2008-0602 - Jacob: A Determined Man
Through faith Jacob blessed his family. (Genesis 48:1-20 and Hebrews 11:21)
Most adults grow accustomed to schedules and routines. The newspaper is delivered during the early morning hours, lunch is usually served around noon, and the nightly news is televised the same time every evening. There is consistency in the familiar. When something interrupts the routine, many of us automatically don't like the disruption.
Joseph didn't appreciate it when his father Jacob blessed his youngest son (Ephraim) before the older (Manasseh). It just wasn't done like that. His father must have made a mistake. But it was no error. Jacob knew what he was doing. His poor eyesight wasn't failing him. He intentionally blessed the younger son.
Why did Jacob bless Joseph's children, his grandsons? The Bible doesn't specifically say why Joseph's sons received such a gracious blessing. Could it be that Joseph was the only one of his 12 sons who came to visit Jacob on his deathbed? Or was it because of Rachel, Joseph's deceased mother and the love of Jacob's life.
Did Jacob want to make up for lost time when Joseph was taken from him for many years? Perhaps it's the fact that three of Jacob's sons disappointed him by hurtful acts and the patriarch was transferring their rights to his grandsons. Regardless of the reason, Jacob blessed Ephraim and Manasseh with the same blessing his own children would receive. While both boys would be great, Ephraim would be greater than his older brother Manasseh. Ephraim's escendants would become a group of nations.
Why do we respond hesitantly when change arrives in our lives? If we knew that change would bring about a favorable outcome would we be so resistant and cautious? Joseph wanted to fix his dad's mistake but Jacob would have none of it. We may do the same thing when we pray to God. We predict or want a situation to turn out a certain way, but when we leave it in the Lord's hands the circumstance turns out God's way and not necessarily ours. That's when we have to adapt to God's sovereign power and reverence Him. According to Proverbs 19:21, "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." (NIV) See also Proverbs 16:9 and Luke 18:27.
Lord, Thank You for creating me. May I enjoy this life on Earth to the fullest. May I have no regrets and let obedience in You be my guide. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.