Then Pharaoh gave Joseph a new Egyptian name, Zaphenath-paneah. He also gave him a wife, whose name was Asenath. During this time, before the first of the famine years, two sons were born to Joseph and his wife, Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On. Joseph named his older son Manasseh, for he said, “God has made me forget all my troubles and everyone in my father’s family.” Joseph named his second son Ephraim, for he said, “God has made me fruitful in this land of my grief.” (Genesis 41:45-46, 50-52)
I still remember the moment I first read today’s passage of scripture. It was on a Saturday morning and I was going through a difficult time. When I read the names of Joseph’s two sons and realized what they meant, I knew that God was still with me and that in His time He would help me.
The Bible says that Joseph named his older son Manasseh which means: ‘God has made me forget all my troubles and everyone in my father’s family.’ God helped Joseph heal from his angry feelings about his family. Though Joseph never forgot his family, he forgot the pain they had caused him. He named his second son Ephraim which means: ‘God has made me fruitful in this land of my grief.’ God not only helped Joseph to forgive, He also helped him to be fruitful in spite of his affliction.
Regardless of what we’re going through, the Lord wants to heal us. God told the children of Israel, “I am the LORD that healeth thee.” Exodus 15:26 God is a healer, not only of our bodies, but of our souls and spirits.
Yet we must allow the Lord to heal us. God does not heal us against our will. Let me explain.
When Jesus healed the lame man at the pool of Bethesda, He asked the man an amazing question – “Wilt thou be made whole?” (see John 5:6) In other words, “Do you want to get well?” Why would Jesus ask such a silly question? Surely this man wanted healing. Yet perhaps he didn’t. There are some people who have a hard time letting God heal them. For some strange reason, they want to hold on to things that hurt them. They want to hold on to a painful memories or angry feelings instead of letting the Lord help them forgive, forget, and become fruitful once again.
Every time Joseph called the names of his two sons, he was reminded of God’s goodness. What about you? Have you had a Manasseh experience? Have you allowed the Lord to help you forgive those who have hurt you? Have you had an Ephraim experience? Have you allowed the Lord to make you fruitful once again in the land of your affliction?
Join me again tomorrow as we continue to study this important subject.