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Thursday, August 6, 2020

GENESIS – An Expositional Overview of the Beginning of God’s Revelation: Chapter FORTYEIGHT


GENESIS 48 – JACOB’S JOURNEY CLOSE TO ENDING

Contributing commentaries by pastors Sonny Islas, Albert Lopez and James Fire
Chuck Missler Bible Commentary – GENESIS Chapters 46-50

GENESIS 48 – by Albert Lopez; 

Introduction: We are almost at the end of Joseph’s story and the conclusion of Genesis. Two more chapters and we come to the end of the first book of the bible; and one thing that you will notice that never changes: there is always a constant whether we read about Man’s fall in Genesis 3 or God destroying Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19, there is no lack of God’s faithfulness and Sovereignty! 

While Joseph sat in prison, unfairly, for honoring God it is possible, he might have at one point, in a moment of despair or lack of trust said, "Where are you God?"
Or as the disciples told Jesus, "This boat is going to sink and you're sleeping?? Don’t you care if we perish?" 

He shows throughout Genesis that He is the God who cares and lights the path before His people. Even if His people need to go through a famine and imprisonment, we can see the hand of God working on behalf of those who love Him (2 Chronicles 16:9; Romans 8:28). 
For example, when we read about Joseph and his trials, we see these words throughout: "But the Lord was with Joseph and extended his kindness and gave him favor" (Genesis 39:2,21).

We see this favor when he arrived at Potiphar’s house and when he was imprisoned wrongfully and when he was raised up to be over the land of Egypt. God was and is faithful and Jacob, Joseph’s beloved dad understands this as he is lying on his death bed. He is going to die soon but he has to take care of a couple things before he goes to be with the Lord.

GENESIS 48:1-8
Now it came about after these things that Joseph was told, “Behold, your father is sick.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim with him. 2 When it was told to Jacob, “Behold, your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel collected his strength and sat up in the bed. 3 Then Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, 4 and He said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and numerous, and I will make you a company of peoples, and will give this land to your descendants after you for an everlasting possession.’ 5 Now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, as Reuben and Simeon are. 6 But your offspring that have been born after them shall be yours; they shall be called by the names of their brothers in their inheritance. 7 Now as for me, when I came from Paddan, Rachel died, to my sorrow, in the land of Canaan on the journey, when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath; and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).” 8 When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he said, “Who are these?"

In verse 1 we read Joseph takes his two sons and they visit Jacob they are at his bed side. Jacob at this point is weaker and closer to dying:
Manasseh- making to forget (Genesis 41:51; Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.”)

Ephraim- fruitful or fruitfulness (Genesis 41:52;  He named the second Ephraim, “For,” he said, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”)

Remember church, God can make us fruitful even in our affliction if we just look to Him and trust in His purpose for it.

GENESIS 48:2
When Jacob hears your son, Joseph has come to see you. 
Israel makes an effort and sits up on the bed.

It’s like he is saying I’m close, it’s almost my time but I have one more thing I have to take care of.
He sits up on the bed for a couple reasons
1. He probably wanted to make the most of his time left with his beloved son. He wanted to take advantage for lost time as they say: He had been away from Joseph and I’m sure he wants to see the grandkids.
2. To bless Joseph’s kids: Manasseh and Ephraim

GENESS 48:3
And Jacob said to Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me
,

Jacob talks about God Almighty (El Shaddai)
We read how God revealed this to Jacob in Genesis 35:9-12
Then God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him. 10 God said to him,“Your name is Jacob; You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” Thus He called him Israel. 11 God also said to him, “I am God Almighty; Be fruitful and multiply; A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come forth from you. 12 “The land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I will give it to you, and I will give the land to your [p]descendants after you.”

The Lord changed Jacob’s name to Israel. Not only was his name changed but also his character because he was giving a new nature. No longer was he the heel catcher and the deceiver but he was Israel and he was to bring about the Messiah out of the tribe of Judah and in the process, God would preserve and make him fruitful and to multiply.

Jesus calls us to be new in Him in 2 Corinthians 5:17 and to leave the old things and behold the new creature that you are in Christ.

When God said that He would give the land to Jacob’s descendants or seed; ultimately it will belong to Jesus Christ our Lord and King who will rule over it. The land of Canaan was the promised land for Israel; eternity with our Lord and Savior will be ours by simply receiving and trusting in Jesus for your salvation. What a relief to know that our sins are forgiven and that eternal life is assured through Him (Acts 5:31;26:18; Ephesians 1:7)! 

GENESIS 48:4: Jacob recalls and tells how God promised that He would be fruitful and He and his descendants would multiply; Genesis 17:8.

GENESIS 48:5: Jacob tells Joseph that Manasseh and Ephraim are part of the promise. The birthright was forfeited by Reuben and Simeon and given to Manasseh and Ephraim. Ephraim getting the greater blessing.

We can read in 1 Chronicles 5:1 that the birthright was given to Joseph’s sons because Reuben had dishonored his father by sleeping with his father’s concubine; Simeon had troubled Jacob when he tried to avenge Dinah.

The birthright was lost just like Esau lost his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of soup; Genesis 25:30-34.

We should not despise God’s gift of salvation for anything in this world. 
Read Mark 8:35-38
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? 37 For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

GENESIS 48:7
7 And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the way, when yet there was but a little way to come unto Ephrath: and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath; the same is Bethlehem

Rachael died near Bethlehem; Jesus would be born in Bethlehem: Micah 5:2.

GENESIS 48:9-12
Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons, whom God has given me here.” So he said, “Bring them to me, please, that I may bless them.” 10 Now the eyes of Israel were so dim from age that he could not see. Then Joseph brought them close to him, and he kissed them and embraced them. 11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face, and behold, God has let me see your children as well.” 12 Then Joseph [m]took them from his knees, and bowed with his face to the ground
.

Jacob used what he had left of strength to bless his sons, starting with the ones who were newly adopted so to speak.
Jesus on the cross used his remaining strength to forgive and receive a sinner into His kingdom in Luke 23:42-43. Jesus blessed him with salvation and God adopted this wretch on the cross.
He did the same for us that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us to make a way for our adoption with God (Romans 5:8; Ephesians 1:5).
Jacob’s eyes were failing him along with the rest of his body but he recognized in verse 11 that God’s faithfulness was not failing because Jacob was allowed to see Joseph and also his children.

Church, may we always recognize God’s faithfulness but when it appears, if we have lost our sight of it, let us remember what God has carried us through already and how He continues to uphold us (Psalm 37:24; Isaiah 41:10). Even if He hasn’t taken you all the way through it, we are to trust in his timing and sovereignty; like Joseph when he had to endure prison and deliver his people from a famine but as we just read, the Lord was with Him. 

GENESIS 48:13-16
Joseph took them both, Ephraim with his right hand toward Israel’s left, and Manasseh with his left hand toward Israel’s right, and brought them close to him. 14 But Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh’s head, crossing his hands, although Manasseh was the firstborn. 15 He blessed Joseph, and said,
“The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day,16 The angel who has redeemed me from all evil, Bless the lads; And may my name live on in them, And the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac;
And may they grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.”


Joseph places his sons in position where the greater blessing would be upon Manasseh the oldest and whom the birthright would belong to.
Jacob however crosses his hands. Now remember his eyes were failing him but he consciously directed his hands to where God wanted him to.

He puts his right hand of approval on Ephraim the youngest. The pattern continues as they say; this happened with Jacob himself, taking that birthright from Esau.
We at times, if we are not careful, try to remove God’s hand from our lives by directing His hand where we think it should go instead of allowing His will to be done in our lives. 

Jacob then calls on the name of the God of Abraham and Isaac whom God had been Shepherd over.
We read with this Good Shepherd we shall lack nothing; Psalm 23:1 He is also the Shepherd over Israel Psalm 80:1.
This Good Shepherd is Jesus, John10:11 tells us.

In GENESIS 48:16 Jacob asks that Manasseh and Ephraim be identified with God’s people; and not that of Egypt where they were born. He doesn’t want them to be identified with Egypt’s culture or religion.

Jesus has transferred us to His kingdom we read: For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in Colossians 1:13.

Jesus identifies with us as if He was also asking the Father on our behalf may they be counted with your people. 

In John 17:15-16
I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them [d]from [e]the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world
.

We will come to find out later in Exodus how Egypt represents the world and how Moses is called to take God’s people out of the bondage of Egypt and to take them to the promise land. Jesus is our better Moses so to speak and He has set us free from the captivity of sin and will take us to be with Him forever.

GENESIS 48:17-20
When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on Ephraim’s head, it displeased him; and he grasped his father’s hand to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father, for this one is the firstborn. Place your right hand on his head.” 19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know; he also will become a people and he also will be great. However, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his [s]descendants shall become a [t]multitude of nations.” 20 He blessed them that day, saying, “By you Israel will pronounce blessing, saying, ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh!’” Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh
.

Joseph tried to correct his father but in reality, it was God who had decided to give the greater blessing to the youngest who was Ephraim.
They would both be blessed; but Ephraim would be superior and it's worthy of noting that Israel was referred to as Ephraim many times when the kingdom of Israel split during the reign of Solomon's son Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 10). 
We can see examples of this in the bible in Jeremiah 31:20 and Hosea 5:13.

GENESIS 48:21-22
Then Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am about to die, but God will be with you, and bring you back to the land of your fathers. 22 I give you one portion more than your brothers, which I took from the hand of the Amorite with my sword and my bow.”

Jacob promises Joseph that God would be with him: 
Joseph was probably thinking, I know Dad. I have seen how faithful God is

We read throughout chapter 39 of Genesis verses 2, 21 and 23 as examples. The words that stand out in those verses are: The Lord was with Joseph.
Jesus will be with us Church. We read that He will be with us until the end in Matthew 28:20. Church we will be with God forever (Hebrews 13:5).

And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” Revelation.21:3-4

For Jacob, as well as for all of us, this is a reality and we wait patiently and expectantly for this time of rejoicing with our God and Savior. Press on Church, your journey will soon be over!

PHILIPPIANS 3:13-14
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

PHILIPPIANS 4:4-5
4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

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