December 3 – A Holy Embrace

“Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them.” Genesis 48:10

In Bible times and countries, a kiss and an embrace were often a sign of reverence and subjection to a superior (I Samuel 10:1) or brotherly love and affection (I Samuel 20:41).

Jacob was near the close of his life and wanted to bless his grandsons, Ephraim and Manasseh, so he first kissed and hugged them. In this warm picture of family affection, you are reminded of the value of meaningful touch between parents, grandparents, and children.

The world has perverted these expressions of love through sin and misuse, but it was not so in the beginning. God intended you to be a person of blessing with the ability to impart blessings through touch. Jesus took the little children up in His arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

The Apostle Paul continually ended his letters to the churches with the command, “Greet one another with an holy kiss.” (I Corinthians 16:20, Romans 16:16, I Thessalonians 5:26) Obviously, much wisdom and prudence must be exercised in applying the Word to everyday experience.

PRAY: “Father, thank You for the warm embraces of Your Holy Spirit’s presence in my life. Guide me in my efforts to be more affectionate toward my family in a godly way. Amen.”

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