Summary: Today we enjoy the CROSS blessing as we don’t have to make daily burnt offerings for our sins and have been given the Holy Spirit to stay permanently till Christ returns. Let us not hesitate to pass on the CROSS blessing to others who still haven’t receiv
Opening illustration: A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer’s showroom, and knowing that his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted. As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study.
His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautiful wrapped gift box. Curious, but somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather bound Bible, with the young man’s name embossed in gold.
Angrily, he raised his voice to his father and said, "With all your money you give me a Bible?" and stormed out of the house, leaving the Bible.
Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized his father was very old and thought perhaps he should go to him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. But before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things.
When he arrived at his father’s house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search through his father’s important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. His father has carefully underlined a verse, Matthew 7: 11, "And if ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father which is in heaven, give to those who ask Him?"
As he read those words, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer’s name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words....PAID IN FULL.
How many times have we missed God’s blessings because they are not packaged as we expected? May God’s blessings touch your life always.
Introduction: The two good men own God in their comforts. Joseph says, they are my sons whom God has given me. Jacob says, God hath showed me thy seed. Comforts are doubly sweet to us when we see them coming from God’s hand. He not only prevents our fears, but exceeds our hopes. Jacob mentions the care the Divine providence had taken of him all his days. A great deal of hardship he had known in his time, but God kept him from the evil of his troubles. Now he was dying, he looked upon himself as redeemed from all sin and sorrow for ever. Christ, the Angel of the covenant, redeems from all evil. Deliverances from misery and dangers, by the Divine power, coming through the ransom of the blood of Christ, in Scripture are often called redemption. In blessing Joseph’s sons, Jacob crossed hands. Joseph was willing to support his first-born, and would have removed his father’s hands. But Jacob acted neither by mistake, nor from a partial affection to one more than the other; but from a spirit of prophecy, and by the Divine counsel. God, in bestowing blessings upon his people, gives more to some than to others, more gifts, graces, and comforts, and more of the good things of this life. He often gives most to those that are least likely. He chooses the weak things of the world; he raises the poor out of the dust. Grace observes not the order of nature, nor does God prefer those whom we think fittest to be preferred, but as it pleases him. How poor are they who have no riches but those of this world! How miserable is a death-bed to those who have no well-grounded hope of good, but dreadful apprehensions of evil, and nothing but evil forever!
What are the Rewards of the CROSS Blessing?
1. Given the ‘First Born’ Rights (vs. 1 – 6)
(a) Fruitful & Multiply: Joseph’s sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, were born in the land of Egypt. As sons of Joseph their future in Egypt may have seemed very bright. Perhaps they might fill the shoes of their father, taking places of power and influence in Pharaoh’s administration. But their greatest hope lay in a land they had not yet seen, for they were destined to be a part of the “company of peoples” (verse 4) that God had promised Jacob. Jacob wants to honor the memory of his beloved wife, whom he loved very much. When Rachel died a part of him died. He recognized that Rachel may have been capable of having more sons so in effect, Ephraim and Manasseh took the place of other sons that Rachel might have been expected to bear if she had continued to live. By this adoption of his two eldest sons, Joseph was placed in the position of the first-born.