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Free Daily Bible notes by Rev Stephen Thompson

Month

December 2018

Daily Bible thoughts 1818: Wednesday 5th December 2018: Genesis 48:1-7: Praying in faith.

Genesis 48:1-7: Praying in faith.

“Some time later Joseph was told, ‘Your father is ill.’ So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him. When Jacob was told, ‘Your son Joseph has come to you,’ Israel rallied his strength and sat up on the bed.Jacob said to Joseph, ‘God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed me and said to me, “I am going to make you fruitful and increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.”‘Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. Any children born to you after them will be yours; in the territory they inherit they will be reckoned under the names of their brothers. As I was returning from Paddan,[b] to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan while we were still on the way, a little distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath’ (that is, Bethlehem).NIV

When it came to blessing Joseph’s two sons, Jacob appealed to what God had already said to him (4).

‘God had promised him two things, a numerous issue, and Canaan for an inheritance (Gen. 48:4); and Joseph’s sons, pursuant hereunto, should each of them multiply into a tribe, and each of them have a distinct lot in Canaan, equal with Jacob’s own sons. See how he blessed them by faith in that which God had said to him, Heb. 11:21. Note, In all our prayers, both for ourselves and for our children, we ought to have a particular eye to, and remembrance of, God’s promises to us.’ Matthew Henry.

These boys were now not to see themselves as heirs to worldly power and wealth in Egypt, but as members of the despised, but divinely chosen people of God (cf. Hebrews 11: 25,26).

 

Daily Bible thoughts 1817: Tuesday 4th December 2018: Genesis 48:1-7: Blessed to bless.

Genesis 48:1-7: Blessed to bless.

Some time later Joseph was told, ‘Your father is ill.’ So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him. When Jacob was told, ‘Your son Joseph has come to you,’ Israel rallied his strength and sat up on the bed.Jacob said to Joseph, ‘God Almighty[a] appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed me and said to me, “I am going to make you fruitful and increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.”‘Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. Any children born to you after them will be yours; in the territory they inherit they will be reckoned under the names of their brothers. As I was returning from Paddan,[b] to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan while we were still on the way, a little distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath’ (that is, Bethlehem).NIV

 

‘’When Jacob was told, ‘’Your son Joseph has come to you,’’ Israel rallied his strength and sat up on his bed’’ (2).

Most weeks, on a Monday morning, I pray about the meetings I’m going to have during the week, asking God to both bless me and make me a blessing. I want my pastoral visits to have a strengthening effect on people, as in the case of Joseph here, with Jacob. I ask for that kind of positive impact. Some pastoral encounters are far from easy, and will stretch you out of your ‘comfort zone’, but you want to be a ‘channel’ of blessing.

However, even when sick people get well, they must eventually die. We are all mortal. Jacob ‘’rallied’’, and was able to say and do some important things at the last. But he was soon to die (49:33)  Christianity is not an inoculation against sickness and dying; nor is it a vaccination against loss (7).

‘The removal of dear relations from us is an affliction the remembrance of which cannot but abide with us a great while. Strong affections in the enjoyment cause long afflictions in the loss.’ Matthew Henry.

That is a true observation. Jacob felt the loss of his beloved Rachel deeply.  However, in all of life’s ‘ups and downs’, we can affirm that God is working for our good in all things, and that nothing can separate us from His love (see Romans 8:28, 38 & 39).

 

Daily Bible thoughts 1816: Monday 3rd December 2018: Genesis 48:1-4: Respect for the elderly.

Genesis 48:1-4: Respect for the elderly.

“Some time later Joseph was told, ‘Your father is ill.’ So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him. When Jacob was told, ‘Your son Joseph has come to you,’ Israel rallied his strength and sat up on the bed.Jacob said to Joseph, ‘God Almighty[a] appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed me and said to me, “I am going to make you fruitful and increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.” NIV

Christian parents desire blessing on their children and not just on themselves. Joseph brought his boys to his father to be blessed. Ephraim and Manasseh also got to hear something about their grandfather’s experience with God.

I am impressed by this quote from Matthew Henry:

‘Joseph took his two sons with him, that they might receive their dying grandfather’s blessing, and that what they might see in him, and hear from him, might make an abiding impression on them. Note…It is good to acquaint young people that are coming into the world with the aged servants of God that are going out of it, whose dying testimony to the goodness of God, and the pleasantness of wisdom’s ways, may be a great encouragement to the rising generation. Manasseh and Ephraim (I dare say) would never forget what passed at this time.’

I feel blessed that I have grown up in churches where the young and old mixed freely. As younger people we loved the older ‘saints’ and were eager to hear their stories of faith. We were only too willing to ‘sit at their feet’. As I write this, memories come streaming back of dear old friends who loved me, and I loved them. Many of them were not in the ‘spotlight’, but they were illuminated with the light of Christ. There influence is incalculable.

PRAYER: Father God, I want to say ‘thank you’ for the older believers whose examples inspire, and who have encouraged me along the way. As I grow older, may I be a blessing to the rising generation.

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