourishment to many!

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Photo by Andrés Dallimonti on Unsplash

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