To your children, and their children, and their children…

Then Noah said,

“May the Lord, the God of Shem, be blessed,
    and may Canaan be his servant!
27 May God expand the territory of Japheth!
May Japheth share the prosperity of Shem,
    and may Canaan be his servant.” – Genesis 9:26-27

Small Purple Flowers… | Camp Okoboji, Iowa | May 2021

I mentioned yesterday about how much I love speaking the words of the benediction at the end of worship services. I almost always use the Aaronic benediction from Numbers 6:24-26:

The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD look upon you with favor and give you peace.

A contemporary version of that blessing has touched my heart many times. That was especially true at my final Sunday as senior pastor at St. John Lutheran Church in Cypress, Texas. I’ve included a Youtube link to the song below…

What was and is such a powerful point in the song is the refrain:

May His favor be upon you
And a thousand generations
And your family and your children
And their children, and their children
May His favor be upon you
And a thousand generations
And your family and your children
And their children, and their children

Songwriters: Chris Brown / Steven Furtick / Cody Carnes / Kari Brooke Jobe
The Blessing lyrics © Worship Together Music, Capitol Cmg Paragon, Kari Jobe Carnes Music, Writers Roof Publishing

Noah offers a blessing to Shem and by extension Japheth. Even Canaan can be part of the blessing if we understand what is actually being said, and the will, intent, and plan of God. 

God wants all people to be saved. Jesus came to call all people to himself. He died for the sins of the world, and commanded his disciples to make disciples of all peoples. The Hebrew nation can be thought of as Shem’s progeny, and Japheth be seen as the Gentile nations. And while Canaan is mentioned as a slave to these peoples, let’s not be too quick to jettison the descendants of Canaan. For a Canaanite woman sought Jesus’ healing for her daughter (there’s the issue of children again!). And Jesus – after seeming to turn her away – commended her faith and healed her daughter. Read it here

Oh how I pray that our children and their children, and their children will remain under the blessing of God! And the delightful truth is that by faith they can be! It’s not a matter of ancestry. You don’t have to be a fifth-generation-bonafide Texas Christian. Make no mistake, it’s a great legacy to claim and pass on! But legacy and progeny is not the formula for God’s blessings. What good would a blessing be if there is no faith to receive it?

The formula is: God’s grace, love, kindness, mercy, and forgiving redemption + Faith. We receive the fullness of God’s grace and gifts by faith. And that promise is to us, and our children, and their children, and their children…for a thousand generations! Amen.

Click here for an audio version of this blog post. 

  1. Debra McKinney said:

    Pastor Bahn, we love your daily reflections and read them everyday. Have passed some on to family and friends with positive responds. Hope you and Diane are well and enjoying retirement. Prayers, Debra McKinney

    Sent from my iPad


    • Thanks Debra. We are well. Blessings to you both!

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