A Father’s God-honoring Legacy

For dads that care, some feel leaving behind a lot of money after their death is what really counts. For others, the emphasis might be upon “good memories” or anything else that they might deem as good. But in a most ancient text of the Holy Bible we find an example that all should emulate.
A Father’s God-honoring Legacy
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2015 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

Whether it is money or “good times,” things come and go and whatever is left behind for one’s posterity, if it is of this material realm or has been committed to basic memory, it might not reach much further than the first generation. However, there is an inheritance one can leave for others that is far better than anything this world can offer. What Joseph, the son of Jacob, did as recorded in Genesis 41:51-52 with verse 46 shows us a most excellent way to be a blessing while we are still present on earth and leave behind a legacy

that reaches into eternity.

Much of the life of Joseph is recorded from Genesis 37 to 45 and further. For those not familiar with the account of his life in earlier years which is the background for this message, here is a brief list of significant events that will bring us to our text of choice in Genesis 41:

  • Joseph was a favorite son of Jacob.
  • Joseph has a dream that indicates his brothers would one day bow down to him.
  • Joseph has another dream that indicates his parents and his brothers will one day bow down to him.
  • Joseph gives his dad a bad report about his brothers.
  • When sent by his dad to his brothers, his brothers sell him to a caravan heading toward Egypt.
  • Joseph works for Potiphar, but then is falsely accused of attempted rape by Potiphar’s wife.
  • Joseph is placed in prison. 
  • After some time he interprets dreams of two prisoners. He implores the one who would be spared from death, the chief butler, to speak to Pharaoh on his behalf. The interpretation soon comes to pass, the butler is restored to his position but forgets about Joseph.
  • After two full years, Pharaoh has two very weird dreams. It is at this point the chief butler remembers Joseph and recommends to Pharaoh that Joseph interpret those dreams.
  • Joseph is summoned before Pharaoh and gives the interpretation of the dreams: There would be seven years of plenty in Egypt followed by seven years of famine. He gives Pharaoh recommendations.
  • Pharaoh elevates Joseph to be a ruler of Egypt, just below him.

Let us now look at the paragraph where our text occurs (Revised Webster*):
“And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47  And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls. 48  And he gathered all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was surrounding every city, he laid up in the same. 49  And Joseph gathered grain as the sand of the sea, very much, until he finished numbering; for it was without number. 50  And to Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bore to him. 51  And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: ‘For God,’ said he, ‘has made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house.’ 52  And the name of the second called he Ephraim: ‘For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.’ 53  And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended. 54  And the seven years of famine began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the famine was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55  And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, ‘Go to Joseph; what he says to you, do.’ 56  And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold to the Egyptians; and the famine became severe in the land of Egypt. 57  And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph to buy grain; because the famine was severe in all lands.”

This is apparently how this passage appears in the ancient texts, as one paragraph. Some Bibles and versions on some computer programs show a new paragraph starting at verse 51, but this is not the case. We will touch upon that later. We will now concentrate on verses 51 to 52, with verse 46, from which we will see the following.

I. Blessed With Forgetfulness  

51-“And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: ‘For God,’ said he, ‘has made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house.’ ”

Sometimes horrendous events partly lead a person to Christ, and there are many times they occur after being regenerated in Christ. But what I and many others have found is that God will cause us to forget many details about the events, and sometimes events in their entirety, as we walk in Him through Christ.

Joseph mentions two things that God caused him to forget: his toil and his father’s house. Here I see a direct connection to when one truly becomes born again through Christ.

Some toil and labor to please God and even find salvation in Him. However, the Holy Bible is very clear that we are not saved by our works but we are saved when we truly trust in the finished work of Christ. Regarding toil, Christ said (Matthew 11:30), “... my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

“All my father’s house” speaks to the Holy Bible directive that we must truly put God first in our lives. Jesus

said in Luke 14:26, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”

II. Blessed With Fruitfulness  

52-“And the name of the second called he Ephraim: ‘For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.’”
“Ephraim” is a real interesting word in the Hebrew. It means {1}, "double ash-heap: I shall be doubly fruitful." The name implies a drastic change from destitution to fruition, and we are to carefully note Joseph says God did it for his life. God helped Joseph to go from a double ash-heap to doubly fruitful.

Ash heaps can speak to the fact that all works will be put to God’s fire. What remains will be eternal fruit. Our works will be burnt up, but the works of Christ through us will remain.

All true Christians develop spiritual fruit. It is written in John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches: He that dwells in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing." Christ continues in verse 8 by saying, “Herein is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my disciples.”

III. Blessing With Faithfulness

46- “And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.”

It could be said that Joseph, in part, was blessed because he was a blessing. Here in Genesis we have an account of a man that was tremendously faithful to God. He was faithful despite adversity or prosperity. Think of the over two years he spent in prison. He could have became bitter towards God, but he did not. And, when sudden prosperity comes along he remains faithful to God. His faithfulness was solid.

Also note that he gave God the glory and honor, “God caused me to forget..., God caused me to prosper...”. He purposely gave his children God-honoring names so they learn of God’s work and remember, and so future generations would learn and remember, including everyone who reads the account or has it told to them.

Indeed, his life was a rich spiritual legacy. This is what we foundationally need to leave for our descendants and everyone else. We can do this through Christ Who has bridged the gap caused by sin between God and man. Once we surrender to Christ it behooves us to remain in Him, cherishing His Word. We should determine some sort of God-honoring spiritual legacy is left for those after us.

“We will not hide them from their children, showing to the generation to come the praises of YHVH, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. 5  For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: 6  That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: 7  That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:”--Ps 78:4-7.


{1} From an electronic version of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong incorporated in the Online Bible program, and so throughout the article whenever the ancient language is referred to and no other authority is cited.

This article was in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by August 18, 2015 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M368 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the 1769 Authorized Version with spelling of some words updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. An * next to the abbreviation for another translation or version indicates the same for the text presented.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.

Image, partly derived from a public domain image by Charles Foster in the author’s personal collection, owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2015 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Last updated on 20-07-2016 217 1

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  • nbillett  28-12-2016
    When God wants to entrust a great mission to someone, he sets that person apart from his or her usual environment for a time.
    reply 0
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