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Week 10 Day 1 Genesis 48 Luke 1:39-80

14 April, 2015

Genesis 48

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. [I am adopting them, and now] as Reuben and Simeon, [they] shall be mine.

But other sons who may be born after them shall be your own; and they shall be called after the names of these [two] brothers and reckoned as belonging to them [when they come] into their inheritance. Jacob (Israel) passes on his family inheritance to Joseph’s sons who were born to him while he was in exile.  This would link the family together rather than treating Joseph’s children as Egyptian.

13 Then Joseph took both [boys], Ephraim with his right hand toward Israel’s left, and Manasseh with his left hand toward Israel’s right, and brought them close to him.

14 And Israel reached out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh’s head, [a]crossing his hands intentionally, for Manasseh was the firstborn. This hand swapping must be significant to be mentioned – the honour for the eldest was given by the left – in the New Testament though the disciples wanted to know who would sit at the Lord’s “right” hand.

17 When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on Ephraim’s head, it displeased him; and he held up his father’s hand to move it to Manasseh’s head.

18 And Joseph said, Not so, my father, for this is the firstborn; put your right hand upon his head.

19 But his father refused and said, I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people and shall be great; but his younger brother shall be [c]greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations. And here it’s explained.

Luke 1:39-80

40 And she went to the house of Zachariah and, entering it, saluted Elizabeth.

41 And it occurred that when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit. It’s quite a special moment when a baby kicks inside you and for many movements it’s insignificant and ordinary.  These massive leaps though are worth remembering and stand out amongst the normal behaviour.

The Magnificat

46 And Mary said, My soul magnifies and extols the Lord,

47 And my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,

48 For He has looked upon the low station and humiliation of His handmaiden. For behold, from now on all generations [of all ages] will call me blessed and declare me happy and [b]to be envied!

49 For He Who is almighty has done great things for me—and holy is His name [to be venerated in His purity, majesty and glory]!

50 And His mercy (His compassion and kindness toward the miserable and afflicted) is on those who fear Him with godly reverence, from generation to generation and age to age.

51 He has shown strength and [c]made might with His arm; He has scattered the proud and haughty in and by the imagination and purpose and designs of their hearts.

52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of low degree.

53 He has filled and satisfied the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty-handed [without a gift].

54 He has laid hold on His servant Israel [to help him, to espouse his cause], in remembrance of His mercy,

55 Even as He promised to our forefathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever. Being brought up as a catholic I was very aware of this prayer, exaltation and expression of pure joy and blessing.  Mary – a 16 year old virgin who was newly pregnant – not just by some error but specifically told what will happen – and here we get a glimpse into how she really felt about being chosen and willing to do this.

56 And Mary remained with her [Elizabeth] for about three months and [then] returned to her [own] home. Mary was in her early pregnancy while she stayed with Elizabeth and it doesn’t say here that Mary remained until Elizabeth had her baby.

60 But his mother answered, Not so! But he shall be called John.

61 And they said to her, None of your relatives is called by that name.

62 And they inquired with signs to his father [as to] what he wanted to have him called.

63 Then Zachariah asked for a writing tablet and wrote, His name is John. And they were all astonished.

64 And at once his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he began to speak, blessing and praising and thanking God. So going against the family tradition Elizabeth (and God) chose the name “John” and Zachariah, who had to live in silence (dumbstruck) for the duration of the pregnancy, finally comes alongside the prophecy and is able to speak.

68 Blessed (praised and extolled and thanked) be the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has come and brought deliverance and redemption to His people!

69 And He has raised up a Horn of salvation [a mighty and valiant Helper, the Author of salvation] for us in the house of David His servant—

70 This is as He promised by the mouth of His holy prophets from the most ancient times [in the memory of man]—

71 That we should have deliverance and be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who detest and pursue us with hatred;

72 To make true and show the mercy and compassion and kindness [promised] to our forefathers and to remember and carry out His holy covenant [to bless, which is [e]all the more sacred because it is made by God Himself],

73 That covenant He sealed by oath to our forefather Abraham:

74 To grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our foes, might serve Him fearlessly

75 In holiness (divine consecration) and righteousness [in accordance with the everlasting principles of right] within His presence all the days of our lives.

76 And you, little one, shall be called a prophet of the Most High; for you shall go on before the face of the Lord to make ready His ways,

77 To bring and give the knowledge of salvation to His people in the forgiveness and remission of their sins.

78 Because of and through the heart of tender mercy and loving-kindness of our God, a Light from on high will dawn upon us and visit [us]

79 To shine upon and give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to direct and guide our feet in a straight line into the way of peace. Again we see when people are “controlled by the Holy Spirit” how passionate, expansive and also specific in it’s grandness, He is.  Would we as parents be quite so inclusive and generous in our blessings towards our own children?  We would do well to appreciate how gracious and wonderful it is to be called children of God.

80 And the little boy grew and became strong in spirit; and he was in the deserts (wilderness) until the day of his appearing to Israel [the commencement of his public ministry]. And here we glimpse how separate John and his upbringing was – how simple his life was, how uncomplicated his life was.  He wasn’t around people but immersed in time with God (or he was completely mad)

Selah

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