Ephraim and Manasseh are Joseph’s two sons. They’ve taught me 3 very important lessons. (Below is a picture of the land allotted to them.)
1. God is not interested in bloodlines
Ephraim and Manasseh had a lot going for them, but they had one negative, their mother was an Egyptian. Joseph was of the special bloodline and highly respected, they were well cared for, educated, wealthy, but their mom was not of the chosen people. Nothing could change that. Joseph was about as unequally yoked as someone can get! Still, Joseph’s lineage received a double blessing. God didn’t care about the Egyptian mom and neither did Jacob. We see in the Bible that God frequently bypasses traditions, bloodlines, and politics in order to accomplish whatever He wants to accomplish. Special group? Chosen few? Favored people? Doesn’t exist. Does God love America? The question is irrelevant. God wishes for everyone to come to Him in repentance. Those that do, receive eternal life. Those that don’t, don’t. God is not a respecter of persons, traditions, or cultures. God is the God of all.
2. God is generous
Ephraim and Manasseh did nothing wrong, yet they didn’t do anything right either. They were just there. They did nothing to deserve becoming great nations. In the same way, we do nothing that makes us deserving of anything eternally good. The only thing we can do is accept what God has done for us. Ephraim and Manasseh could have done nothing for Jacob to bless them the way he had. Jacob chose to bless them just because he wanted to, he was generous. This wasn’t fair for the other children. This brings me to my next point.
3. God is not fair
Things happen in life. Things that have nothing to do with us. Some things are good, some are terrible, some we cause, many we don’t. Life isn’t fair and neither is God. There’s a difference though, we don’t want God to be fair. Fairness means that we get what we deserve. Fairness means that we get justice for others and justice for ourselves. Fairness is religion. That’s bad news! All of us have sinned and none of us can stand before God as deserving of heaven. Fairness means that we go directly to hell with no possibility of parole! Fairness is religion. Grace is relationship. Through Jesus Christ, we can have a relationship with the God that created us. Relationship is how we can approach God. God is gracious to provide us with this avenue of salvation. I’m appreciative of this avenue and I’m in awe that God started revealing grace thousands of years ago!