Genesis 49:22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:
23 The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:
24 But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)

Introductory Thoughts

The Lord is the strength of His people. The scriptures repeatedly verify this truth. In the prophecy concerning Joseph, the hands of the Lord are said to have made the hands of Joseph strong (Genesis 49:24). Joseph was hated and repeatedly persecuted, yet the Lord was his helper. This interaction by the Lord is not limited to the life of Joseph but was the constant testimony amongst the people of God. The mighty king David understood his need for the Lord and declared it with statements like “God is my strength and power” (2 Samuel 22:33), “the LORD is my strength and my shield” (Psalm 28:7), and “thou art my strength” (Psalm 31:4). Nehemiah understood these truths as the brave cupbearer prayed, “O God, strengthen my hands” (Nehemiah 6:9).

Devotional Thoughts

• (For children): Read the prayer and praise of others who knew God was their strength: 1 Chronicles 29:12; Psalm 46:1-3; Psalm 71:18; 2 Timothy 4:16-17. What can you learn from their statements of praise?
• (For everyone): What does it say for your need for God’s strength when Joseph, David, and Nehemiah all required God’s help? How did Nehemiah seek the Lord for such help?
• Genesis 49:24 indicates that Joseph did what he could do before the Lord added the necessary strength. What practical lessons could you learn from this truth?

Prayer Thoughts

• Ask God to strengthen your hands.
• Ask God to show you your need for His strength.