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The Father's Blessing

A Florida prison put Mother's Day cards out on a table for prisoners to send to their mothers. The entire table was quickly left bare. It worked so well that they filled the table again with Father’s Day cards. Hardly any cards were taken by the prisoners. Fatherlessness and a lack of a father’s blessing permeated the men. The correlation between men being in prison and broken or non-existent relationships with their fathers is undeniable.

The enemy has tried to destroy fatherhood in order to stop the life-giving, life-changing power of a father’s blessing. God blessed the Father of our faith, Abraham, to be a blessing. He passed the blessing on to Isaac then Jacob, who became Israel, and then to us. We were designed to pass along the Father’s blessing to our children and spiritual children.  

Genesis 48 tells the story of Jacob (Israel) blessing his grandsons, a display of how God blesses us. In their culture, the firstborn son received the greatest blessing and a double portion of the father’s inheritance. 

And Joseph [Israel’s 2nd youngest], took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel’s left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israel’s (right hand, and brought them close to him. But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn. Genesis 48:15-16

Israel didn’t bless according to who deserved it more or who had the right to the blessing. Nearly two thousand years later, Father God reached out and crossed his arms to take his hand of blessing off of Jesus, His firstborn who deserved and had every right to the Father’s blessing, and placed it on us who didn’t deserve it. We received the elder son’s blessing; Jesus took on every curse of ours, his younger brothers.

This unearned blessing and favor of God allows us to pass along that blessing to our children and our spiritual children through our:

  • Words - Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Proverbs 18:21  Words of blessing bring life. Speak God’s declarations and promises to bless. 

  • You are loved with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3

  • You are a vessel of God’s love and grace. 1 John 4:7

  • You are blessed to be a blessing to others. 2 Corinthians 9:8

  • God’s plans for you are good and filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11

  • Example—Children learn from not just what we say but also what we do. When we demonstrate sacrificial love, concern, and the fruit of the Spirit to them, our wives, and others, we pass on the blessing.  

  • Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. 1 Cor 11:1

  • Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. James 1:22

In the story of the prodigal (Luke 5), the father didn't withhold anything from his eldest son, who though dutiful, was legalist, judgmental, demanding, and unforgiving. He also gave extravagantly and ran to his wayward son at the first sign of his return. The father was an example of the blessing of patience, mercy, forgiveness, and generosity toward his sons.

In the pandemic of fatherlessness we live in, we have a chance to redeem the assault on families by ministering the Father’s blessing. God has given us the blessing that His Son deserved, so we can pass that blessing on to others.

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