Summary: Joseph gave birth to Ephraim and Manasseh and both had a significant meaning in his life. God is faithful to bring into our lives exactly what we need at just the right time.
THE TALE OF TWO SONS
Troubles and Background:
Joseph dreamed of being used mightily of God.
o A dreamer can see in color what everyone else sees in black and white.
o Someone with a dream can see what others say can’t be done.
o A dreamer can envision from afar what others cannot see up close.
Joseph was favored by his father and hated by his brothers.
o Thrown into a pit by his brothers that was narrower at the mouth than at the bottom. It was impossible for him to get out on his own.
o He was then sold into slavery by his brothers to the Ishmaelites. The Ishmaelites represent the flesh. The non-dreamers love to put fleshly restrictions on the dreamers.
o He was sold into Egyptian slavery. If the enemy can enslave a dreamer, perhaps he can prevent the dream from coming true.
Joseph found himself elevated into leadership again and again.
o Faced countless accusations and attempts by the enemy to steal his dream.
o From the journey between dream and reality, the circumstances may often look impossible.
o Neither the pit nor the prison was the palace where Joseph was headed. But, without the pit and prison, Joseph would never have been prepared for the palace.
When God brings us through our life to the place He is ultimately taking us, He also has a way of reminding us of where we have come from and also bringing fruitfulness and restoration out of our circumstances.
Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” The second son he named Ephraim and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”
1. MANASSEH (GOD HAS MADE ME FORGET MY TROUBLE)
--Joseph had been through a lot of trouble and problems. He had found himself in positions and places he never anticipated or imagined himself being in.
--So many of us have been through so much in our pasts. We can’t even begin to imagine how we ever made it through some of the things we made it through.
**Manasseh was a reminder to Joseph that God had erased his past and given him a fresh start!!! Joseph wasn’t in the pit or the prison any longer. God had brought him into the palace.
--In Christ, we are given a Manasseh, a reminder that God has erased our past and given us a brand new start. Our past is forgiven and forgotten.
--The enemy will always come to us and try to trap us by bringing back the past, trying to get you back in the pit. The enemy knows that when you are in the pit you can’t get into the palace.
--When the enemy attacks with our past, we must remind him that we have been delivered, set free, redeemed, and that we no longer reside in the pit.
--We have a future with the Lord. We can’t pursue our future while living in the past.
--Your past will be either a springboard or an anchor.
--Every experience of our life is in preparation for God’s purpose for us.
2. EPHRAIM (GOD HAS MADE ME FRUITFUL IN THE LAND OF MY SUFFERING)
*Ephraim = “double fruit”
**Ephraim could never have been born without Manasseh being born first; you can’t be fruitful if your past has you trapped.
**If God can save me, He can keep me, if He can keep me, He can bless me.
--As Joseph was in pursuit of his dream/promise, he encountered much affliction and suffering that tried to get him off course---but, God was faithful to always cause him to be fruitful in the midst of it all.
**WHAT THE ENEMY INTENDS FOR EVIL; GOD WILL TURN FOR GOOD!!
**WE WILL NEVER FACE ANYTHING THAT IS BIGGER THAN CHRIST IN US.
--Joseph was squeezed by circumstances, and fruitfulness and life came out.
**THE BLESSING OF ISRAEL (Genesis 48)
When Israel blessed the two sons of Joseph, he blessed Ephraim as the firstborn when Manasseh was truly the firstborn. Ephraim would be blessed above Manasseh.
**God wants our fruitfulness to far surpass our troubles and trials.
In majesty he is like a firstborn bull; his horns are the horns of a wild ox. With them he will gore the nations, even those at the ends of the earth. Such are the ten thousands of Ephraim; such are the thousands of Manasseh.
*God desires His people to live blessed and fruitful lives. Even in the midst of great trials and tests, He still longs to bless us and cause us to prosper.