INTERESTING FACTS : There have been more than 25,000 archaeological findings relating to people, places, and events in the Bible, and not one of them has contradicted anything in the Bible.
DAILY READING : [GENESIS 48 - 50]
TEXT : GEN 48:17 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. GEN 48:18 AND JOSEPH SAID UNTO HIS FATHER, NOT SO, MY FATHER: FOR THIS IS THE FIRSTBORN; PUT THY RIGHT HAND UPON HIS HEAD. GEN 48:19 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.
THEME : INSPIRATION
Mentioned in these chapters, is the death of both Jacob and Joseph. It is notable that neither of them would let their bodies [bones] remain in Egypt. Both desired burial with their ancestors - Abraham and Isaac - and so they were. We read how Joseph took Jacob from Egypt in a great company of Jacob's own children and grandchildren, as well as a large Egyptian entourage. Joseph on the other hand, states that God will deliver the children of Israel from Egypt in the future. However, when God would deliver them, Joseph gave instructions to remove his bones from Egypt and place them in the land of his ancestors. Many people have an attachment to the land of their birth. Since God took Adam from the dust and made him a living soul, most of us have had an affinity with the land where we were born, and the land of our ancestors. God seems to have ingrained this in Man. Still, no nation has more of a love for their land then Israel. Described by God in detail concerning its boundaries, borders, breadth, width, length, etc. Israel always yearned for the land God gave them. To this day, the nations around her fight over it. One day, the nations of the world will converge on her in the final battle of history - Armageddon [the Valley of Megiddo]. This battle will take place within Israel's borders. Then, the Desire of all nations [Jesus Christ] shall rule and reign!
Bible prophecy is one of the significant proofs that God wrote the Bible. The Bible is about twenty-five percent predictive in nature, most of which has already happened. In this we find the Bible is unique in that its credibility stands on - "Thus saith the Lord," and many statements like it. The Bible dares to say - "This is how you will know God wrote this Book. Whatever it says about the future will occur." No other religious book in the world has the same credentials. Most religious books stand on the "goodness" of the author or founder of the religion. The Bible claims God as its author, and since only God knows the future, the Bible states in advance what will happen in the future. Happy is the man or woman who has the Bible as their foundation for living!
As Jacob is dying, Joseph comes in and weeps on his neck. Strategically placed, Manasseh is on Joseph's right [since he is the firstborn] and Ephraim his younger brother is one the left. Joseph expected that Jacob would bless them accordingly. Yet, he did not. The Bible states that Jacob moved his hands purposely one over the other - crisscrossed, and blessed the younger above the elder. This displeased Joseph. However, what we see here is the Holy Spirit guiding Jacob to predict the future of the two boys according to the Word of God. Ephraim would be the more notable and stronger of the two nations. Being blind, or almost blind, Jacob could not have done this unless God had directed him so. In addition, the blessings and curses put on the various tribes of Israel were likewise not merely the word of a man, but the Word of God. For in time, all Jacob spoke came to pass.
TRUTH FOR TODAY : HOLY MEN OF GOD SPOKE AS THEY WERE MOVED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT!
Similarly, Joseph when he is dying tells of Israel's deliverance from Egypt. Joseph makes this statement before the Jews are slaves, and four hundred years before Moses would lead the nation of Israel back to the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Only God can prophesy. This is why the Bible states - "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." [2 Peter 1:20 - 21] Addressing this verse in 2 Peter on the subject of the Bible's inspiration, Adam Clarke wrote -
"Considering this as a first principle, that no prophecy of the Scripture, whether that referred to above, or any other, is of any private interpretation - proceeds from the prophet's own knowledge or invention, or was the offspring of calculation or conjecture. The word επιλυσις signifies also impetus, impulse; and probably this is the best sense here; not by the mere private impulse of his own mind.[2
What Clarke is saying, is that no writer of the Holy Scriptures said, or wrote anything by his own intellect, imagination, thoughts, or wishes. More than that, every man that wrote for God in the sixty-six Books of the Bible did so as God "moved him" [which means to be driven or carried by the Holy Spirit]. Therefore, the Bible is not a Book written by Man, but by God. This is how Jacob could make the statements he made about each son of his and the two sons of Joseph. He was carried by God, and was uttering God's mind on the future.
It is important to notice how the Book of Genesis ends. That is, we should observe the last verse of chapter fifty. "So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt." [Genesis 50:26] When we start reading the Book of "Beginnings" [Genesis], we see man living in close relation to God. The environment is pristine. Adam and Eve have all they need. More than that, they have the perfect Father as well. There is nothing in their environment, circumstances, or upbringing that made them "go wrong." Everything was perfect in the literal sense of the word. Still, they were warned by God not to eat of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the Garden otherwise they would die. [Genesis 3:3]. Satan deceived them, and told Eve it was not true. Satan insists God was trying to keep them from being like God and becoming as wise as God. If you eat of it, Satan states, you will not die. Of course, this is a direct contradiction to God's Word. Yet, in the end we see Joseph in a coffin. What a bleak picture and stark reality! More than that, this is what becomes of those who do not take God at His Word! They abandon their own blessings who believe deceitful fallacies! "They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy." [Jonah 2:8]
However, Jesus came to seek and save the lost. That is, He came to give us eternal life. This is the life lost in the Book of Beginnings. It is regained by the birth of the Messiah whose life, as we have seen, God preserved from the beginning through Israel. Surely, no one who believes on Him shall be ashamed or disappointed! "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." [John 10:10 - 11]