Read Genesis 48
Focus on verse 18-19
In the animated feature movie “KungFu Panda” there is a scene where the wise old Kung-fu master responds to the suggestion that an event was an accident with the statement, “there are no accidents!” Suggesting that everything that happens – happens for a purpose.
In today’s reading we again see the blessing of the promise skip the eldest son and rest on the younger brother. Jacob was not unfamiliar with this idea – he was the younger brother himself. Joseph brings his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim to the aging Jacob to receive his blessing. Joseph positions the boys in front of their grandfather so that the eldest is at Jacob’s right hand and the younger son at his left.
And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them near him. And Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, crossing his hands (for Manasseh was the firstborn). (v. 13-14)
When Jacob crosses his hands Joseph assumes this is an oversight on the part of his father and tries to correct him, but Jacob insists that this is no mistake, no accident, but that it is as it should be.
This concept of… providence, fate, or destiny… the idea that nothing happens by accident, but by some grand scheme of a master designer is a common theme in many of the world’s belief systems. While I would not say that I believe in “fate” I do believe that I have a destiny, and that my destiny is ultimately in the hands of God. I would further clarify that I also believe He brings it about without in any way limiting my ability to make choices in regard to my actions and attitudes, though I admit I do not know exactly how that is possible.