Vineyard Life Journal

An online forum for our church family to connect around our 2012 daily Bible reading plan using the S.O.A.P. method.

Day 12

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Welcome to Day 12 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Genesis 29, 30; Luke 12 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)

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

S cripture

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.”

O bservation

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.

A pplication

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.

P rayer

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.


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6 thoughts on “Day 12

  1. Good morning! Today’s reading is so thought-provoking! I hope you get as much out of it as I have. It’s hard to distill 3 chapters into one SOAP! I could SOAP every passage! haha Enjoy!

  2. jamie sullivan on said:

    I’m with you on SOAPING every passage. The challenge is breaking it down and condensing it. You make it hillarious by the way you word it! Thanks for the laugh and for your insight! Be blessed!

  3. Luke 12
    22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[b]? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

    Such a simple verse, wrought with such difficulty. Do not worry. When does thinking about something turn into worry? When have I lost the contentment my Lord has promised? I know that the Lord will take care of me. What I do not know is how, which provides the slightest of entrances to go from confident to worried. I must also not worry about the how, for that too is in the Lord’s care.

  4. I feel some days you focus on the scripture itself and others you might just pick one verse that really speaks to you. I wrote down most of Luke. There are so many good things. Even though I have heard them before it just seems powerful this morning.

    We read do not worry and then we think yeah that makes sense. Then we are thrown into a situation that is less than ideal and we want to share with someone and get them to agree with you about the situation. Instead, I HAVE to run to God. I am a work in progress.

    I can picture the life of peace, but have not found it quite yet.

  5. Scott, the whole reproductive competition between Rachel and Leah and their servants made my head spin too! It’s amazing to me the behavior that God tolerated among Abraham and his descendants because of his promise to make them a great nation. He truly is a God of grace, and we humans truly are dysfunctional!

    The analytical side of me wants to find out how Jacob’s scheme to grow his flocks worked – was it something that God did supernaturally to bless Jacob, or could there have been some chemical in the strips of bark that caused the livestock to have spotted coats?

    Some days I’m really delving into the SOAP journal, other days just making brief notes like this, but I am enjoying putting the Word into my mind and heart every day. It’s refreshing.

  6. I just looked ahead to tomorrow’s reading, which explains why Jacob’s striped/spotted flock grew. Mystery solved! 🙂

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