Hebrews 11:21, “By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.”
Jacob, a man with 12 sons. Tons of blessings to go around for the family of Jacob, turned Israel. His sons were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Joseph, and Benjamin. This verse concerns the 2 sons of Joseph: Ephraim and Manasseh. Each child was about to receive a blessing from their grandfather, Jacob.
Joseph was Jacob’s favorite; there is no doubt about that. Joseph did, after all, get a coat of many colors from his father. Joseph was blessed for following God, despite all the bad things that happened to him. Joseph was almost killed by his brothers, sold into slavery, sent to Egypt, worked for a man whose wife accused him of falsehoods, sent to prison, and then out in charge, saving Egypt and the surrounding areas from a bad famine. The time came that Joseph and his brothers and father all came together to live in the same place. Now it came time that Jacob was about to die because he was old and his eyesight was going. Before his death, it was time to pronounce his blessings to his children. Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh were included in this blessing.
Now Ephraim was the firstborn of Joseph which would mean that he should receive a larger blessing. However, just like Jacob received the larger blessing from Isaac instead of Esau, Manasseh received the larger blessing instead of his brother Ephraim. Manasseh was the chosen one by God to receive the larger portion, just like Jacob was the chosen one by God to receive the larger portion. This parallel would have been quite ironic if not for the plan of God. God knew what he was doing, showing the almost blind Jacob whom he was to bless with more.
Ephraim was to serve his younger brother, just as Esau was to serve his younger brother Jacob. This was about God showing that just because a child is born first does not make them God’s choice. God’s choice is God’s choice; that is all.
God has a plan for each person that has existed and will exist in the world. Blessings will come to those deserving of them. We should never think that just because we think we deserve something, we should get it. All that we have is God’s. If you have a problem or question about that, look at it this way. When you die, where do your possessions go? They do not stay with you. They keep going to the next person and the next person. Eventually they go away and are no one’s. God gives and God can take away.
Let us be thankful for all that we receive just as those of Jacob’s family should have been thankful. God is the giver of life and to Him should be all the honor and glory and power and dominion forever and ever Amen.
You are a great God. You bless us with far more than we deserve, yet we do not thank You enough. You gave us the greatest gift of all, Jesus. He is Your only Son, yet You sacrificed Him for all the sins of the world. Our punishment should be death. Our punishment should be separation from You. Yet, You are a merciful God. You show us time and time again that You are larger than all. You are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. The Great I AM. Jehovah in the Highest. Thank You with all our minds, bodies and souls.
In Your name we pray,