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Blessings: Like Ephraim and Manasseh

Monday, October 13, 2014

2:13 PM

My sons, May God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh. Ephraim and Manasseh
accomplished something that no one else in the covenantal family had.
Jewish parents bless their children saying: May God make you like Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel,
and Leah to the girls; and May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh to the boys.
God often work unconventionally (not of this world). He does not always act the way we
thought He would. This is shown in the patterns in Genesis where the younger was blessed over
the older. This, ofcourse, is not God's standard; most definitely not today. This simply is God's
will for the 5 consecutive generations of the family God chose to be in the Bible.
"Like so many others, we expect God to work in a certain way, but find that He is often pleased
to work differently and sometimes even unconventionally. But faith recognizes that Gods ways
are not always mans ways. It took Jacob a lifetime of discipline to learn that lesson. But learn it
he did, and then he blessed the younger over the older. For five consecutive generations this
reversal continued: Abraham over Haran, Isaac over Ishmael, Jacob over Esau, Joseph over
Reuben, and now, Ephraim over Manasseh."
"Isaac and Ishmael were brothers, but they werent able to live together. Ishmael was banned
from Abrahams home. Jacob and Esau were twins, and they, too, had their share of sibling
rivalry. At one point, Esau wanted to kill his brother. Next came the twelve sons of Jacob, and as
we know, their relationship with Joseph wasnt perfect either. Their jealousy of Jacobs favorite
led them to sell Joseph into slavery."
"Finally, Ephraim and Manasseh arrive on the scene. Joseph placed the older son, Manasseh,
under Jacobs right hand. The right hand is considered the stronger of the two, both physically
and spiritually. Manasseh, the older brother, was deserving of that privilege. Ephraim, the
younger brother, was placed under Jacobs left hand, the weaker hand. But to Josephs
surprise, Jacob switched his hands by crossing them over and placing his right hand on the
younger brothers head and the left one on the older brother. Was this a mistake?"
"Jacob explained that he had seen in prophecy that great men will come from Ephraim, the
younger brother, and so he needed the greater blessing to help those descendants. Amazingly,
Manasseh doesnt protest. He was not jealous and he was not resentful. Ephraim and
Manasseh were the first brothers who loved each other unconditionally and did not fight." It is
so critical to be able to live in harmony with our brothers and sisters. As it says in the Psalms:
How good and pleasant it is when Gods people live together in unity! (133:1). Few things
make the Lord happier then when there is unity among His children.
Let Ephraim and Manasseh be your example in your daily life. Be happy for the successes of
your friends and support them in their times of difficulty. When we are spiteful or jealous, we
end up hurting ourselves and each other. We are all our best when living in unity together.

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