The Swindler and the Blessing

The story of Joseph produced another interesting revelation today. Toward the end of Jacob’s (Israel) life, he felt the need to pass along the blessing he’d received to Joseph and his sons (Manasseh and Ephraim). The following then took place:

Genesis 48:14 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).

Genesis 48:17 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.”

This is very interesting because a very similar scenario happened with Jacob and his father and brother.  Jacob (the swindler) was the youngest but duped his brother out of Esau’s birthright. In Ephraim’s case, there was no deception. In fact, Joseph tried to correct his father and Jacob made certain to clarify his intent.

Of course, everything points to Christ. I was able to see an inkling of the Kingdom of God in these two stories. Although, Jacob’s deception earned him his brother’s birthright, Ephraim received it intentionally. The new testament says, Matthew 19:30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”  It seems there was a bit of foreshadowing that could have taken place in this scenario.

It’s also a picture of God’s grace.  Jacob was offered overwhelming forgiveness by his brother (Esau); even after his thievery. Even though we are guilty many times of abusing our blessing of salvation, God offers his forgiveness.  In addition, he explains if we strive to place other’s needs ahead above our own, we receive an even greater gift in return – joy!

Matthew 7:10-11 “10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 

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