Devotional on Genesis

2013 – LeFleur’s Bluff State Park, Jackson, MS

Cross armed blessings
Genesis 48: He thought he had made a mistake.
With his aged father, Jacob, now close by Joseph brings his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, to meet their grandfather. It’s a big moment for all involved and Jacob prepares to bestow a blessing on his grandsons. Joseph carefully places his first born at the right hand of his father, making Manasseh the primary blessing receiver but Jacob simply crosses his arms, placing his right hand on Ephraim. When Joseph corrects his father Jacob responds that he knows what he’s doing and proceeds with the blessing, declaring that both boys will be blessed, but Ephraim will be greater and that his descendants will be a blessing to the whole world. As often happens with God we have here a surprise event that gets our attention. The fact is that the Lord loves blessing unlikely people. He takes those who shouldn’t have much of a chance at life and uses them in wonderful and unexpected ways. This passage hints at the “unexpected” nature of the blessing when Jacob says others will be blessed through Ephraim. In fact, the real difference between the blessings given to these brothers is that one will be used to bless others.
Take away: In God, we’re both blessed and used to bring blessings to others.

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