by Pastor Heiden Ratner
Aug. 28th, 2023

“By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff.” – Hebrews 11:21


Jacob had developed a reputation for always trying to get ahead. From his earliest days of coming out of the womb, he was in competition with his brother, Esau, clutching at his heel (Gen. 25:26). In fact, the name Jacob in the Hebrew culture came with the connotation: “He takes by the heel, or he cheats.” As the two brothers grew older, they both desired the love and affection of their parents. Unfortunately, Isaac and Rebekah chose to love their children less for who they were and more for what they could do for them (parents take note of this dangerous mentality, Gen. 25-27-28).

Finally, in an attempt to deceptively steal his brother’s birthright, Jacob causes such family tension that his mom encourages him to run for it and go to his Uncle Laban’s house. It would be here that Jacob would not only meet his wife but his wives. Yes, you read that right. This time, Jacob found himself on the other side of deception as Laban deceived him into marrying both his daughters. (I know, a bizarre episode of sister-wives)

Jacob lived a lot of life during his 147 years on earth. Although he was known for his deception and running, he didn’t finish that way. After wrestling with the Lord, literally (Gen. 32:22-32), he found his new identity in being a loved son of God rather than having to clutch after the heels of this world for approval.

Before Jacob died, he was no longer looking for ways to get blessed. Instead, he was the one giving the blessing. By faith, he spoke blessings over Joseph’s sons and declared the promises of God over his grandsons. Take a moment now to think about your life, and the next generation, is there someone you can speak blessings over today? You can do it–by faith!

“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” – Proverbs 11:25

“How pleased would you and I be to go limping all our days with such weakness as Jacob had, if we might also have the blessing that he thus won.” – Charles Spurgeon


Father, today I’m grateful for all the ways You have blessed me in Christ. I don’t need to clutch and claw my way after the world’s blessings. I have everything I need in You. Help me to learn from Jacob’s testimony of faith, and not get caught up in deception, rather in contentment. Use me to be a blessing for those in my life, and in my future. In Jesus’ name, amen!

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