“Then Jacob called his sons and said, "Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you what shall happen to you in days to come. Assemble and listen, O sons of Jacob, listen to Israel your father.”
Jacob - Israel - gathered his sons when he knew the end of his own life was near, and pronounced a blessing over each of them. Some of these blessings sound more like judgments, and some sound a little vague to me, but I suppose they weren’t at all vague to them at the time. The passage concludes with, “This is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each with the blessing suitable to him.” (Genesis 49:28)
In Hebrews it tells us that these blessings were an act of faith, that Jacob was, in effect, prophesying and expected that God would fulfill his words. Jacob’s sons at this point were not children; some of them were themselves more eighty years old.
Years ago I heard my grandfather, as he was coming out of church on a Sunday morning, lay his hand on the head of a little girl and say, “The Lord be very real to you.” I realized he was blessing her, as an elder, in this same way even though she was so young that she probably didn’t know what it meant. It didn’t matter: my grandfather was speaking by faith and expected his words to come true.
This is something that we have mostly lost in our materialistic, modern culture, but God hasn’t. Your words of blessing can have far-reaching effects. Spoken in faith, trusting God to bring them about, your words of blessing will have a profound effect in the lives of your children and grandchildren and others in the next generation. Here is where we can apply the words of the Lord Jesus, when He said, “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24)
Be careful what you declare over them. Speak good things and expect God to bring about good things in their lives. Bless them!
Lord Jesus, bless my children. Bless my grandchildren, even the generation yet to come. Be very real in their lives. Let them grow up knowing You and never depart from You. Reveal Yourself to them, I pray. Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles