As we move into this new year,
May God make you as Ephraim and Manasseh.
Like the grandsons Jacob adopted as his own,
Making them heirs of the Promised Land.
Like Manasseh, named such by Joseph because it means
“Forgotten troubles.” Yesterday’s over, today’s blessing is here!
Like Ephraim, named such by his dad because it means
“Twice Fruitful”—doubly productive—twice as fruitful by God’s grace as
You could ever be by your own efforts.
Like Ephraim and Manasseh because Jacob,
In a scandalous gesture,
Crossed his arms
And put his right hand, the symbol of higher blessing,
On the younger son and left the
Firstborn bereft of the blessing he deserved.
As Jesus hung on the cross,
God has crossed His arms in the heavenlies,
Removing His right hand from the deserving
Firstborn of all Creation
And extending the blessing warranted only by Jesus
To all the Ephraims – the second borns, to you and me.
In Christ, you’ve become favored forever—
In Christ, you’re like Ephraim and Manasseh.
* * *
Today’s blessing is inspired by:
Genesis 48:20 (ESV) — 20 So he blessed them that day, saying, “By you Israel will pronounce blessings, saying, ‘God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh.’” Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh.
For 3700 years, Jewish fathers have blessed their children every Sabbath, saying, “God make you as Ephraim and Manasseh” and no one seems to know why. But, in Christ, it all makes glorious sense! The Ephraim and Manasseh blessing is the lens through which I describe the all-important principle and practice blessing in my new book, The Power to Bless (Baker Books, Feb 2, 2021). Available for pre-order at Amazon now! All pre-orders will receive a FREE audio copy of the book!