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Daily Devotions – Seriously Not in Control

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Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com


Genesis 48:14-20  (NIV)
14 But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn. 15 Then he blessed Joseph and said, “May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, 16 the Angel who has delivered me from all harm —may he bless these boys. May they be called by my name and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they increase greatly on the earth.” 17 When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 Joseph said to him, “No, my father, 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 too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations.” 20 He blessed them that day and said, “In your name will Israel pronounce this blessing: ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’” So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.


The cultural tradition in Joseph’s day was that the oldest son gets the best blessing and inheritance. Jacob intentionally gives that to the youngest. Joseph tries to intervene and correct his father but like in most situations where children try to overrule their parents Joseph is told to “knock it off”. But this odd behavior is normal in God’s day to day activity. Throughout the Bible, and especially when Jesus shows up, God blesses those that we do not expect. Why? Because we are not in control of God’s love for us. It is not conditional or based on some socially constructed standard. God’s uncontrollable love is already yours. So, when it comes to all the ways you seek love and acceptance that seem to be getting nowhere, you can, like Joseph, just “knock it off”.