Note: This weekend was my birthday weekend. I had a great time. I thank God for another year of life. I am ready for Chapter 48!
Today we continue our series entitled, “Faith and Patience Volume IV — The Wonder Twins.” I am using Joseph as an excellent example of our need for patience. We are seeking to learn from the different phases of Joseph’s life. Let’s get into it.
(James 1:2-4 TPT)
2 My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can!
3 For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things.
4 And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1 ERV)
There is a right time for everything, and everything on earth will happen at the right time.
Today I will cover Genesis 48:1-19
Setting the Stage:
Joseph lived for years with God’s dream in his heart. He yearned to be reunited with his family. I know he longed to see his father. After 22 long years, the dream came to pass. Not only was Joseph was to be reunited with his father, Jacob, but his father was able to meet his two boys: Ephraim and Manasseh. Today we will look at the blessing Jacob conferred to Joseph’s sons.
While Jacob (a.k.a. Israel) and the family were living in Goshen, they prospered. The family became very large. Israel lived in Goshen for 17 years. This made him 147 years old. At this point, he became sick and called for Joseph. Joseph took his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, with him. Israel saw Joseph’s sons and said, “Bring your sons to me. I will bless them.” Israel was old, and his eyesight was not good. So Joseph brought the boys close to his father. Israel kissed and hugged the boys. Then Israel said to Joseph, “I never thought I would see your face again. But look! God has let me see you and your children.” This is another reminder that when God blesses you, He does so in a way that will exceed your expectations and even your imagination!
Israel was ready to bless the boys, so Joseph took them off Israel’s lap and positioned them under their grandfather, Joseph put Ephraim on Israel’s left side and Manasseh his right side, according to their age. The greater blessing — the blessing of the RIGHT HAND — is supposed to go to the oldest son. But Israel crossed his hands and put his right hand on the head of the younger boy Ephraim. He then put his left hand on Manasseh, even though Manasseh was the firstborn.
Israel proceeded to pronounce The Blessing over the boys. He said, “My ancestors, Abraham and Isaac, worshiped our God, and that God has led me all my life. He was the Angel who saved me from all my troubles. And I pray that he will bless these boys. Now they will have my name and the name of our ancestors, Abraham and Isaac. I pray that they will grow to become great families and nations on earth.”
While this was going on, Joseph realized his father’s right hand was on Ephraim’s head, and he was not happy about it. So Joseph took his father’s hand and attempted to move it from Ephraim’s head onto Manasseh’s head. But his father refused and said, “I know, son. I know. Manasseh is the firstborn. He will be great and will be the father of many people. But his younger brother will be greater than he is. And the younger brother’s family will be much larger.”
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. God will make it worth your wait.
I have been teaching on faith and patience. While you are waiting on God to do what you believe He promised you, you will get nagging thoughts in your mind. One of the thoughts you will have to deal with is the thought of whether or not all that you are enduring is worth it. Believe me, there is plenty of Biblical evidence, and I can also attest from personal experience, that God will make it well worth the wait.
While Joseph did endure 13 years of struggle, and then another 9 years of waiting before he was reconnected with his family, when that season was over, the rest of his days were the best of his days! You will be able to say the same! Greater is coming for you! God will exceed your expectations (Eph 3:20). Not only did Joseph get to walk in The Blessing, but he was there when his father transferred The Blessing to his children!
2. Our God will do the unexpected to bless you!
As Ephraim and Manasseh sat under their grandfather, waiting for The Blessing to be conferred upon them, Manasseh knew he was the firstborn and was therefore entitled to the greater blessing. I am sure Manasseh was happy about the fact their father, Joseph, had already prepositioned them under the proper hands. The right hand was for the greater blessing, and Joseph cleanly positioned Manasseh under Israel’s right hand. But when the grandfather stretched forth his hands to release the blessing, he crossed his hands and put his right hand on Ephraim. See, sometimes, God will go out of his way to bless you in a way you were not expecting. Completely by grace, unearned, and unmerited.
One of the greatest aspects of walking with God and living by faith is knowing that God will do the unexpected. When you expect the unexpected from God, you live your life with a level of excitement that cannot be quenched. You wake up every morning, knowing that God can do something you never expected Him to. So you live your life with an expectation of the manifestation of God’s best, even when you have no idea what it is! The life of faith is exciting!
3. God has a track record of bypassing the world’s norms to release His blessing on His children.
The blessing of the firstborn is a well-documented part of history. This is a practice where the father would pronounce his best/greatest blessing over his firstborn son. But God has overruled this practice many times in scripture. Isaac was the second son of Abraham, but he bypassed his older brother Ishmael when it came time to receive his father’s blessing. Jacob was the second son of Isaac, but he tricked his brother Esau, and he finagled his way into receiving the blessing of the firstborn son. Jacob had two wives and two concubines. Of the two wives, he basically had two firstborn sons: Reuben (born first) and Joseph. The blessing of the firstborn should have gone to Reuben, but Reuben disqualified himself by sleeping with one of Jacob’s concubines. This allowed the blessing of the firstborn to pass to Joseph. And of course, as we covered today, Jacob crossed his hands and went out of his way to release the blessing of the firstborn over Joseph’s second son, Ephraim, bypassing Manasseh as both boys were side-by-side.
I personally believe all of this has to do with the fact that Jesus is considered the “second” or “last” Adam. The Bible says, “The first man, Adam, became a living person. But the last Adam is a life-giving spirit. The spiritual man did not come first. It was the physical man that came first; then came the spiritual. The first man came from the dust of the earth. The second man came from heaven.” (1 Cor 15:45-47). Jesus came second, but He was unquestionably the greatest. My point is that God will bypass the norms of this world to release His best over those he birthed to accomplish His Kingdom plans and purposes.
— What God has for you is for you and no one can stop it!
— God will go out of His way to bless you!
— Our God is the only true God, but He is also a loving and caring heavenly Father. He is your Father, and you are His child. As His child, He will greatly exceed your expectations when it comes time to bless you. You will think that you don’t deserve it. And you don’t. But just like you bless your children far beyond what they earned, God blesses you by grace, just because He wants to, just because He is so good!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, You made plans for me before the world began. Before I was Born-Again, I made plans for myself, and now that I am walking with You, under Your Lordship, You reveal to me where my plans don’t line up with Your plans for me. In those situations, You require me to die to self, to relinquish my plans, and to accept Your best. I declare that I do. As I do, I know You bless me richly! So here I am Father, I ask You to bless me afresh today. Even when it looks like things are not going to work out well for me, I know You can cross Your hands at any moment and release a blessing over me that the world cannot stop. I ask You to glorify me so that I can glorify thee! GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!