Wait, That's My Blessing!

Jon Burgess


“But Joseph was upset when he saw that his father placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head. So Joseph lifted it to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. “No, my father,” he said. “This one is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.” But his father refused. “I know, my son; I know,” he replied. “Manasseh will also become a great people, but his younger brother will become even greater. And his descendants will become a multitude of nations.”” Genesis‬ ‭48:17-19‬


Joseph may have been in charge of Egypt but Israel was in charge of the family and God was in charge of Israel. Some may assume he just did the switch because he had deceived his way into a firstborn blessing when he was young. I believe that the journey God brought him through, the literal wrestling with God, the changing of his name, the years of thinking he had lost his son Joseph had all brought him to a place of bold obedience. The bottom line is that Israel blessed the second born instead of the first born because that's who God wanted to bless! Rules and tradition are secondary to Gods will. He will bless who He wants to bless whether we like it or not. We have to decide if we cul-de-sacs or conduits of God's blessing!


I'll go ahead and admit right now I have always held a bit of a grudge against Jacob/Israel. As a first born I've never been happy with his flagrant disregard for protocol and years of tradition. With Esau and now Manasseh it's as if he's out to steal everything that's rightfully due a firstborn. I'm kidding of course. Kind of. Isn't it true that we really do like to tell God who to bless? Isn't it also true that we feel unjustly treated when God blesses someone else with something we felt we deserved? "Why did they get that new car? I've been praying for one forever! Why did they find a wonderful job an I'm stuck in a lousy one? I pray and journal way more then they do!" It sounds so petty when I write it out, but the truth is I don't get to tell God who to bless, He tells me. Like Joseph I will often try and correct God and switch His hands of blessing. I tend to determine what people deserve based on the very limited scope from which I see them. God determines blessing based on the fact that He can see everything from beginning to end and the inward soul of every person. If I don't allow the Lord to change my thinking on this then not only will I miss out on God's blessings to me, but God's blessing through me! He tells me who to pray for and what to pray. I don't move His hands, He moves mine!


The truth is that I don't deserve any blessing anyway. I may be firstborn in my family but I was also born into sin. I don't deserve the forgiveness You bought for me on the Cross but I gladly receive it! So where do I get off telling You who deserves what? Forgive me jealousy and comparison. If I truly understood the gift of grace then I would be rejoicing someone around me gets blessed way more then they deserve! You are a generous God and I want You to bless others through me! Use my hands and my life. You choose whom you will choose and I want to thank You for choosing me!

Devotions for January 19

Genesis 47,48
Psalms 10
Luke 19

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