Reading: Genesis 48:1-16
Jacob gives Manasseh and Ephraim (Joseph’s sons) God’s covenant blessings. Joseph is the second most powerful person in Egypt; his wife is daughter of an Egyptian priest; his sons are Egyptian princes; their Egyptian education is excellent. From a human viewpoint Joseph’s two sons have a very secure future and do not need anything else. However, when Joseph hears his aged father Jacob is sick he takes his sons to Jacob for his blessing. Why? Joseph knows that Egyptian splendour and security are spiritually useless. He believes that only with the God of the covenant and the church can his sons and their descendants be secure. God works this faith in Joseph. By the blessing of Jacob God includes the two sons and their descendants with the tribes of Israel. To say it in a different way: God, in grace, separates the two sons from Egypt and its culture and joins them to the church.
When the grace of Jesus Christ is offered to us (just as it was offered to Joseph), let its wealth fill our thoughts and desires. Let it extinguish our desire for everything splendid and costly in the world. We know from many examples, and our own experience, how easily we are tempted and torn away from the Lord, and separated from the pursuit of the heavenly life. Whenever Satan tries tangle us with the temptations of the world, that he may draw us away from heaven, let us remember why we are called to faith by Jesus Christ. Let us carefully consider the immeasurable treasure of eternal life. Then the riches of this world, which our sinful desires prefer, will become worthless.
Key text: Gen 48:5 “And now your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.”
Question: When you consider the grace of Jesus Christ that is offered to us, what do you mostly think about?