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The Cloud of Witnesses

Former title Lessons From the People of the Bible



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Lesson 7: Jacob – Blesses His Sons


Genesis 49.

You can have a lasting influence on subsequent generations

We need to love and pray for our children in the way Jacob modelled for us!

Jacob was a man and a prophet! He obviously loved all his children, albeit we know he suffered from the same weakness as his parents – in that he had and showed favouritism. (Which should be avoided at all costs by parents!!)

As you look at the various comments and ‘prophecies/blessings’ that Jacob pronounced over each of his children – and indeed – including his grandchildren, Manasseh and Ephraim – try and remember how accurate (or otherwise) they were.

Space doesn’t permit us to look at each one and so I just want to highlight a few. But also notice Jacob had the ‘capacity’ to give more than one blessing!! Reuben was dealt to for his sexual violation and so he also ‘lost’ his birthright. Joseph received a similar blessing to the one Isaac gave Jacob. However, the one I find most interesting is the one given to Judah.

I cannot think of anything Judah had done up to this point to cause Jacob to pronounce the blessing he gave Judah. The only conclusion I can make is that it was inspired by the Holy Spirit. For in it he prophesies the Sceptre to Judah! That symbol of absolute Power and Authority and it ‘rests’ on Him who “is yet to come and to Whom it belongs.” Furthermore, He will be ‘the Lion of the Tribe of Judah’. Who will ‘wash’ His garments in ‘wine’ and His robes in the ‘blood’ of grapes. There’s only One to whom all that fits and His Name is - JESUS!

Jacob would say to us today...

Be careful how you ‘bless’ your children. You do it primarily by modelling – by what you DO as much as what you say or pray. Try and ensure the next generation remembers you with joy!


Father, please help me realise the dynamic power there is in prayer. That as I pray, You release blessing on those for whom I pray. Please also help me to live in such a way that my family and those with whom I come into contact are blessed. Please make my life one that will be treasured long after I am ‘at home’ with You. Amen.

Additional readings

Deuteronomy 33; 2 Timothy 2:1-26; Romans 4:16-25; Philippians 4:8-9.


Hebrew blessings were dynamic and effective – what can we do today, which will have a similar outcome?

What would you like others to copy from your life?

What influences are you having on others, right now?

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