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Monday, October 24, 2016

Daily Devotion for November 9, 2012

'Jacob Blessing the Children of Joseph' Rembrandt
Jacob Blessing the Children of Joseph by Rembrandt van Rijn, c. 1656



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lessons and scripture

Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.


Please watch this. It is difficult at first but I promise, by the end, it will fill you with hope and inspiration.

Prayer for the Day

Holy God, you have given me another day. Bring your Holy Spirit into my mind and my life, so that I may walk this day in your presence. Let me feel your presence throughout the day, remembering always that you sent your Spirit that you might be a living force in all I see and all I do. When I feel temptation or begin to stray, show me your path. Correct me, comfort me, let me live your will; that I may be happy in this life and blessed in the life to come. This I pray in the name of Christ, my Lord.


A Prayer of St. Basil the Great

I  bless you, O God most high and Lord of mercies, who forever works great and mysterious deeds for me, glorious, wonderful, and numberless; who provides me with sleep as a rest from my infirmities and as a repose for my body tired by labor. I thank you that you have not destroyed me in my transgressions, but in your love toward mankind you have raised me up, as I lay in despair, that I may glorify your majesty.

I entreat your infinite goodness, enlighten the eyes of my understanding and raise up my mind from the heavy sleep of indolence; open my mouth and fill it with your praise, that I may unceasingly sing and confess you, who is God glorified in all and by all, the eternal Father, the only-begotten Son, and the all-holy and good and life-giving Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages.



God of mercy, swift to help: as my lips pour forth your praise, fill my heart with the peace you give to those who wait for your salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord.


(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.

Isaac blessing Jacob by Gioacchino Assereto, 1640
Isaac Blessing Jacob by Gioacchino Assereto, 1640

Proverbs 17:2

A wise servant will rule over a son who causes shame,
And will share an inheritance among the brothers

Blue Latin Cross

Genesis 48:13-22 (ESV)

Jacob Blesses Ephraim and Manasseh [2]

And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near him. And Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, crossing his hands (for Manasseh was the firstborn). And he blessed Joseph and said,

“The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,
the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day,
the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys;
and in them let my name be carried on, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac;
and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.”

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. And Joseph said to his father, “Not this way, my father; since this one is the firstborn, put your right hand on his head.” 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.” So he blessed them that day, saying,

“By you Israel will pronounce blessings, saying,
‘God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh.’”

Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh. Then Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you again to the land of your fathers. Moreover, I have given to you rather than to your brothers one mountain slope that I took from the hand of the Amorites with my sword and with my bow.”

Notes on the Scripture

If you remember the story of Jacob, and how he came to be the third great patriarch of the Hebrews, his behavior will not seem too unusual. He himself was the younger of two sons, but engaged in outright fraud to deceive his father, Isaac, and get the blessing intended for his elder brother, Esau. So Jacob held little stock in the birthright of the eldest son.

The practice of passing a title, crown, or position of leadership to the eldest son is common in aristocratic societies, but not universal. The Russian czars, for instance, would choose their successor. This would seem to make some sense, as the eldest son is sometimes weak or incapable of leading. Even where it is the rule, it is often bent. The most familiar case to us would probably be the abdication of the profligate British monarch Edward VIII — the Duke of Windsor — after less than a year, so that his younger brother (Queen Elizabeth II's father) might wear the crown.

So Jacob, having rejected primogeniture for his own benefit, now seems to reject it in general principle. Not only does he give preference to Joseph's younger son, but he will not leave the eldest of his own children, Reuben, as the leader of the tribe. The brothers will succeed according to their ability, not their age; Joseph and Judah have already become the great leaders among the twelve brothers.

endless knot

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Memory Verse

1 Corinthians 10:13: No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

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