Genesis 47:7-12: Blessed to bless.
“7 Then Joseph brought his father Jacob in and presented him before Pharaoh. After Jacob blessed Pharaoh, 8 Pharaoh asked him, ‘How old are you?’9 And Jacob said to Pharaoh, ‘The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers.’ 10 Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went out from his presence.11 So Joseph settled his father and his brothers in Egypt and gave them property in the best part of the land, the district of Rameses, as Pharaoh directed. 12 Joseph also provided his father and his brothers and all his father’s household with food, according to the number of their children.” NIV
It’s been pointed out that the elderly Jacob was carried into court and helped to stand before Pharaoh (the literal meaning of 47:7). He cut a pathetic figure, but Pharaoh showed him great respect and was twice blessed by him. (Who is ‘’the greater’’ here: see Hebrews 7:7?)
We’ve grown accustomed now to speaking about someone’s ‘journey’, and here Jacob talks about his ‘’pilgrimage’’. On his ‘journey’ he had often sinned and experienced great difficulties. Yet still he was preeminently the man of blessing through whom ‘’all peoples on earth will be blessed’’ (28:14) (God’s blessing on Egypt was immediately obvious with Joseph supplying the Egyptians with grain through the famine. We will come to this in the next section).
Note 4 things:
- Sin needn’t disqualify you from being a blessing to others – especially if you learn from it, repent of it and grow through it;
- Your difficulties shouldn’t stop you blessing others, but may in some ways may contribute to the blessing you give. People are blessed by you because of what they see you have come through;
- Weakness needn’t prevent you from being a blessing, for in weakness God’s strength is made perfect. ‘He turns our weaknesses into His opportunities, so that the glory goes to Him’ (Graham Kendrick);
- We can only bless if God first blesses us – then we are ‘channels’ of His blessing to the world.