The Power of a Blessing

Steve Petroelje

READ : Genesis 48:1–49:28

[Jacob] said, “Bring them to me, please, that I may bless them.” (48:9)

When Jacob discovered that Joseph was alive, he could have responded with bitterness. Jacob could have criticized Joseph for failing to reach out to him. What, all those years as prime minister and not a single message? Jacob could have criticized his other sons, cursing them for what they had done, how they had cruelly deceived him, and the years with Joseph they had caused Jacob to miss.

Many people today respond to hardship with bitterness. We blame others, curse the system, or destroy another person’s reputation. There is a better way to respond—with blessing. Jacob knew that he had once been an expert in deception. He had deceived his own father Isaac and his father-in-law Laban. Yet he had received the unconditional and undeserved blessing of God (48:3-4).

In his old age, Jacob chose to move past the hardships of his life and give blessings to others, including Joseph’s sons and his own sons. Imagine if we spent the short years of our lives blessing rather than criticizing! Think of the difference if we looked for the good in others and named it out loud, if we were quicker to forgive faults and offer second chances. Christians are blessed to be a blessing. Are you blessing others and wishing God’s blessing upon them?


“Make me a blessing, O Savior, I pray. Make me a blessing to someone today.” Amen.