Day 44…Genesis 48:
Genesis 48: Jacob blesses Ephraim over Manasseh
v.1-7, it’s amazing Jacob still hasn’t died and Joseph gets word he is on his last legs so Joseph along with his two sons go to visit Jacob. During the visit Jacob shares with Joseph a vision he rec’d from God while at Luz in the land of Canaan:
‘I will make you fertile and increase the number of your descendants so that you will become a community of people. I will give this land to your descendants as a permanent possession.’ - GWT
Jacob then told Joseph that your two sons [Ephraim & Manasseh] will become his sons (he’s adopting them) as if they his sons like Reuben and Simeon. They have equal status to his own blood-children. But other sons born to Joseph in the future will be his own, they will receive an inheritance after their older brothers Ephraim and Manasseh. Then Jacob told Joseph of his mother’s (Rachel) death and burial beside the road to Ephrath (Bethlehem).
v.8-11, at that moment Jacob notices Joseph’s sons and asked who they were. [He was almost completely blind by this time]. Of course Joseph introduced his sons to Jacob and Jacob was overjoyed at the sight of them and wanted to bless them. Because Jacob could barely see, Joseph brought his sons closes to Jacob and Jacob kissed and hugged them and then he said…
“I never expected to see your face again, and now God has let me see your children as well!”- MSG
v.12-16, then Joseph took his boys in front of his Dad. One on the right (Manasseh) and one of the left (Ephraim). But Jacob crossed his arms and put opposite hands on the heads of Joseph’s sons (this was significant because the first-born should always be on the right for a blessing–greater privilege in inheritance for the first-born) then he blessed them and said…
“May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the Angel who has delivered me from all harm —may he bless these boys. May they be called by my name and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they increase greatly on the earth.” - NIV
v.17-22, when Joseph saw his father had placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head instead of Manasseh’s he was upset and tried to move his hand to the right son. He told his Dad you got the wrong son. But Jacob refused and said “I know what I am doing, he will be great too but his younger brother will be greater and his families will become a great nation!” - DEG. Then he blessed them and said
“In your name will Israel pronounce this blessing:
‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’” - NIV
So Jacob put Ephraim (youngest) ahead of Manasseh (eldest) [as had happened in the past..Issac over Ishmael, Jacob over Esau, Joseph over all his brothers and now Ephraim over Manasseh]. Then Jacob as he was about to die told Joseph he was going to give him an extra portion of land (mountain ridge – GWT) than his brothers, that he took from the Amorites.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? Why would Jacob bless the younger over the eldest? I think this is an example of God’s ways are not ours. Or his timetable is not ours. Even though I don’t completely understand why God allowed this to happen, not just in this incident but all the way through this family line, I do have to realize it was best for those God was using. It just makes me realize more and more I have to trust God that he actually knows what he is doing.
WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? To simply trust God with my life and my families life, because he really does know what is best even if it is not the way I would do things. I think about where I am now and how amazing it is to work and worship here at City Centre. But the way I got here was so difficult and painful. I would have chose a more direct route and less painful, that’s for sure. But again I need to trust God that he has my best interest in mind. Who knows, maybe I needed to learn a few lessons along the way. I’ll tell you this much I am much wiser because of what I have been through.
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