All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him. – Genesis 49:28 (NIV)
When is the last time you blessed your children? Not the obligatory “Bless you” after a sneeze, but a genuine blessing. We have lost sight of its power and dignity. We have become too focused on putting away money for college, getting them the right car and putting them on our cell phone plan. There is nothing wrong with providing things for our children, but in the grand scheme, it is the blessings of God that will sustain them. We need to bless our children with the things of God.
While some of the blessings that Jacob gave his sons could be construed as curses, in the long view they were what his children needed. For example, Jacob blessed Levi by scattering his offspring among the rest of Israel. This doesn’t look like a blessing until you go forward to the formation of the priesthood under Aaron. The Levites are spread among God’s people as the priests for the other tribes; a place of honor, discipline and power.
Jacob knew his sons and his blessings were what they needed in order to be used by God. I want to bless my children in that way as well. I want to know them well enough to bless them with clarity and conviction. I want to bless them so that they will have all they need to be used by God. I want them see God’s blessing on their lives and be humbled by it.
I’m going to start blessing my children. Bless them as they go to sleep in their beds. Bless them when they sit and watch TV with me. Bless them when they are laughing and playing together. I am going to speak words of promise and hope and challenge over them in the silence of night. Lord, help me to bless my children with wisdom, knowledge and faith for Your glory and their walk with You. Amen.