Today’s Reading: Genesis 46-48
Today’s Reflection: Genesis 48:17-19
17) When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him, and he took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18) And Joseph said to his father, “Not this way, my father; since this one is the firstborn, put your right hand on his head.” 19) But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great. Nevertheless, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations.”
After finally being reunited with his father after over 20 years, Joseph brings his sons Manasseh and Ephraim to be blessed by their grandfather Jacob. As was the custom, Joseph presented Manasseh, the older, on Jacob’s right hand side and Ephraim, the younger, on the left. The right hand being the hand of strength (for most people) this hand represented the greater blessing and the chief position among siblings. But Jacob crossed his hands, placing his right hand on the younger son and his left on the older (verse 14). Joseph protests, but Jacob assures him this is how it is meant to be.
This is a subject Jacob is very familiar with. He too was the younger brother, but the one God chose to receive his family’s birthright and the greater blessing. Though it went against custom and tradition, God’s will prevailed and Jacob ultimately became the man for whom God’s people were named: Israel (Genesis 32:28).
God has made you many promises, but some of them may cause you doubt because of the circumstances of your life. Maybe God has said you’re going to be successful, even though you’re currently unemployed, or don’t have much education. Maybe God has shown you the house you’re going to buy, even though you don’t have the money for the down payment. Maybe God has said you will get married, even though your dating life is a disaster. The reality is that tradition, culture, opinions, law, even religious rules are no barrier to God carrying out the promises He has made to us, if we remain faithful.
The story of the healing of the woman with the issue of blood (Luke 8:43-48) is a wonderful miracle of Jesus Christ. It’s also an example of someone who broke numerous religious laws to receive what God had for her. Her condition made her ceremonially unclean meaning she couldn’t touch someone without making them unclean (Leviticus 15:19-31) so she shouldn’t have been pressing through a crowd to touch Christ. She was also supposed to wear a garment indicating her condition, a garment she must have taken off or the crowd would have made her leave. But despite these violations of the Mosaic law she was healed, Jesus called her daughter and even praised her for her faith. The healing God had for her was hers, even despite the dictates of Torah which, if enforced, would have kept her from Christ and the blessing He had for her.
Against all odds and obstacles, if you follow God’s leading what He has for you is for you. Guaranteed.