Near the end of Jacob's life, he became ill. When Joseph heard the news, he brought his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim to Jacob's bedside. The knowledge that his beloved son was by his side strengthened Jacob to the point that he sat up in his bed in order to bless not only Joseph but his children. If you have ever wondered why there is a Tribe of Manasseh and a Tribe of Ephraim but not a Tribe of Joseph, you will find the answer in Genesis 48. The descendents of Joseph were to be given a "double-portion" of the Promised Land.
Joseph presents his sons so that Manassah, the oldest, would be on Jacob's right and Ephraim would be on his left but Jacob crosses his arms, deliberately giving the greater blessing to the younger son. He than says:
May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the Angel who has delivered me from all harm—may he bless these boys. May they be called by my name and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they increase greatly on the earth.
Genesis 48:15-16 (NIV)
The God who has been my shepherd all of my life to this day.
Jacob was a shepherd and looking back over his life, he realizes God has been his shepherd all of his life; loving, caring and protecting him through times of heartache, loneliness and grief as well as during the joyful times of abundance and blessing. Looking back on my own life, I must say the same thing. Through the bad times as well as the good, God has been my shepherd all of my life to this day.
God is the God who has been your shepherd all of your life to this day.
Scripture quotation taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.