Summary: By Faith – Issac, Jacob & Joseph (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

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Reading: Hebrews chapter 11 verses 20-22


• A preacher was addressing his congregation;

• When he held up a large piece of paper.

• He then took from his pocket a marker pen;

• And made a black dot in the centre of it.

• Then he held the paper up before the people and asked them what they saw.

• One person quickly replied, “I see a black mark.”

• “Right,” the preacher replied. “What else do you see?”

• Complete silence prevailed. “Don’t you see anything other than the dot?” he asked.

• A chorus of no's came from the audience.

• “I’m really surprised,” the preacher commented.

• “You have completely overlooked the most important thing of all—the sheet of paper.”

• Then he made the application.

“He said that in life we are often distracted by small, dot-like disappointments or painful experiences, and we are prone to forget the innumerable blessings we receive from the hand of the Lord”.

• But like the sheet of paper,

• The good things are far more important than the adversities that monopolize our attention.

Quote: Someone has written:

“As you travel down life’s pathway, may this ever be your goal:

Keep your eye upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole!”


There was an advertisement in a local newspaper that said:

REWARD: Lost dog. Three legs, blind in left eye, right ear missing, tail broken,

recently neutered.

Answers to the name “Lucky”.

Note: The theme running throughout these verses is blessing:

• Not luck, not chance, not fate, not good fortune etc;

• But blessing!

• These blessing may include both prayer and prophecy concerning that individual;

• But primarily they are passing on the promises of God given to this family/people.

• The theme running throughout these verses is blessing:

• With Isaac, he blessed his immediate children.

• With Jacob, he blessed his grandsons.

• And with Joseph, he blessed his clan.


• “You could summarise these blessings as:

• Blessing to the individual.

• Blessing to the family.

• Blessing to the nation.”

Notice too that the blessing came near the end of their lives.

• (a). Genesis chapter 27, is where the blessings to Jacob and Esau are recorded,

• We read there that Isaac thought he was about to die.

• (b). Here in Hebrews chapter 11 verse 21;

• We are told that Jacob blessed Ephraim and Manasseh “when he was dying”.

• In fact, in Genesis chapter 48 verse 2,

• It says that Jacob rallied the last of his strength just to sit up on his bed

• (c). When Joseph brought in his two boys.

• Hebrews chapter 11 verse 22 tells us that Joseph blessed “when his end was near”.

• People respond in different ways to the realization that they are getting old;

• And in different ways – when they are getting ready to die.


• At a nursing home in Fareham, a group of residents were moaning about their ailments:

• One lady said: "My arms are so weak I can hardly lift this cup of coffee,"

• An old man replied:

• "Yes, I know, my cataracts are so bad I can’t even see my coffee,"

• Another replied;

• "I can’t turn my head because of the arthritis in my neck,"

• Another said: "My blood pressure pills make me very dizzy,"

• Another went on to say. "I guess that’s the price we pay for getting old,"

• There was general agreement and a short moment of silence ensued.

• Then someone cheerfully said: "Well, it’s not that bad, at least we can all still drive!"


• When Isaac, Jacob and Joseph knew the end was near, they didn’t complain.

• They used the last ounce of energy that they had to bless others.

• The fact that they waited until the end of their lives to pass along these blessings

• The fact they waited;

• Does not mean that they were only a blessing to their families at the end of their lives.

• It means that the blessing was so important;

• That they wanted it to be the last thing that they were remembered for.

• The blessing was their last act.

• They couldn’t die before they gave it.

• It was the summation of all that they were,

• What their life had been about and all that they wanted to pass along.

• It was important.

• Blessing others is important in life and in death.

(1). Blessing someone implies that there is a



• A frog went to see a fortune-teller,

• The fortune-teller gazed into a crystal ball and said:

“You are going to meet a beautiful young woman.

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