Rachel and Leah, you remember these two don't you?? Sisters who marry the same man Jacob, yeah that's right its in the bible. Way back in the old testament in fact its in Genesis.
Well, my Tues morning bible study has been all about these two and their families of course Jacob and Laban have been main characters as well but oh, the things we can learn from these people is so incredible.. let me explain.
It starts with Jacob and Esau the twins who didn't get along and to make a long story short, (you can read about it in Genesis 26-28) Jacob leaves to go live else where, to find a wife, that is when he sees Rachel and immediately knows he wants her for a wife but her father, Laban says he has to work for seven years for him before she can become his wife.
I'm really paraphrasing this whole thing so bare with me, anyway Jacob is willing to work that long and in fact seven years seemed as nothing to him he loved her so much. But Laban fools Jacob and gives Leah to him at the end of seven years and then says Jacob has to work another seven to get the one he really wants who is Rachel. Talk about deceiving that wouldn't go over very well in today's world at all.
Now, Leah right away begins to have babies first Reuben, and she brags about it his name means "look a son" then Simeon, which means "hearing" and then Levi, and that name means "attachment" Jacob did not love Leah as much as he did Rachel but Leah was trying so hard to get his love it reflected in the names she gave her sons. She idolized her husband and thought if she could please him with sons she could win him over.. the names of children revealed what the women were thinking. All this time Rachel was barren and had no children of her own but.... she gave her servant Bilhah to Jacob so she could say she had children. Did you know that when Bilhah gave birth she actually sat on the knees of Rachel to symbolize it as Rachel's child?? Interesting huh?? Anyway Bilhah has two boys for Rachel, Dan meaning "justice" and Naphtali, which means "wrestling". Rachel was actually wrestling with her sister Leah in competition.
Leah was not about to let Rachel get anything up on her so now she gives her servant Zilpah to Jacob to bare more children and she has two sons, Gad, which means "fortunate" and Asher meaning "happy" Then Leah has more of her own sons Issachar, meaning "reward," and Zebulum, meaning "dwell," she also has a daughter Dinah but girl babies are insignificant, so in this story she isn't important its the boys who matter here.
Finally after all these years and its been many probably about 6-7 God opens Rachel's womb and gives her a son of her own. She names him Joseph,which means "he will add" indicating that God will give her another and she does have one more son Benjamin. All this time the two girls have been in a competition over who will have the most sons and who will be the most loved by Jacob. There is so much more in this but idolatry of their husband and children is very evident. But God... I love that, God has a plan in all of this He has been building a nation each one of these boys with become the twelve tribes. And Jesus will come out of the tribe of Benjamin.
Idols: are we willing to sin to get what we want?? That was the final question given to us today.
What have we brought into our relationship with God that we cannot let go???
Do we have idols in our lives??? an idol is something we worship.
It can be performance for others or self
It can be love of money
It can be success
It can be physical appearance
It can be hobbies
It can be a thing, car, house, jewelry
You get the picture.. Start to ask your self questions like, what makes me happy?? it is stuff, one more trip, another car, more clothes, family??
At your deathbed what to you would sum up your life as worthwhile??
When you are pressured or tense, where do you turn? What do you think about?
What do you pray for?
"GUARD YOUR HEART WITH ALL DILIGENCE, FOR OUT OF IT FLOWS THE ISSUES OF LIFE" PROV.4:23
" SEARCH ME O GOD, AND KNOW MY HEART; TRY ME, AND KNOW MY ANXIETIES; AND SEE IF THERE IS ANY WICKED WAY IN ME, AND LEAD ME IN THE WAY EVERLASTING."
PSA. 139: 23-24