Thursday, January 12, 2012
Welcome to Day 12 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
In Genesis 29 Jacob meets Laban. Laban is Rebekah’s brother, making him Jacob’s uncle. (29:13 as soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister’s son) Rachel and Leah would then be his cousins. (fyi, This just helps me think things through and keep things straight as I’m reading… Figuring out who’s who and how they are related. More out of curiosity than anything else.)
For the life of me I can’t figure out how Jacob didn’t realize that he was with Leah, not Rachel, on his wedding night. (v 17 says that Rachel “Had a lovely figure.”) After waiting SEVEN years for Rachel… then he was deceived by Laban! Then Jacob also took Rachel as his wife in exchange for an ADDITIONAL SEVEN years! Genesis 29:28, “He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29 Laban gave his servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her attendant. 30 Jacob made love to Rachel also, and his love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah.”
Apparently, since Jacob didn’t love Leah, God allowed her to conceive, but not Rachel! Leah said, “the LORD has seen my misery.” I wonder how many people are in similar circumstances as Leah… in a marriage where they are not loved…
Yet Jacob loved Rachel enough to work FOURTEEN years for her. Yet, the irony… she was unable to conceive… So she pulled a Sarah and gives her servant to Jacob and then says, ““God has vindicated me; he has listened to my plea and given me a son.” I don’t think that’s the case… what she did was wrong. The fact that her servant got pregnant didn’t vindicate her… she was still barren. Then, in return, Leah does the same thing, giving her servant to Jacob! So much jealousy and so many poor choices! This makes my head spin.
Then Rachel traded Leah a night with Jacob for some mandrakes?? That’s right up there with trading your birthright for some stew!
They all bore him children. FINALLY Rachel becomes pregnant… has Joseph (who will ultimately become vice Pharaoh!) Like Jacob, he is the child of promise.
Jacob devised a plan to grow his flock. Pretty brilliant, actually. Kept his agreement, and stacked the deck in his favor. His flocks increased significantly.
Luke 12, Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees… Hypocrisy. Note to self.
It’s amazing to me that God cares for the sparrows and he knows the number of hairs on my head. He is not unaware or unconcerned.
Took note of Jesus’ words regarding the gravity of our public acknowledgment of Him, or our denial of Him… Seems pretty important. Deny me? I’ll deny you. #justsayin.
The parable of the rich fool… a cautionary tale about having a proper perspective on what’s really important. Clearly it’s not stuff. Key: v 21 Be “rich toward God.” Then Jesus goes back to the sparrows… they don’t build barns, but God cares for them.
Don’t worry. (Be happy!)
v 40 “You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
It’s so easy to make poor decisions… to have a wrong perspective on life. To let things get out of hand… whether it’s Jacob sleeping around, or the Pharisees being hypocritical.
Keep the main thing the main thing. Be ready. Be rich toward God. Store up riches in heaven, not in barns here on earth. Be the same person on stage and off. Keep it real. Be transparent and humble.
Lord, help me to not take matters into my own hands as Jacob and Abraham did. To not be a deceitful person… to be a person who is rich in good works that would glorify You.
P.S. Digging a little deeper… My curiosity got the best of me regarding marrying within close family circles. In November, 2009, the New York Times reported that more than 10% of all marriages worldwide are between first and second cousins. One study noted that over the course of history, up to 80% of all marriages have been between second cousins or closer! Still today, in the Middle East, it is believed that 20% (in some regions 50%) of marriages fall into this category. In South America and Asia, 1% to 10%. In North America, Europe and Russia and Australia, less than 1%. There. I can sleep now knowing the facts.