Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Genesis 48:17-20 -- On Challenge and Change

"And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Manasseh’s head.
And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head.
And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.
And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh."
Genesis 48:17-20

God doesn't work the way that the world works.  Which is good, but it can be frustrating and confusing at times.  Things that we might expect to be true because "that's the way it is" in our society, aren't necessarily true when compared to God's decisions.  Sometimes we're going to understand why, and sometimes we aren't... but whether or not we know the reason, God surely has one.

Where we sometimes get lost is in giving up and thinking that there is no reason, or that things are just don't make sense, when in fact they always do.  We just might not have the patience to find out what it is, or we're looking for an answer that we can't understand until we take some prerequisites. :)  The answers are often found in the scriptures, but sometimes we don't have the basics down enough to learn the higher level stuff yet.

In these verses, Joseph thinks that things are out of order, and he tries to correct them.  In fact though, things were exactly as God intended them to be.  And maybe that is something that we need to consider in our own lives sometimes.  Maybe what is happening is *exactly* the way that God intends.  It isn't always, and I'm not saying at all that God is just playing with our lives.  I'm just saying, sometimes things happen that seem completely crazy and wrong and we hate them, and then later we realize that those things opened the way to things that made us better people and helped us make choices that changed us for the good.

Today, let's step back and reevaluate the challenges in our lives.  Instead of looking at them as objects of pure evil, as we often tend to do, maybe it is time to consider the growth opportunities that are now in front of us that were not before.  Let's work on doing something positive with whatever we have been given, and changing for the better. :)

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