“Don’t forget where you came from!” This advice is often given to first-generation college students, people moving to another area of the country, or those who become more financially successful than their parents and grandparents. It is a call to remember that they have not achieved everything simply because of their own effort. Rather, many people have supported them to provide these opportunities.
Our reading today continues to recount Jacob’s blessings for his sons. He now comes to Joseph. Joseph receives the longest and most elaborate blessing. Jacob recounts for Joseph how “With bitterness archers attacked him; they shot at him with hostility” (v. 23). Joseph was now the second-in-command to the Pharaoh of Egypt, but he had experienced opposition and suffering. His brothers betrayed him, Potiphar’s wife lied about him, and the royal cupbearer forgot him. He should not forget this history of oppression and deliverance.
Jacob reminds Joseph that he has overcome these difficulties “because of the hand of the Mighty one of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, because of your father’s God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you” (vv. 24–25). God was with Joseph. He has achieved his position and saved his family because of the Lord’s help. What is true for Joseph will also be true of all who come after him.
God’s presence with Joseph meant that he was blessed by the skies above, the deep waters below, with fruitfulness and new life and children (v. 25). These blessings are things that we might take for granted as the normal process of life. As Jacob reminds Joseph, these are gifts from God, and we must never forget where they come from.
Would you commit to prayer Moody Radio’s WKES, broadcasting to central and southwest Florida? Give thanks to God for its talented staff: Pierre Chestang, Kate Bruington, Ron Maxwell, John Blok, and Andrew Leuthold.Genesis 49:22–33