Genesis 48, Luke 1:39-80, Job 14, 1 Corinthians 2

DateVersionReading Plan
@February 15, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Genesis 48

Genesis 48:14 (ESV) 14 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).

Jacob blessed the younger of Joseph’s sons, Ephraim, rather than the firstborn. This is similar to how he was blessed himself over Esau many years earlier, however this blessing stemmed from an intimate knowledge of God’s plan rather than trickery and ignorance. This is among many instances in which the younger is blessed over the older: Abel over Cain (Gen. 4:1-7), Moses over Aaron (Exod. 7:7), David over his seven brothers (1 Sam. 16:1-13), Solomon over his older brothers (1 Chr. 22:6-10) to list a few. Additionally, four of these men were direct ancestors of Jesus: Abel, Jacob, David and Solomon.

Luke 1:39-80

Luke 1:39–40-42 (ESV) 39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!

Mary went with haste to visit Elizabeth while she was pregnant. The reason why she was hurried is not exactly known, but some commentators speculate that it could have been due to the stigma of her pregnancy outside of marriage. Elizabeth’s joyous reaction to Mary’s arrival, Elizabeth’s baby leaping in her womb and the blessing of Mary that the Lord fulfilled what He promised seems to have uplifted Mary since the next thing we read is her response in song to praise the Lord (the Magnificat in Luke 1:46-55).

Job 14

Job 14:5–6 (ESV) 5  Since his days are determined, and the number of his months is with you, and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass, 6  look away from him and leave him alone, that he may enjoy, like a hired hand, his day.

Job acknowledges that man’s days are determined by the Lord and yearns for Him to look away so that he may enjoy them. For the faithful, times of distress may drive us to the same desire, wanting separation from God, thinking that this will resolve to peace. But this is not to be, for neither can a true child of God be separated from Him nor any lasting peace be found without Him. Instead, the trials of life are to be endured, trusting that these are a work of His grace, helping us to realize our utter dependence on Him.

1 Corinthians 2

1 Corinthians 2:10 (ESV) 10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.

The things of God can only be discerned by the work of the Spirit. He alone is capable of revealing the truths and nature of God. His Spirit meeting with ours is what enables and sustains our faith. The Spirit searches the depths of God and those who have received Him are guided by Him “that we might understand the things freely given us by God.” (1 Cor. 2:12)

Carson on Luke 1:39-80

Catholics have added titles such as “Mother of God” and “Queen of Heaven” to Mary, neither of which is found in the Bible. The view that Mary was immaculately conceived (and was therefore born sinless), and that she, like Enoch, was transported to heaven bodily, thereby escaping death, are equally unsupported. The latter became a dogma for Roman Catholics as recently as 1950. According to news reports, the current Pope is weighing whether he should establish, as something that must be confessed, another title conservative Catholics apply to Mary, viz. “Co-Redemptrix.”

While I have known of the veneration of Mary within the Catholic Church, some of these details are entirely new. I had no idea that she is thought to have escaped death and was instead transported bodily to heaven. This is also the first time hearing the title, “Co-Redemtrix”, given to Mary, although I have heard title of “Mediatrix” (that she is capable of divine mediation). It is enlightening to learn of these, but also deeply heartbreaking that so many believe them.