Monday, July 28, 2008

Genesis 48 - The soft X

In chapter 48 of Genesis, one of the biggest lessons is that God makes decisions in ways we don't. This is reflected by the blessing Israel gives Joseph's youngest son. He should have placed his hand on Manasseh's head instead of placing it on Ephraim's head. But he didn't. He formed an X with his arms, doing the exact opposite of what Joseph and society expected.

That lesson is powerful and I think lots of people have written lots of great things explaining it. But that wasn't what stopped me in this chapter. What I took away was Israel's response when Joseph tried to fix the situation and make sure the right child got the first blessing. This is what Israel said in verse 19:

"I know, my son, I know."

I think that is so tender. I think that is such a soft thing to say to someone confused at what is happening. And I think it is what God must think when I try to uncross His hands in certain situations.

When I try to rush my book getting published or force a friendship or do a million different things my way and He has something else planned, He doesn't yell at me. He doesn't shake His head in disappointment. Not at all. He knows what I want. He knows what I think is important. He understands my deepest desire. Though like Israel, He refuses to do things my way, He doesn't act surprised at what I think should happen.

He says, "I know, my son, I know."

Sometimes that is all I get to hear. Sometimes those are the only words He unfolds in the midst of his soft X that is unmovable.

My prayer is that I'll learn to let that be enough. That I will trust that His way is better than my way, even when or perhaps especially when, it is different than my own.

13 comments:

Sylvia Basham said...

I always read the chapter before I read your blog and, try as I might, I can never guess what insight you will reveal, even when I try to determine the "edge verse/s" Maybe someday you'll share with us the questions you ask yourself and Scripture as you read...but then maybe not, because then we might figure it/you out....or not. Thank you for your faithfulness in posting!

Cathy said...

Thanks...I needed this.

jaygee said...

Thanks God for His soft reminder. Thanks God for speaking through you in such a wonderful way of unfolding the Words.

I guess many of us want to be used by God in the same way He is using you....we pray for wisdom and ability to unearth secrets behind the Words of God....but God's has His hands crossed in front of us, leading us the other way...

When we say "God, I want to have the ability to speak your words"...He merely says.."I know my son, I know"...

eastern ky pastor said...

I think this is even greater, when one considers that Joseph is probably trying to break the generational cycle of favoritism toward the younger son. Joseph is right in trying to end the generational problems, except God decides to do the unexpected. I'm glad I can't fit God into a box - and that He's patient with me as I learn about His ways.

Georgia said...

You know, I don't believe God is ever disappointed in us. My FancyPants Dictionary defines disappoint as: to fail to meet the expectation or hope of. That would imply we could possibly do something that God didn't expect. I just don't think that's possible. I take comfort in knowing there isn't anything I can do that will take God by surprise and render him disappointed in me.

Campman62 said...

Jon said, "He says, "I know, my son, I know."

~Dads often struggle w/ finding the best reply to the confusion in their sons & daughters lives...

[I got to 'play God' w/ my 7 yr old today]
He lost his religion over a newly rented Wii game after trying to play it w/ out reading the directions.

He literally bawled his eyes out about not having the ability to figure it out by himself.

After sending him to his room for a 'cool-down', he burried his face in my chest and said, "Dad, I'm sorry. I need 'your help', please."

~And I said, "I know, my son, I know."

campman62.wordpress.com

inthelight-campman62.blogspot.com

Erin said...

Thank you for that reminder. Just what I needed to read. Good night, and looking forward to reading the book...one day and in His time.

Elizabeth said...

I always that it was interesting that Joseph, a younger son set above all his older brothers, the son of a younger son who received a blessing that wasn't intended for him, protested when his younger son received a blessing outside of the status quo.

Kim said...

"I know, my son, I know."

This blessed me immensely!

Shannon said...

I love this! So important to remember when my expectations and God's plan are different. Thank you for your insight.

Anonymous said...

I have a quest bible and it explains further that In fact, God sometimes overrules the evil intentions of humans to accomplish his own purposes. The Soverign Lord will work out everything for his own ends.
:)

Dog snob said...

Hum, yeah, I can't think of a lot of times off hand that I've tried to uncross what he wants for what I want. It never works, and I have to be patient and just wait it all out. What strikes me most in reading through a passage like this is how formal and proper things were, I can't imagine things like that now and so often, like in reading through this passage, I'm surprised at how much the details of who was were and what hand was were was important. I'm not much of a details person though, but obviously, God was.

macaylajoadams said...

This post is the reason why my prayer life in the last few years has become so wonderfully simple. Because I know that Abba already knows what my thoughts are, I cover them briefly and always spend the majority of my prayers asking, "Lord, please, make Your will my will. I want to want what You want, and only that. May Your will be done, not mine, unless they coincide. I don't need my will. I just need Yours."

Has life gotten easier? No, but I do handle not getting my way better than I used to. I still suck at it, but not quite as much.

I'm going to put a big old X in my Bible at chapter 48 so I can remember this post. Thank you, Jon.