“He blessed them, everyone with the blessing appropriate to him.” Genesis 49:28
Jacob’s life got off to a rocky start, but as Israel, he finished strong. When he encountered God, he experienced more than a name change. He had a change of direction, and he stayed on course.
The older I get the idea of finishing strong becomes more important with every passing day. Regret or resentment are thieves that rob you of the opportunity to make the most of the lessons learned when life doesn’t go according to your plans. Israel didn’t die a bitter old man. He died a blessed man, and he passed the blessing on to his sons, and their families.
“Jacob’s final hours show us how to die – blessing and praying!” Herbert Lockyer
When Israel faced death, he didn’t run from it. He embraced it. He died the way he lived, turning to God in prayer, and seeking a blessing for his family. This may be his greatest legacy.
Tribe after tribe received a blessing and a charge from the patriarch of the family. When he had finished The Blessing, Israel died. Perfect timing.
“When Jacob finished charging his sons, he drew his feet into the bed and breathed his last…”Genesis 49:33
Jacob’ last years were spent listening to God, and hearing God’s plan for his children. Wise parents will take a page out of Jacob’s parenting manual and spend more time praying for their children as adults than they ever did praying over them as infants.
The consequences of decisions made by a six year old can be disturbing, but the impact of unwise choices made by a sixty-six year old can be catastrophic. The foolish parent believes they get all their raising in before a child leaves their home. Wise parents add prayer for their adult children to their daily routine.
Jacob revealed keen insight into the unique character of his sons. Some had more, and some had less, but they were not all the same. See Genesis 49:3-27
NOTE TO SELF: Learn the key to understanding the blessing God has in store for you children, and pass it on to them. What blesses one child may be a curse to the other. Perhaps the most revealing words of a prayerless parent are found in the statement, “I don’t know what happened to my kids. I treated them all the same.” This is a recipe for disaster. Your children are a gift from God. He knows them better than you do. Prayer turns you to Him for operating instructions. Instead of giving your children a piece of your mind, pray for them to know the peace of God, at any age. They never outgrow the need for God’s direction, protection and correction. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!