Jacob knew the power of the spoken blessing. After all, think of all he did to obtain his father’s blessing! (cf. Genesis 25:27-34; Genesis 27:1-40) When Jacob became aware that his time on earth was coming to a close, he called his family together to bless them. In Genesis 48 he blessed Joseph’s sons, and then in Genesis 49 he blessed each of his 12 sons according to their birth order. The blessings he spoke to his sons are framed by two descriptive verses:
“Then Jacob called together all his sons and said, ‘Gather around me, and I will tell you what will happen to each of you in the days to come’” (Genesis 49:1, NLT)
“These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said as he told his sons good bye. He blessed each one with an appropriate message” (Genesis 49:28, NLT).
Blessings are an important part of the Bible. The word is used more than 160x in the first five books of the Bible alone. In the Old Testament, words of blessing were powerful and prophetic. The blessing contained elements that were able to foresee and shape the future; to change situations and alter circumstances.
How powerful are your words?
How responsible are you with your words?
Can you really shape the life of another person with the words that you use?
We have become a society that affixes labels to virtually everyone: conservative, liberal, moderate, fundamentalist, smart, empty suit, athletic, musical, redneck, generous, stingy, fat, or skinny to name a limited few. Once those labels get affixed, they stick remarkably well.
I have come to think of the act of blessing others as “affixing a positive label on a person’s life.” This week I’m posting excerpts from this weekend’s message titled, “The Power of the Spoken Blessing.” I want to invite you to follow along. You might just wind up changing a life in the process!