Joseph’s sons – I
God’s choice and not man’s!
(Gen 48:14) But before Jacob gave them his blessing, he crossed his arms, putting his right hand on the head of Ephraim and his left hand on the head of Manasseh.
This morning we continue our series on the ‘Greatest Stories Ever Told’ with the story of Jacob blessing Joseph’s sons. This story is very long and I will attempt to summarize it into two messages.
Genesis 48 openswith Joseph going to see his father (Jacob) who was very old and sick. Joseph wanted his father to meet his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, before he died, so he took them to him. Jacob told Joseph that although his two sons were born
in Egypt, he accepted them as his own. Now Jacob was very old, almost blind,
and could barely recognize they boys when he saw them. But he said, “Bring them
to me, I want to give them my blessing.”
Joseph positioned his sons in front of his father. He was careful to put
the younger son (Ephraim) on Jacob’s left side and the older son (Manasseh) on
his right. Jacob then reached out to bless the boys, but before he did so, he
crossed his arms, putting his right hand on the head of Ephraim and his left
hand on the head of Manasseh. He then pronounced the blessing by saying, “My
grandfather Abraham and my father Isaac worshiped the Lord God. He has been
with me all my life, and his angel has kept me safe. Now I pray that he will
bless these boys and that my name and the names of Abraham and Isaac will live
on because of them. I ask God to give
them many children and many descendants as well.” Joseph did not like it when he saw his father
place his right hand on the head of the younger son and he tried to move his
father’s right hand from Ephraim’s head and place it on Manasseh. Joseph said,
“Father, you have made a mistake. This is the older boy. Put your right
hand on him.” But his father said, “Son, I know what I am doing. It’s
true that Manasseh’s family will someday become a great nation. But Ephraim
will be even greater than Manasseh, because his descendants will become many
We will only cover one principle today and pick this up
tomorrow. The principle of the latter being greater than the former: the pattern we see here in Genesis 48 was not
a new thing. We know that Abraham was the ‘Father of Faith.’ He was promised a
son of Sarah. He did have a son, however, with Hagar first; and his name was
Ishmael. He later had the promised son and his name was Isaac. The tradition of
the time dictated that the blessing of the father would have to go to the
‘first born’ son. Abraham broke
tradition and followed God. He was led of God to pass the blessing he received
from God to his second born son. We see there that the latter (Isaac) was
greater than the former (Ishmael). Isaac then had two sons: Esau and Jacob.
Although they were twins, Esau came out first and was considered the ‘first
born’ son; therefore having a right to the blessing. Jacob, however, tricked
his brother and his father into getting the blessing. Although it was through conniving
ways, we see that the latter (Jacob) was greater than the former (Esau). Jacob then was a bit different. He was the
father of the twelve sons that became the twelve tribes. His blessing went to all twelve sons, but we
do see here in the text that when it was time to bless his grandsons, the same
pattern remained. The latter (Ephraim) was greater than the former (Manasseh).
Also see Haggai 2:9.
So what does this mean to
you today?It means that God’s providential will, will often times go
against the traditions of men. Age, race, gender, denomination, etc.; are not
factors to God. He has a plan for your life and is willing to bring it to pass
if you are willing to submit to it. God can do extraordinary things with
ordinary people. Are you the latter, the one is was not supposed to be picked,
the one who was not supposed to succeed, the one who was not supposed to excel?
If so, then you are the right one for the job.
You + God = Victory!
Confession for this day: Lord God.
You have a plan for my life. I submit
and surrender to that plan today. I am who You say that I am. I can have what
You say that I can have. I can do what You say that I can do. I can go where
You say that I can go. I can be what You say that I can be. I am called,
appointed, anointed, destined, blessed, covered, protected, equipped, enabled,
and empowered. I may not have been the world’s choice, but I am Your choice and
I am successful in every area of my life.