Genesis 48

Genesis 48 is winding down Jacob (Israel’s) life.  Joseph gets notified “your father is ill” and takes his two boys and goes to see his father.  When he arrives “Israel summoned his strength and sat up in bed”.  This is the last interaction Joseph and his dad will likely have.  And Israel puts all he has into it to make it special.  “I never expected to see your face; and behold, God has let me see your offspring also”.  This is a big deal.  Israel had been led to believe that Joseph was dead – but now he has not only seen his son – but his grandsons as well.  So he wants to pass on what God had given to him.  “Bring them to me, please, that I may bless them”.

Unless you have experienced this kind of thing first hand – it may not seem all that important.  But I recall vividly as I lay in the hospital prior to my heart surgery that I might not get to see my kids again, and certainly to experience the grandkids that weren’t born yet.  Looking back God’s grace in allowing me to live through that surgery and heart issue is a blessing I can’t really explain.  It truly has been unmeasurable in joy and the happiness it has brought.  I understand how Jacob must have felt – and how blessed he was.

He places his hands on the heads of Manasseh and Ephraim and blesses Joseph and the boys: “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day, the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys; and in them let my name be carried on, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth”.  Have you ever done this for your kids – to take the time and place your hands on them and ask God’s blessing.  It is a powerful thing to do.

But Joseph realizes his father’s hands were backward.  “Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him, and he took his father’s hand to move it….. Not this way, my father….But his father refused and said his younger brother shall be greater”.  This time the blessing was passed intentionally to the younger brother – not stolen like it was when Jacob received it from Isaac through deceiving his father.  Now he intentionally blesses Ephraim the younger of the two.  He is “about to die….but God will be with you” as he ends his blessing.  The power of a blessing is so real.  Jacob is very intentional in how he passes it.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Brad Kowerchuk on July 26, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Why were the firstborn rights given to Joseph’s 2 sons instead of to Jacob’s eldest son Reuben, as was the normal custom? Hint – it was not as a reward to Joseph for his actions in Egypt… it had to do with Reuben’s actions along with who the mothers of each son were…

    Reply

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