Epistles to the Cyberchurch - Su Min

To: 9 readers
From: Su Min (Lim Su Min)
Subject: Gen 48

Dearly Beloved,

Grace (God's favour) and peace which is perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts, be multiplied to you in the full personal, precise and correct knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord (2 Peter 1:2 AMP).

Today we look at Genesis 48 and see how Jacob begins to wind up his affairs, rallying his strength to sit up in bed (Gen 48:2) to greet his son Joseph and his two grand sons Manasseh and Ephraim.

Jacob relates how God had appeared to him at Luz to bless him, and promise him a great nation and a great land (Gen 48:3-4, Gen 28:19)

Jacob declares his intent to elevate the status his two grandsons as his own sons (Gen 48:5). Grandpa Jacob is getting on in years and can barely see. He embraces his two grandsons, and thanks God for the occasion (Gen 48:10-11).

Joseph respectfully bows to his father, (Gen 48:12) and Jacob proceeds to bless his son and his grandsons.

Jacob crosses his arms as he reaches out to bless his grandsons, in the process of doing so, gives Ephraim, the younger, greater prominence over Manasseh the firstborn son of Joseph (Gen 48:14)

In calling upon the Lord God Almighty to bless the boys, Jacob uses a threefold address (Gen 48:15-16)

  1. The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked
  2. The God who has been my Shepherd
  3. The Angel who has delivered me from harm

The biblical basis for belief in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit the three in one is difficult to delineate. This triplicate addressing by Jacob is a good glimpse, I believe, of our Triune God.

Joseph was displeased to see Ephraim being elevated above his first son Manasseh, perhaps thinking that blind Jacob can not see properly, and tries to make correction (Gen 48:17-18).

But Jacob knows what he is doing, and reiterates that the younger will be the greater (Gen 48:19).

Jacob continues by blessing Joseph, declaring that God will be with Joseph and God will bring Joseph back to Canaan (Gen 48:21).

The younger will be the greater. The first will be the last. Who ever exalts himself will be humbles. The Bible is full of these paradoxes that are seemingly self contradictory: I like collecting them: here are some of my favourites:

Why all the interest in paradoxes?

Jesus says "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matt 11:29)"

Let us close in prayer.

Love Dad

For any comments or enquiries please write to Dr. Lim Su Min

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