Genesis 49:22-26: Fruitful

“‘Joseph is a fruitful vine,
    a fruitful vine near a spring,
    whose branches climb over a wall.
23 With bitterness archers attacked him;
    they shot at him with hostility.
24 But his bow remained steady,
    his strong arms stayed supple,
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, 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  the bounty of the age-old hills.
Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,
    on the brow of the prince among  his brothers.” NIV

A life of depth and breadth, such as we see in Joseph, often has its periods of suffering. (God made Joseph ‘’fruitful’’ in the land of his suffering in more ways than one – see 41:52). Jacob uses the image of archers shooting arrows at him. His life came under intensive fire. He suffered unjustly at the hands of his brothers; he suffered unfairly in the house of Potiphar, and in the land of Egypt, before things began to turn for the better. What keeps a person going through such times of adversity? It is God alone who provides the strength. This was Jacob’s experience (48:15,16), and it was also Joseph’s. Note the repeated: ‘’…because of…’’ (24, 25).

The idea of ‘’blessings’’ recurs throughout this section. Jacob counted himself such a blessed man and he longed that’s his boy might be blessed also. This is the desire of every godly parent for his/her child.