Thursday, July 6, 2017

Block 74 Ephraim

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“Pride goes before destruction.” Proverbs 16:18
On his deathbed, Jacob adopted Manasseh and Ephraim, Joseph’s two sons so they might receive shares of Jacob’s inheritance.  In this way, Jacob was able to give a double portion of inheritance to Joseph’s sons, an inheritance typically given to the oldest son.  When he adopted Joseph’s sons, he placed them before his oldest son, Ruben, who had disappointed him very much.  On his deathbed, Joseph positioned his sons, Manasseh (Joseph’s oldest) on Jacob’s right and Ephraim on his left.  But before Jacob delivered his final blessing, he crossed his arms and laid his right hand on Ephraim’s head and his left hand on Manasseh’s head.  Joseph thought his father was confused, so he quickly switch the hands on his sons’ heads.  Jacob removed his hands, crossed his arms again and continued with his blessing. 
Jacob promised that Manasseh would become ancestor to a great nation, but Ephraim would become ancestor to an even greater nation.  As such, Ephraim received the blessing that was reserved for Jacob’s first-born son.  True to his word, Ephraim’s tribe was the strongest tribe of the northern kingdom.  Joshua, one of Ephraim’s descendants, was chosen to lead God’s people into the Promised Land.  Indeed, Ephraim became ancestor to a great nation.  The first temple was built by Ephraim’s tribe, and the tabernacle and Ark of the Covenant stored there.
But the tribe was not without flaws.  They, too, failed to drive the Canaanites out of the Promised Land.  Although they were valiant warriors, the Ephraimites often demonstrated pride and selfishness. Their pride got the best of them when they challenged a southern tribe in civil war and lost 42,000 warriors.  Pride and jealousy can easily get the best of us as well.  We should always remember that excessive pride can lead to destruction.  Luckily, like the tribe Ephraim, God loves us despite our failings.  He will continue to guide us to repentance so that we may be in harmony with Him.

I chose a variation of the Grandmother’s Pride block to represent Ephraim, who was chosen as his grandfather’s favorite.  Ephraim’s tribe demonstrated pride and selfishness.

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