June 24, 2019

Real Adoption

By: Larry Shaffer

I have a happy grandson on his last day of kindergarten!

Real Adoption 

Genesis 48 

Joseph, lesson 36 

Here’s the true picture of our devotional study this morning…I just read Genesis 48 and I really have no idea of the main point of the passage. This is a little embarrassing. This is a like having a bad dream that I’m standing up to preach and I realize I’m only wearing my underwear. 

There are so many smarter Bible teachers than me. I trust you know that. My goal of writing this blog is to share with you my journey of going through the Bible chapter by chapter and NOT giving into the temptation to skip over chapters that aren’t initially motivating, interesting or devotional. 

My process is to follow the pattern of the three R’s. Read, Reflect and wRite. Part of reflecting is praying for enlightenment, reviewing the notes of my study Bible and maybe a few other Bible Study sources. Then I just start writing and prayerfully ask for clarity. Sometimes I write for a while and look back and realize, ‘I got nothing.’ It’s just not good at all. So I’ll scrape it and start again. It sounds frustrating and it kind of is. But I remind myself that the experience of wrestling with the Word is actually the source of my greatest spiritual growth. It is the great adventure of discovering the richness of God’s Word and therefore, the depth and breadth of God Himself. I encourage all of you to do the same. 

Okay, I have been avoiding this chapter, so, let’s get to it: 

Now it came about after these things that Joseph was told, ‘Behold, your father is sick.’ So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim with him. 48.1 

Jacob said to Joseph, God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, and He said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and numerous and I will make you a company of peoples and will give this land to your descendants after you for an everlasting possession. 48.3,4 

Jacob recounts the Covenant promise of God given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. His seed will become a great nation. Jacob’s difficult life gave him many doubts over the years that God’s promise to him of a great nation may have just been a dream and will never be a reality. But Jacob now knows in his heart-of-heart, that it will be true. 

Jacob continues, Now, your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, as Reuben and Simeon are.  

This is a picture of being adopted into the full blessings of God’s Covenant promises. Even though Ephraim and Manasseh were born in a foreign land by a woman of foreign blood, God brings them fully and completely into the Covenant family of Israel. Joseph’s sons become equal patriarchs along Jacob’s own blood sons.  

I once heard the story of a Christian couple who adopted a very troubled young child. This proved to be very, very challenging for the couple. The child did not respond to their care and love and acted out terribly. It became so difficult that after several months, they gave the child back. This was a conditional adoption. Horrible! What a tragic story. 

God’s adoption is not conditional. It is not based upon our background, our troubled life or any of our actions post-adoption. When God redeems and adopts, it is permanent and it comes with ALL the blessings of a blood-line child. 

He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished upon us. Ephesians 1.5,6 

Father, we are Your children through the most amazing adoption process ever. You chose us, You redeemed us, You withheld nothing from us and lavished us with Your love and grace. Thank You that our adoption is sure and complete and forever! We love You because You first loved us. Amen!