Genesis 48:1-4: Respect for the elderly.

“Some time later Joseph was told, ‘Your father is ill.’ So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him. When Jacob was told, ‘Your son Joseph has come to you,’ Israel rallied his strength and sat up on the bed.Jacob said to Joseph, ‘God Almighty[a] appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed me and said to me, “I am going to make you fruitful and increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.” NIV

Christian parents desire blessing on their children and not just on themselves. Joseph brought his boys to his father to be blessed. Ephraim and Manasseh also got to hear something about their grandfather’s experience with God.

I am impressed by this quote from Matthew Henry:

‘Joseph took his two sons with him, that they might receive their dying grandfather’s blessing, and that what they might see in him, and hear from him, might make an abiding impression on them. Note…It is good to acquaint young people that are coming into the world with the aged servants of God that are going out of it, whose dying testimony to the goodness of God, and the pleasantness of wisdom’s ways, may be a great encouragement to the rising generation. Manasseh and Ephraim (I dare say) would never forget what passed at this time.’

I feel blessed that I have grown up in churches where the young and old mixed freely. As younger people we loved the older ‘saints’ and were eager to hear their stories of faith. We were only too willing to ‘sit at their feet’. As I write this, memories come streaming back of dear old friends who loved me, and I loved them. Many of them were not in the ‘spotlight’, but they were illuminated with the light of Christ. There influence is incalculable.

PRAYER: Father God, I want to say ‘thank you’ for the older believers whose examples inspire, and who have encouraged me along the way. As I grow older, may I be a blessing to the rising generation.