Summary: When it comes to religious instruction and example we can see that Jacob gave his grandson’s four important things to remember him by and to help point his grandchildren to the true and living God. You and I can do the same thing today for our Grandchild
The Grandparents Bible
Text: Gen. 48
Developed from the study by Ruth & Elmer Towns
A few years ago there was a cartoon that showed a little child stumbling over some stones in the road. With a look of hurt surprise on his face, he asked his grandmother, “Granma why don’t you watch where I am going?” That says it well. Our responsibility as believers is to look not only on our own things, “but every man also on the things of others” Philippians 2:4
Practical Bible Illustrations from Yesterday and Today 1996 AMG International Inc ISBM 0-89957-231-6 #617 pg.226 (italics mine)
Very soon my wife Fran and I will join a very auspicious club known as Grandparents.
We did very little to qualify for membership into this club. All we did was to have children, we invited children into our lives when we stood before God on our wedding day and pledged to live together as man and wife. The fruit of our union was by God’s grace the gift that is our children.
What happened next was a series of trials and errors that involved raising our children. For us the best source of instruction was the experience we had both known when we were children ourselves. That reflection brought a lot of conflict as we had both been raised very differently and our families had been very different as well. Like all new parents we wanted to avoid the so called mistakes that each of our parents had made when they had raised us.
Avoiding those kinds of mistakes is much easier said than done. You see we are all imprinted so to speak or engraved with certain characteristics that are etched into our lives and personality from our parents and sometimes no measure of effort can erase what you are - because of who you are from - thanks to your parents (DNA). Our parents leave an indelible mark upon our personality and character that is impossible to deny and very difficult to alter but it can be altered never the less but it takes divine power to do so.
This is where Grandparents come in. They are able to see the big picture that is our family and our children. They have lived longer, experienced more of life and have learned how to distinguish wisdom from worldly advice. Grandparents are closer in age to God than parents are and so their perspective is one of true paternal/maternal wisdom.
Every time a young man went to visit his friend’s house he found his friends Grandmother reading her Bible. Finally his curiosity got the better of him. “Why do you suppose your Grandmother reads the bible so much?” he asked. “I’m not sure”, said the friend, but I think it’s because she’s cramming for her finals”. Illustrations of Bible Truths 1995 by AMG International ISBN 0-89957-229-4 #158 pg.52
Grandparents are closer to God even if it is just that their time here is winding down. Maybe it is for that reason that Grandparents take an eternal perspective on things rather than a linear one.
In today’s scripture passage we see the Blessing of Israel (Jacob) being applied to his two Grand-sons Ephraim and Manasseh. But the father of the boys Joseph who was Jacob’s favorite son thinks that Grandpa is making a mistake as Grandpa has the wrong hand on the wrong child’s head.
Sometimes Grandparents can see things in their grandchildren that the parents do not. It is for that reason that Ephraim gets the right hand blessing which is the hand of authority and Manasseh gets the left hand blessing.
When grandparents can’t spend the most time with their grandchildren, or give them much material inheritance, their greatest gift can be to spiritually bless and pray for their grandchildren. http://elmertowns.com/books/unpublished/Grandparents/GrandparentsoftheBible%5BETowns%5D.pdf
Jacobs’s son Joseph as you remember grew up in Egypt and became second in importance only to the Pharaoh. These two grandsons of Jacob probably only visited their Grandpa Jacob occasionally while they had ready access to their Grandfather Potiphera who was a priest of the Egyptian religion and a wealthy man. While Potiphera may have been able to pay for hockey or football and private school there were still some things that only Grandpa Jacob could give the boys.
Even in the days of the Bible families had to deal with religious differences while still respecting each other.
But when it comes to religious instruction and example we can see that Jacob gave his grandson’s four important things to remember him by and to help point his grandchildren to the true and living God.
You and I can also give our grandchildren these same things.
#1 Jacob shared his testimony with his grandson’s. (Jacob’s ladder Genesis 28:10-22)
He told them how he was called by God to serve Him and how he promised to give God a tenth.