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Devotion: An Unusual Blessing

August 27th, 2018 | Genesis 48:15-22

When the apostle Paul wanted to encourage Timothy in his faith and ministry, he wrote, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (2 Tim. 1:5). He reminded Timothy of his legacy of faith from the blessing of his family.

When Jacob blessed Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, he also reminded them of the legacy of faith in their family. He reminded them that his father and grandfather “walked faithfully” before God (v. 15). “Walked faithfully” is a key phrase. It not only describes the faith of Abraham and Isaac but also the faith of men like Enoch and Noah (see 5:22; 6:9). It also describes the essence of covenant faith that the people of Israel will need in the future (see Deut. 30:16; Micah 6:8). Jacob wants these boys to know that they are a part of a family of faith, people who walk closely with God.

As Jacob blessed Ephraim and Manasseh, Joseph noticed that he had crossed his hands so that the younger son was receiving the blessing of the right hand. Joseph tried to correct what must surely have been a mistake, but Jacob firmly rejected his correction. He intended the younger to be blessed over the older.

This is another example of the theme throughout Genesis, following the pattern of Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, and now Ephraim and Manasseh. God’s blessing does not take worldly standards into account. His blessing is purely an act of His grace and cannot be presumed upon because of birth or position. Jacob also assures Joseph that both sons will be blessed and will have many descendants.


Today, thank God for the legacy of faith He has given you. If your biological family includes people who introduced you to and nurtured you in the faith, praise God for that blessing. If you came to faith through a spiritual father or mother who told you about Jesus, thank God that someone invited you to be part of the family of God.

Today in the Word’s Devotion is a production of Moody Global Ministries

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