There’s a story in the book of Genesis about Rebecca the wife of Isaac who had twins named Jacob and Esau. When Rebecca was pregnant, the LORD said to her: “Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body; one people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger.” Notice that the Lord said that the older brother shall serve the younger brother, even though according to the Jewish law, the younger was supposed to serve the older. Why did the Lord reverse this and choose Jacob over Esau? This is because Jacob (Israel) was called and anointed before he was born.
By law, the firstborn son was supposed to receive the birthright which is both position and inheritance. He was supposed to inherit the leadership of the family and the judicial authority of his father. Deuteronomy 21:17 states that he was also entitled to a double portion of the paternal inheritance. Jacob came out of Rebecca’s womb grasping Esau’s heel. This signified Jacob’s pursuit of the birthright and the blessing of the firstborn. Since Esau was the oldest, he received the birthright according to the Hebraic law, but watch how the Lord turned it around.
One day when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field famished. He asked Jacob to give him some stew. Jacob said; I will give you stew if you sell me your birthright. Esau replied; I am about to die anyway, so what is the birthright to me? Then he swore to Jacob and gave him his birthright. In exchange, Jacob gave him stew, lentils, and bread. The bible says that Esau despised his birthright. From that moment on, the birthright and all its benefits were officially transferred to Jacob.
Jacob was a fighter. He knew what was rightfully his. He wrestled with Esau in the womb and later on wrestled with an angel who appeared as a man (who is believed to be Jesus). He said to Jacob: “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob (“supplanter”), but Israel (“God prevails”); for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed’. Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: ‘For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved” (Genesis 32:30) Jacob was no longer the person that he used to be. He had a higher calling.
We see another “reverse blessing” when Jacob was 147 yrs old and about to die. His son Joseph went to him with his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim. Jacob spoke a blessing over Joseph and said, your two sons will be mine and your offspring after this shall be yours. Notice in Genesis chapter 48 he is referred to as Jacob and then he is referred to as Israel in the same sentence. I believe that when the Lord called him Jacob, He was speaking of his earthly authority, and when He called him Israel, He is referring to his spiritual authority
Then Israel (Jacob) did something unusual. As he went to bless Manasseh and Ephraim, he crossed his hands and put his right hand on Ephraim’s head, and his left hand on Manasseh’s head. He was giving the blessing to the younger son which should have gone to the elder son. Joseph was displeased that his father’s right hand was not on the head of his firstborn, so he switched his father’s hands. But Israel refused saying, “but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he.” In this verse, we see the birthright blessing transferred just as it was from Jacob to Esau.
Jesus is about to reverse some things in our favor. We are about to see people get promoted to their rightful positions. There will be new people put in office, positions of authority, and ministries. Some will be raised up, some will be transferred and some will be removed. He is about to remove His hand from the imposters and place it on His chosen. He is about to release His Covenant blessing to those who He has ordained. It is the Lord’s unmerited favor that has been promised to us.
In the same way that the Lord guided Israel’s hands, He is reversing His hands to intentionally bless us. Those who He has called will receive the honor and strength to accomplish all that He’s called them to do. His right hand of righteousness is upon many, and His blessings will not go to Manasseh, but they will go to Ephraim (fruitful). They will produce fruit after their kind. Get ready for the reverse blessing as many will be restored to their rightful position.
And the LORD said to her: “Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, And the older shall serve the younger.”
Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob.
Genesis 48: 17-20
Now when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him; so he took hold of his father’s hand to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. And Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father, for this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.” But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.” So he blessed them that day, saying, “By you Israel will bless, saying, ‘May God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh!’ ” And thus he set Ephraim before Manasseh.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on A Word in Season