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View daily reading plan: Genesis 48.1-7

Jacob was sinking fast (Gen 48.1), and Joseph again hastened to his bedside accompanied by his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim. Jacob laid claim to Joseph’s two sons, regarding them as his. Reuben had forfeited the rights of firstborn, and the double portion connected to the birthright was passing to Joseph (1 Chron 5.1-2). Jacob’s “acquired” sons would occupy two areas in the land, the double portion. Joseph’s name would be dropped, and Levi had no inheritance, so just as Jacob had twelve sons, there would be twelve tribes occupying the different regions of the land.
Joseph “bowed himself with his face to the earth” (Gen 48.12). The supreme ruler of Egypt was prostrating himself before a blind and dying nomad. Although it had never been written, “Honour thy father and thy mother” was etched on this man’s consciousness just as surely as “Thou shalt not commit adultery” had been when he was a young man (ch.39.9). Thus, Joseph respected his father to the end; this must be the case in Christian families or they are worse than unbelievers (1 Tim 5.3-8).
In blessing Joseph and his sons, Jacob testified to the faithfulness of God, “the God which fed me all my life long unto this day” (Gen 48.15). He had provided for him even in years of relentless famine, but to do so, He had planned ahead, and “He sent a man before them, even Joseph” (Ps 105.17). God deprived Jacob of his son in middle life to ensure his preservation in later life. The ways of God are “past finding out” (Rom 11.33)!

Saturday, 24 February, 2024

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