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October 7, 2018

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year

Text: Matthew 13-14
Audio: Matthew 13-14

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Memory Verse of the Week

And Israel said, “It is enough; Joseph my son is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”
(Genesis 45:28 ESV)

Genesis 48 (ESV)

After this, Joseph was told, “Behold, your father is ill.” So he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. And it was told to Jacob, “Your son Joseph has come to you.” Then Israel summoned his strength and sat up in bed. And Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a company of peoples and will give this land to your offspring after you for an everlasting possession.’ And now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, as Reuben and Simeon are. And the children that you fathered after them shall be yours. They shall be called by the name of their brothers in their inheritance. As for me, when I came from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan on the way, when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath, and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).”

When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he said, “Who are these?” Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons, whom God has given me here.” And he said, “Bring them to me, please, that I may bless them.” 10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim with age, so that he could not see. So Joseph brought them near him, and he kissed them and embraced them. 11 And Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face; and behold, God has let me see your offspring also.” 12 Then Joseph removed them from his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. 13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them near him. 14 And Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, crossing his hands (for Manasseh was the firstborn). 15 And he blessed Joseph and said,

“The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,
    the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day,
16 the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys;
    and in them let my name be carried on, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac;
    and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.”

17 When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him, and he took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 And Joseph said to his father, “Not this way, my father; since this one is the firstborn, put your right hand on his head.” 19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great. Nevertheless, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations.” 20 So he blessed them that day, saying,

“By you Israel will pronounce blessings, saying,
‘God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh.’”

Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh. 21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you again to the land of your fathers. 22 Moreover, I have given to you rather than to your brothers one mountain slope that I took from the hand of the Amorites with my sword and with my bow.”

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Next: Genesis 49

Back: Genesis 47

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him, and he took his father's hand to move it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head. Genesis 48:17

    Taking Matters Into Our Own Hands

    Manasseh, as the firstborn, would normally receive the first blessing. Here, Joseph is seen attempting to override his father's decision to bless Ephraim first but Jacob does not allow Joseph's displeasure to change his mind. 

    Allen Ross writes, "Joseph, and many others like him, expected God to work in a certain way but found that he chose to work in a different and unconventional way. Joseph had brought his two sons before Jacob so that Manasseh would receive the first blessing (Genesis 48:3), but Jacob crossed his hands. It had taken Jacob a lifetime of discipline to learn this truth about God. In his early years he had deceived his blind father for the blessing, but in his duty now of passing on the blessing, he performed in the way that God wanted, blessing the younger over the elder (see the oracle in Genesis 25:23). He would not attempt to bless the wrong one, as his father had attempted to do; nor would he handle the blessing dishonestly."

    Ross, A. P. (1998). Creation and blessing: a guide to the study and exposition of Genesis (p. 693). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

    It's clear throughout the Bible that our thoughts are not God's thoughts and God's ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). God is not a passenger in the events of life but is the driver. He not only knows everything that happens but purposes everything according to the purpose of His will and His glory. 

    It may be hard for us to understand this since there is so much evil in the world but God is in control and knows all things. We don't know all things. As a matter of fact, much of what we know is tainted by our subjective (and sinful) experiences. 

    What we might THINK is best may not be what God KNOWS is best. God doesn't need our permission to execute his will. He wants us to have faith and trust Him even when (and especially when) things don't go according to our plan and when bad things happen to us or our loved ones. 

    Do we really trust Him?

  2. I have to say, I get really uncomfortable when the "what ifs" creep in, and I know that must be Satan, making me question my own faith and worry that maybe, I'm not doing something right. 

    Then I try to remind myself of what really matters, and I think of what I know to be true because the Bible tells me so:

    •God is sovereign over all, and I believe this. 

    •His Son, Jesus, was sent to die on the cross for my sins because I could never, ever make up for them myself; He made the greatest sacrifice He could make, because He loves me. I believe this.  

    •Jesus rose from the dead, just as He said He would. I believe this.

    •Jesus told us that He will return one day, and He is the absolute only way to Heaven, to spend eternal life with Him. I believe this.  

    •God wants us to honor His commandments because we love Him and even if we don't understand His will, He knows what is best, always. I believe this. 

    •God doesn't want us to worry; He has us covered. That doesn't mean that there won't be hard work and pain; yet He is leading our journey, and only He can give us the strength to endure this race. I believe this. 

    When the "what ifs" come, I concentrate and meditate on these things, and I can feel His presence and the changes He has made in me. 

    I do believe, and I trust Him. 


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