Scripture: Genesis 48-50. Click here to view full scripture.
Observation: What was going on in the Bible at this time?
The time came for Jacob to pass away (147 years old). Jacob met his grandsons, Manasseh and Ephraim, Joseph’s two sons. Jacob gave Ephraim, the younger of the boys, the greater blessing. Joseph objected, but Jacob refused to listen because God had told him that Ephraim would become greater. Jacob stayed close to God throughout his life and spoke of God as his shepherd. Jacob blessed each of his sons and then made a prediction about each one’s future. In earlier chapters, Reuben had lost his special honor because he had slept with one of his father’s concubines. Jacob granted Judah a great blessing, even though he had sold Joseph into slavery. God had chosen Judah to be the ancestor of Israel’s line of kings, possibly because of his change of character. These verses in Genesis celebrate the times God rescued Joseph during his many times of trouble and when his enemies attacked him.
Jacob passed away, and Joseph mourned for months. Joseph and his brothers buried their father as he wished, back in Canaan along with Abraham and Isaac. Joseph’s brothers were worried that he would hold a grudge against them now that their father had passed away. Joseph forgave them and reassured them that he would take care of them and their families. Joseph was 110 years old and ready to pass on. He knew that God would keep his promise and one day bring the Israelites back to their homeland.
Application: How can we apply this to our lives?
God often works in mysterious ways. God can use each one of us to carry out His plans, even if we don’t think we have all of the qualifications. God’s plan with Jacob allowed him to not only see Joseph again, but also his grandchildren. We belong to a loving God, and He knows what is best for us all. You never know what good God is going to bring out of a seemingly hopeless situation. In Jacob’s old and mature age, he could see his dependence on God. We, too, can develop an attitude like Jacob, completely resting in the peace that we can trust God’s provision and care for us. All good things come from God. Our past also effects our present and our future. We must be careful, asking for God’s guidance, as our actions have already begun to shape our future. Always remember to thank God for who you are and what you have; that way, your trust does not get misplaced. We should always trust God to rescue us in the middle of our battles. Trusting that God will rescue us shows great faith. In life, we lose loved ones who are close to us. We should be there for one another, allowing ourselves and others to cry and share feelings. The grieving process is normal and takes a long time. Joseph forgave his brothers. Just as Joseph forgave, we should graciously forgive others in our lives, as well. Remember that God forgives us even when we don’t deserve it. Always trust God.
Prayer: What can we pray for in regards to these passages?
Heavenly Father, we know that You work in wonderful ways. Please use us to carry out Your plans in life, for we know that we can trust in Your provision and care for us. Please lead us and guide us in life. Help our actions to be loving and to bring glory to You, for we know that our past can shape our futures. Help us to be there for one another in rough times, especially in times of grieving a loved one. Help us also to forgive others just as willingly as You have forgiven us. We love You and thank You. – in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.