Staff Picks of the Week:
Memorial Day 2013
Memorial Day 2013 Preaching Bundle »
Greater Love Video Illustration » Everlasting God Worship Music Video »
Sabbath Sabbath Preaching Bundle »
1 Outta 7 Video Illustration » Before The Throne… Worship Music Video »
"But his father refused and said, ’I know, my son, I know. He also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.’
"So he blessed them that day, saying, ’By you Israel will bless, saying, May God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh!’ And thus he set Ephraim before Manasseh" (Gen. 48:13-20)
Old grandfather Jacob is responsible for the order of the names. Instead of the expected Manasseh and Ephraim it was to be Ephraim and Manasseh. Ephraim and those who descended from him were to be blessed and in turn they would be a blessing to many nations. He conferred to both of Joseph’s sons a legacy of faith by joining them inextricably to two of the greatest names in Jewish history—Abraham and Isaac. Most importantly of all, they became partaker of God’s covenant relationship with all the sons of Jacob. And this is no small matter. For it is this covenant relationship that spells out the terms for all expectation and hope of victory in the Promised Land. It is this covenant relationship that should have been, in their present circumstances, the greatest reason for hope and expectation of victory when confronted by chariots of iron.
Joshua spoke to . . . Ephraim and Manasseh. I can’t help but believe this is, in fact, what Joshua was trying to get these leaders to see. "You have a rich heritage," I hear Joshua say. "God destined your family for greatness, He marked your family out to be winners, not losers! You are children of Abraham, and Isaac; children of Joseph. You are children of greatness." Centuries later, Jesus would say it this way: "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more" (Lk. 12:48).
Because they are children of a covenant relationship with Jehovah, he would remind them of how Abraham’s faith triumphed over chariots of iron-type problems that make their present dilemma pale by comparison. He would tell them that the only thing Abraham had to guide him against his chariots of iron was God’s promises . . . "I will give you this land . . . I will give you a son, an heir . . . you will be the father of many nations." Impossible in the natural! This is one of the characteristics of chariots of iron-type problems. This is why the are chariots of iron. God has made them tough—on purpose!
Let’s pretend to be a fly on the tent flap that day. Joshua fixes his eyes on these assembled elders. His mind is awash with history. Surveying the face of each one he slowly, rhythmically, with is voice deep but steady with emotion, begins. "Our father Abraham believed God’s promise again and again," he says, "as did Isaac and Jacob. I challenge you to believe like father Abraham believed. Remember, God said to Abraham, ’I will give you this land.’ He said to Moses, ’I will give you this land’ he said to me, and all Israel, ’I will give you this land.’ He said to you—Ephraim and Manasseh—’I will give you this land.’ But you must go in and possess it!" By now Joshua is pacing, punctuating each word by driving his pointed finger into the air. Then he pauses, surveys his audience as if trying to get a read on their response. They stir uncomfortably as his fixed gaze seems to pierce through them. He stands motionless. Staring at them,
- All Sermons on Endurance
- Text Illustrations on Endurance
- Video Illustrations on Endurance
- PowerPoint Template on Endurance
- Scripture on Endurance
Join the discussion