“And now your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.” (Genesis 48:5)
Like so much of this story involving Joseph and the reconciliation that occurred between him and his family, this adoption screams of prophetic implications. As we have stated in a previous devotional, the fact that Jacob was promised a “multitude of people” would come from him is said to hint that Jacob would have other “children” besides his twelve sons. A validation of this notion is presented to us when Jacob adopted Joseph’s sons — who were half Egyptian — as his own.
Though all who were born to Joseph afterwards would be considered his own, Ephraim and Manasseh were to be considered as sons of Jacob,. Just as sure as Reuben and Simeon were the sons of Jacob, so too, were Jospeh’s oldest offspring. In so doing, Jacob made Ephraim and Manasseh equal to any of his other sons in terms of tribal status and inheritance. Actually, being the sons of Joseph and being adopted by Israel, gave the favored son of Jacob a double portion in the land, as well as the firstborn status.
Thus we learn that those who are adopted into the family aren’t second class citizens but are equal in terms of benefit and inheritance. Paul went so far as to say that those who are in Messiah are regarded as the “seed of Abraham and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29). And because we have been adopted into the family Paul said:
“Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Messiah. (Galatians 4:6-7)
Let us be thankful that He saw fit to bring us to Him and adopt us as His own. Thus we are reminded that we didn’t choose Him; He chose us. I am so glad that He did.
Blessings and Shalom,