22 “Joseph is a fruitful vine,
a fruitful vine near a spring,
whose branches climb over a wall.[t]
24 But his bow remained steady,
his strong arms stayed[t] limber,
because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob,
because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25 because of your father’s God, who helps you,
because of the Almighty,[t] who blesses you
with blessings of the skies above,
blessings of the deep springs below,
blessings of the breast and womb.
26 Your father’s blessings are greater
than the blessings of the ancient mountains,
than[t] the bounty of the age-old hills.
Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the prince among[t] his brothers.
In the twilight of Jacob’s life, all his sons surrounded him and he spoke a word to each of them. It was traditional for fathers to bless their children on their deathbeds. It was supposed to be a pronouncement of blessings on the next generation. Somehow, it feels like Jacob was waiting all those years to vent his disappointment in some of his sons as he pronounced his last word on them. I would not have wanted to
be Reuben, Simeon or Levi at that time.
But Joseph on the other hand, it seemed like he preserved all the blessings he could muster and reserved them for this son. What are the
things that come through as he blesses this son, born in his old age and who had always been close to his heart. For over thirteen years, he had assumed he was dead, only to find him alive again. What a miracle.
Jacob pronounced him a fruitful vine near a spring whose branches climb over a wall. Doesn’t that remind you of Psalm 1, which declares
that a man who walks, sits and stands in the will of God is like a tree planted by the rivers of water. He brings forth
his fruit in season, his leaf will not wither and everything he does prospers.
In blessing Joseph, Jacob remembered how he had been maltreated and sold to slavery. He recalled that Joseph came out strong because
God was with him. He called God, the Mighty One of Jacob, The Shepherd, the Rock of Israel. He took ownership of the God who helped Joseph. He acknowledged that Joseph enjoyed the posterity of his relationship with God.
Then Jacob took it a step further, declaring that Joseph would be blessed with blessings from the skies above, of the deep springs below
and of the breast and womb. In other words, the heavens would continue to give the dew or rain required for the ground to bring forth. The cycle of fruitfulness would continue to yield in Joseph’s life. What more could a man ask for?
Then Jaco, said to Joseph, ‘the blessings I have spoken to you are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains and the bounty of
the age old hills’. In other words, whatever blessings Joseph could imagine based on his experience or knowledge of the world around him, the blessings he had pronounced far outweighed them. Jacob commanded these blessings to rest on Joseph’s head. To rest means that they
remain, they stay and balance upon Joseph.
I love the Joseph story. It has been a blessing to me in so many ways. A man of God given dreams who went through adversity and still came
into the plan of God for his life. At the time Jacob was blessing him, he was already blessed, he was already Prime Minister in Egypt. His father’s pronouncement of blessing upon him was just the icing on the cake. It was not so much a prayer to bless him but a declaration of unbroken cycles of fruitfulness in the next generation and generations to come. It was based on the covenant he, Jacob or Israel, had with God. It would guarantee that the goodness of God would never depart from Joseph, his children, his grandchildren etc etc etc. That is what Jacob intended as he blessed Joseph on his deathbed.
We, as children of God, have an even better covenant. Jesus paid the ultimate price, his blood, to guarantee that we are blessed beyond our
wildest imagination. In fact while, Jacob referred to the blessings of the ancient mountains and the bounty of the age old hills, Paul in Philippians, declares according to Christ riches in glory. It is boundless, limitless and constantly available to us. What more could we ask?
Like I always say, God has spoken these things about us, but do we truly believe them? Can we open our minds to these truths about us and
place ourselves in them? Can we begin to imagine what the riches in glory actually mean and translate them to cycles of fruitfulness that will never cease in our lives? The events of my life in the last couple of months have brought the reality of these facts or truths about us and the faith we profess, so strongly to me. We are indeed blessed. But we need to come to terms with how blessed we are. We need to look
beyond our circumstances and realize that our being blessed is a function of the covenant we are in with Jesus. The extent to which we understand this fact will determine how we access it.
I declare that these blessings rest on our lives, those of our children, grandchildren and generations unborn. I declare that we will progressively enter into the blessings that He has fully paid for. We will experience them on all sides in Jesus Name. CK