Bless This House
Bow your head, open your hands—kneel if you can—and thank the Lord for all you own.
Read Genesis 47:1–12
Joseph went and told Pharaoh, “My father and brothers, with their flocks and herds and everything they own, have come from the land of Canaan and are now in Goshen.” 2 He chose five of his brothers and presented them before Pharaoh.
3 Pharaoh asked the brothers, “What is your occupation?”
“Your servants are shepherds,” they replied to Pharaoh, “just as our fathers were.” 4 They also said to him, “We have come to live here for a while, because the famine is severe in Canaan and your servants’ flocks have no pasture. So now, please let your servants settle in Goshen.”
5 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you, 6 and the land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land. Let them live in Goshen. And if you know of any among them with special ability, put them in charge of my own livestock.”
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.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHas God ever blessed you even in the middle of a situation that was less than ideal (i.e., living in the land of Egypt)?
Despite years of slavery and imprisonment caused by the jealousy of his brothers, Joseph chooses to put away bitterness and blesses them instead (cf. Matt. 5:7). Sibling rivalry was no less a feature of Jacob’s life—and perhaps they both remember the blessing of an earlier family reunion where mercy was extended (Gen. 33:1–3). Family first—it’s a priority that many cultures embrace. Does yours? How far do your own family loyalties extend? Jesus had harsh words for those who claimed that their vows to God superseded loyalty to family (Mark 7:9–13). Nevertheless, balancing the two can be difficult: there
were times when Jesus had to serve God free from the pressure of family expectations (Mark 3:21).
Joseph’s care for his family’s material needs paves the way for a deeper blessing later on (50:20,21). And although Pharaoh seems to be the one who has the ultimate power to bless, it’s not all one way. Jacob knows he can bless Pharaoh, too (7). How can the weak bless the strong? Can powerless immigrants be a blessing to those who have status and power? Jacob had little to give the most powerful person in Egypt, but that didn’t stop him offering respect, appreciation—even, perhaps, a prayer.
How you can bless your family and your leaders today?
Lord God, teach me to be a blessing to those around me today. Show me ways that I can share Your love.
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