If my Dad were alive today, he would have just entered his 89th year. But he went to be with the Lord a little over two years ago.
By the time he neared his death, Alzheimer’s disease racked his mind and over the following year he sort of ‘closed in’ to himself needing full time attention. But in the early stages we could not figure this out. As it is considered normal for old people to become a bit eccentric and absent-minded, my Dad’s oddity and forgetfulness would be a jolly time for my children and he being jovial all the time, kept us in splits of laughter on the things he would say and do.
But there were things he could understand fully. This was before this crazy disease took over.
My Mum and Dad shifted out of their city and came to live with us. It was at this time my Dad and I came very close. He became my best friend, and I would spend a lot of time with him in his room. Sometimes we would go for longs walks, and I loved putting my arm around him and walking alongside him, or just locking my arms in his as he trudged alongside
And then one day after breakfast he called me in his room. He was lying on his bed in his usual fashion, his head propped up with two pillows…and so I sat beside him.
My Dad stretched out his hand and placed it on my head, and he blessed me. He became very emotional. He began to sob and weep aloud; it was a poignant moment for me. One I will never ever forget. This prevailing memory is etched and burned into the recesses of my mind forever. My Dad was not very clear in his speech and I could not understand all he said…but he blessed me indeed. My right hand lay on his chest, and then I prayed for him too after that.
Is a father’s blessing highly valued?
As I am looking through the book of Genesis, I find the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob…all blessed their sons, and in some cases even their grandsons. They all gave formal blessings to their children. Receiving a blessing from one’s father was a high honour, and losing a blessing was tantamount to a curse as in Esau’s case.
An Old Testament blessing of a father to his sons included words of encouragement, details regarding each son’s inheritance, and prophetic words concerning the future. For example, Isaac’s blessing on Jacob (which was actually meant for Esau) gave him the earth’s bounty and authority over his brother. It also promised that those who blessed Jacob would be blessed, and those who cursed him would receive a curse—words that echo God’s promise to Abraham.
In turn when Jacob blessed his twelve sons, he also made predictions regarding their future. The Bible records the direct fulfillment of many of these predictions, revealing the supernatural ability given to Jacob as the father of the twelve tribes. Jacob said to Isaachar…He saw that a resting place was good, and that the land was pleasant…Issachar’s family would later inherit lower Galilee, including the Valley of Jezreel, which included rich, productive farmland.
A patriarch’s final blessing was important in biblical times as a practical matter of inheritance rights. In addition, some final blessings also included prophetic statements that reveal God’s supernatural power at work for the future.
Fathers are important and vital.
My Dad blessed me…and I am blessed indeed.
I did not understand all my Dad said to me that morning. Alzheimer’s slurred his speech. But the blessing was imparted and the work of God done!
Later that year my Dad went home to Jesus. He died in my arms.
Today, I carry those blessings to pass on to my children and grand children…and every time the blessing is imparted it multiplies.
But hey…I have many spiritual children too! And each one of you can receive those blessings to pass on.
Take it while you can!