Today’s Reading - Genesis 47-48
12 Then Joseph removed them from Israel’s knees and bowed down with his face to the ground. 13 And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel’s left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them close to him. 14 But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn. 15 Then he blessed Joseph and said, (prayer of blessing follows) . . . - Genesis 48:12-15a
As we conclude our reading of Genesis, I want to pull a thought from the text above and one from tomorrow’s reading. Remember Jacob is where he is today because of deception or crossing of hands. God continued forward with His plan of redemption in spite of the situation. Joseph ends up being sold into slavery and that eventually saves the people of Israel, it saves the redemption plan. We are in the story at a critical point and Jacob lives into his past and blesses the younger son with his right hand. I realize that doesn’t seem like a big deal but it was huge in fulfilling the law. The right hand on the head of the firstborn was the law. The sin of deception found deep roots in the soul of Jacob and it manifests itself literally in his dying days. Fast forward to the last conversation recorded between Joseph and his brothers just after Jacob dies. Joseph’s brothers stood before him in great fear expecting the worse. It was totally the opposite and a very powerful truth emerges. Often what we intend to harm people with, God flips the narrative and uses it for good, in fact, saving lives. In this case, both physically and spiritually. Of the many truths we learn from the story of Genesis, I leave you with these two. We are human and we will sin but don’t let it become deeply rooted so that it surfaces again and again and again. Confess, repent, and be forgiven. Seek God for protection that sin doesn’t take root. Finally, live on both sides of God’s goodness. Simply don’t be punitive and try to harm people and if people appear to be trying to harm you, declare God will use it for good. Two truths of great value. On Monday we will continue the story in Exodus.
Heavenly Father, guard us from giving sin fertile soil in our soul to take deep roots and grow and affect us in the future. Help us to seem beyond what people are doing and see what you are doing. Let us faithfully be kingdom minded, participating in the story of redeeming God’s people. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.