THE GIFT OF FAMILIES

Scripture Reading: Genesis 50:22-26

“So Joseph remained in Egypt, he and his father’s house. Joseph lived 110 years. And Joseph saw Ephraim’s children of the third generation. The children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were counted as Joseph’s own.” (Genesis 50:22,23)

The end of the chapter records Joseph’s last years. The emphasis is on his family. He was with his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Family was very important to Joseph. He was a powerful and influential man, but his family was a priority for him. You read more about his interactions with family than his accomplishments as Prime Minister of Egypt.

Families are a gift from God. Joseph was separated from his family for years. However, he was able to spend the last 17 years of his father’s life with him. Joseph lived another 54 years after his father’s death. He was able to know his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Families are the ideal structure through which the blessings of God may be passed on from generation to generation. God’s covenant promises were first made to Abraham — “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you” (Genesis 17:7). You see this covenant succession from Abraham to Isaac to Jacob and to his sons. The New Testament confirms this promise — “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who fear God — for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:39).

Parents are responsible to claim these covenant promises on behalf of their children. The Sacrament of Baptism is a reminder of God’s covenant blessings that have been promised to the children of believers. Parents are to claim these promises in faith and they are to pray that their children come to faith in Jesus Christ.

Parents are also responsible to train their children in the faith — “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). This is a huge responsibility. Parents are to pray with and for their children and they are to set a godly example before them. They are to teach their children the message of the gospel and of the importance of Scripture reading and prayer.

Families are indeed a blessing. I have been able to see my children and grandchildren walking with Jesus. There is no greater blessing for a parent than that.

Lord Jesus, thank You for my precious family. Thank You for Your saving work that has made salvation possible. Thank You that my children are faithfully training their children in the faith. I pray for my grandchildren that You will work mightily in their lives. Make them men and women of God who make a difference in this world.

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