Genesis 48 gives us a look into a meaningful parenting moment for Jacob and Joseph. Since his dad was ill, Joseph took two of his boys and went to say goodbye to Jacob, the family’s patriarch. When Jacob saw Joseph and made a connection with his sons, he got a little “blessing-happy.” When the blessings were all said and done, there was a feeling of peace over the room.
This is an easy passage to overlook. It has the feeling of a family “Kumbaya”, but there is significance to this exchange. First of all, this is a moment that Jacob did not expect, not in his wildest dreams. He thought Joseph was dead for much of his life. Now, he had his son back. He met his grandchildren. He blessed them all. He was dying a happy man, experiencing a seemingly impossible reunion.
What about the blessings themselves? There is plenty to consider there as well. For one, Jacob blessed the wrong son… or so we would think. It was a part of God’s plan all along. Check out this commentary for deeper insight:
The blessing of Joseph is intimately linked to the blessing of his two sons. By placing his right hand on the head of Ephraim (v. 13), however, Jacob gives him priority over his older brother Manasseh (see 41:51–52). Although Joseph protests, thinking his father has mistakenly placed his right hand on the wrong head (48:17–18), Jacob is emphatic that Ephraim should be blessed as the firstborn ahead of Manasseh (v. 19). Subsequent history reveals that the Ephraimites become one of the leading tribes, with Joshua guiding the people into the Promised Land. (ESV Study Bible, note on verses 13-20)
But you can glean something else from this — an overall Biblical theme. The humble shall be exalted. Though nothing tells us that Manasseh was prideful, the second-born Ephraim had to deal with the fact that he would have a lesser role in his family. And yet, God chose to show, in this oddly-timed moment, that the last shall be first and the first shall be last. Funny, though, that Jacob — the birthright negotiator — was doing the same thing (different circumstances) all over again.
What did you learn from the passage? What did the Lord impress upon your heart today? I pray your Tuesday is richly blessed, Center Point family.
By: Todd Thomas