Monday, January 14, 2008

The one who Blesses

I find it extraordinary that during a time when the people of all the world, including Jacob and his family of 70, were living in debt to the Pharaoh of Egypt because of a severe drought, that it's Jacob who, twice, blesses Pharaoh,
'Then Joseph brought his father Jacob in and presented him before Pharaoh. After Jacob blessed Pharaoh, Pharaoh asked him, "How old are you?"And Jacob said to Pharaoh, "The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers." Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went out from his presence' (Genesis 47:7-10).
In one sense, Pharaoh and all the people of Egypt were living in debt to Joseph because he was the one who fore-warned and then worked for 7 years to prepare for the severe and life threatening drought, so you'd think that the king of that land would be appreciative enough to bless that same mans father when he entered his presence!? But more than that, in the eyes of the people of Egypt, and particularly of Pharaoh himself - he was god! The people of Egypt worshiped many gods, but ultimately, Pharaoh was god on earth. So then why is it Jacob blessing Pharaoh and not pharaoh blessing Jacob?

If i picture myself in a parallel circumstance - i simply think of work. I go to work because i need to earn money. I need to earn money in order to provide for my family, otherwise we'll live in drought! So therefore my work is something that i need, that, in a sense I'm subject to, and in debt of. My employment is a blessing. It blesses me. But a change in perspective would say that I work primarily for the God that employs me and the God that I serve, the creator, sustainer and governor of all things, and according to Gen 12, he who blesses me will be blessed. Therefore I present myself there, not to be blessed but to be the one who blesses. It's not about either work or myself being greater than the other, but rather the God that i serve being King of kings and Lord of lords. I worship and serve the creator of the universe, the one who holds all life in his hands - including that of my employer. And so I bless them. Twice.

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