Prepare yourself to discern what is and what is not of God today. Still yourself so you can hear how God is calling you.
Genesis 48:15-22 (NRSV)
He blessed Joseph, and said,
“The God before whom my ancestors Abraham and Isaac walked,
the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day,
the angel who has redeemed me from all harm, bless the boys;
and in them let my name be perpetuated, and the name of my ancestors Abraham and Isaac;
and let them grow into a multitude on the earth.”
When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him; so he took his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. Joseph said to his father, “Not so, 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 invoke blessings, saying,
‘God make you like Ephraim and like Manasseh.’”
So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh. Then Israel said to Joseph, “I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you again to the land of your ancestors. I now give to you one portion more than to your brothers, the portion that I took from the hand of the Amorites with my sword and with my bow.”
In ancient times, as a father neared death, it was customary for him verbally to bless his oldest son in a solemn ceremony, placing his right hand upon the son’s head. Remember that Jacob tricked his blind father into blessing him. Jacob stole his brother’s blessing.
As tricky as Jacob was as a young man, he appears to have become an affectionate, wise old man. Jacob’s eyes were dim with age when his son Joseph brought his two sons to receive a familial blessing from their grandfather. Jacob, hugging his grandsons and reaching out to bless them, was led by the Spirit of God to cross his hands, thus blessing the younger son with his right hand.
I think we all want to be blessed. Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States of America. Prayers of thanks for many blessings will be offered today. God will likely hear from far more people than usual. As we ask God to bless our food, may we strive to be a blessing to others.
God of blessings, may we all hear your voice speaking in our hearts. We could never deserve your blessings and we are so thankful for the multitude of them you bestow on us. Helps us not to take our blessings for granted. Amen.
Go with God.