"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." - Jerome

Monday, November 24, 2008

Jacob and the gospel

Knowing the history of Jacob, who became Israel, this episode hit me when I read it again recently. Jacob, the younger son of Isaac, the less deserving one coming to the time of his blessing is the first to get it of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham played favorites with the firstborn, wanting Ishmael before Isaac. But the younger came before the older. Yet, when Isaac came to give blessing, the undeserving prefered to give to whom he saw as more deserving, so again the the older was favored in the more capable Esau over the younger Jacob. Now, Jacob comes to Joseph's sons, one younger and one older:

Gen 48:13-19 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."
The unfairness of grace given to others makes me displeased too: “Not this way, father!” Jacob answers with such an amazing phrase: “I know, my son, I know.” Yes he did, finally. Wow. What a strange story the gospel is, to bless the undeserving because we have been blessed as undeserving people…most days I don’t believe it. Not this way.

1 comment:

M. Jay Bennett said...

Excellent post Jared! What a glorious and incomprehensible thing the Gospel is!