For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. Romans 11:29, KJV
for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable, Romans 11:29, NIV
Ephraim was the younger of two sons born to Joseph and his Egyptian wife Asenath. Jacob blessed these two sons, but reserved the greater blessing for Ephraim. This took place in about 1,500 BC.
Much later, after the nation of Israel divided into two parts, the tribe of Ephraim was in the rebellious Northern Kingdom. Samaria, capital of the ten northern tribes, was located in Ephraim's territory.
The reason for mentioning the history of this tribe is to show how one who received such a blessing from Jacob could become the center of such a sinful tribe and nation. From the time of the rebellion, the name Ephraim became synonymous with all ten northern tribes.
So what about Jacob's blessing? Did the sin of Ephraim nullify it? Did Ephraim's idolatry cause them to lose God's favor?
I remember when I first read Romans 11:29. A thrill went through me. I realized that sin cannot separate us from God's promises. Once He has blessed us, we will always be blessed.
Ephraim will fulfill their name, "fruitful". Scriptures tell us that the original twelve tribes will reunite, and Ephraim will fulfill his promises.And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth. Zechariah 9:10
Do you know anyone who fears that they have departed from the will of God and lost their blessings? The story of Ephraim shows that this cannot be. Paul then further explains the beautiful doctrine that once called, always called. Our worst sins cannot separate us from God's plan for us.