GOOD MORNING SIBLINGS! I’m so grateful to be in this wonderful family with you!
Today’s readings are 1 Chronicles 7-8
I’ll be expanding on the topic I picked up with y’all yesterday in today’s notes. We’re going deeper, though, so bear with me.
Today in Chronicles, embedded in our reading, we read about the descendants of Manasseh and Ephraim.
You’ll recall that these are the sons of Joseph, born to him in Egypt.
His father, Jacob (who was renamed Israel by YHWH) thought Joseph had been killed and upon finding that he was alive he rejoiced and adopted Joseph’s sons as his own – so that Ephraim and Manasseh became tribes of Israel. Genesis 48:1-6
The original tribes of Israel were:
However, YHWH Adopted away the tribe of Levi to serve Him in his temple, which left eleven tribes (Numbers 1:47-53).
Ephraim and Manasseh were then put in place of their father, Joseph, which put the number of tribes back at twelve (remove Joseph, add Ephraim and Manasseh).
Let’s talk about these principles of adoption.
When Israel adopted Ephraim and Manasseh from Joseph, their status changed. They were to be considered Israel’s own sons from that day forward and given all of the privileges and expectations of such. Israel granted them full inheritance as rightful heirs to his property, and gave them special favor.
The tribe of Levi was no longer to be counted among the Israelites because they were set apart to serve the Father. Their status changed and they were to no longer be considered part of Israel. They were set apart to serve YHWH in His Tabernacle/Temple. The Father gave them special care, saw to their needs, and required more from them than He did the rest of Israel.
Does this sound familiar? Think of the language. Belonging to YHWH, serving Him, set apart from the world.
It sounds a lot like our adoption story, doesn’t it? When we turned to Him, set our hearts to serve Him, and became His.
What does the Father do in return?
Just as with the Levites, He sets us apart, expects more of us, and shines His face upon us, teaching us and ministering to us, showing us partiality as His own children.
But where is the Father’s temple now? The temple/tabernacle was YHWH’s dwelling place on earth. Today, we are told that we, His people, now serve that purpose. Romans 8:9, 1 Cor 6:19-20
Wow! What an amazing adoption story!
But it goes even deeper!
We’ve been reading, from Genesis, about how Israel is YHWH’s set apart chosen people. But what of those of us who are not descendants of the physical tribes of Israel?
Recall all of those verses in Genesis, in Exodus, in Numbers, in Leviticus, in Deuteronomy, all of the scores of people who sojourned with Israel, who believed in the God of Israel, who honored Him (such as Rahab), who joined themselves to Him.
Remember all of the passages about “foreigners among you” who choose to reside and serve the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
YHWH has always, always, always made a way for people to join to him.
Of course, this was not always understood. I mean, just read Acts 10 and see the flack that Peter got for even eating with Gentiles, but YHWH showed Him that Gentiles who joined themselves to YHWH were to be considered every bit as much His chosen people. Spirtually, they were every bit Israel, just as much as a physical descendant of the tribes.
YHWH did not abandon His chosen children (See Jesus Matthew 15:24, Romans 11), but He did enlarge the family – and that is where we come in.
Isaiah 56 goes into detail about this and I strongly encourage you to read and ruminate over that entire chapter.
In it, the Father speaks of the foreigners who join themselves to Him and He promises that He will give them a name better than sons and daughters and that they won’t be cut off from Him. He will make Himself accessible to all of those who earnestly seek Him – and He will adopt them as His own, just as He did the Levites, just as Israel did to Ephraim and Manasseh.
The Father adopted us.
Messiah paid the adoption fees.
Romans 11 goes much deeper explaining the mystery of our adoption and it’s wonderful to read today as well, but I encourage you to pray that the Holy Spirit guides you in understanding if you do.
So today, as we read Chronicles, I am reminded of my own adoption story and that I am no longer bound to the burdens of this world, but blessed with the expectations, teachings, and inheritance of our precious Father. He loves us, He invests in us, and He has chosen us as His representative in the world.
The roots and history and heritage of my family run awfully deep – what a blessing to be able to discover them with my fellow siblings!
The Word is clear but I want to give you the cliff notes and then I want you to go read what the Word says.
- We do not have to become Jewish to be considered as one of YHWH’s chosen people.
- Neither do our Jewish brethren have to cease being Jewish, just as our Messiah remained a Jew His entire time here on earth (we are reading His ancestry in this book, after all).
But Israel is still His chosen people.
And when we are adopted away from the World as one of His own, we are counted among that family.
We may not share a bloodline, but we share the same spiritual DNA.
Now if you’re really lost as to what I’m talking about, go check out Isaiah 56 and Romans 11.
And when people find out you’re reading the “old” testament and following the commandments and they tell you “But that stuff is for Israel”.
Just smile, nod, and respond “Yup, it sure is.”
May we grow ever closer to Him and continue to hunger for His word as we search it together!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!