I was a bad student in the 12th grade— very mouthy and a show-off to impress the other students. One semester, I took a class survey that asked what my favorite book was, and I said the Bible. Instantly, I became convicted that the teacher would never believe that. When everyone left after class, I told my teacher how sorry I was. She looked at me and smiled, then said, “I knew under all that was a heart of gold.” 

  • When have you been blessed by someone speaking encouragement over you?


22 “Joseph is a fruitful bough,

    a fruitful bough by a spring;

    his branches run over the wall.

23 The archers bitterly attacked him,

    shot at him, and harassed him severely,

24 yet his bow remained unmoved;

    his arms were made agile

by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob

    (from there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel),

25 by the God of your father who will help you,

    by the Almighty who will bless you

    with blessings of heaven above,

blessings of the deep that crouches beneath,

    blessings of the breasts and of the womb.

26 The blessings of your father

    are mighty beyond the blessings of my parents,

    up to the bounties of the everlasting hills.

May they be on the head of Joseph,

    and on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Jacob foretold to each son what was to happen to them; to Joseph, his blessing was greatest. How do you define the word blessing?
  2. Verses 23-24 indicate the opposition Joseph would encounter as he prospered. How would he be able to remain faithful (vss. 24-25)? 
  3. Joseph’s blessing was great; it put him in a higher position than his brothers. How do you think Joseph felt while hearing this? How would you?
  4. The blessings of God had been given first to Abraham, then Isaac, Jacob, and now Joseph. Were the blessings of God fixed on the family or the obedience of those who followed?
  5. Do you realize the amazing blessings God has given to you? In what ways are you stewarding these blessings?


These blessings in Old Testament times were a way for God to communicate to each generation and a special “ceremony” from father to son. Here, Joseph received the blessing of the firstborn. He was being rewarded for his faithful endurance. Joseph recognized he must now carry the name of God to his family and people. The mantle was being passed from Jacob to Joseph to honor and be faithful to the Lord in carrying forth the Abrahamic Covenant. As Jacob’s life was drawing to a close, God’s blessing ensured much hope for the future.

  • Praise God for his faithfulness through the ages.
  • Pray that you would carry the blessings you have received into a life of faithfulness and obedience.