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Genesis 30:1-31:16

I think today’s Old Testament reading is not only funny, but also shows us how human nature is the same yesterday and today. And boy or boy isn’t Jacob a wimp! And the goings on between Leah and Rachael, with a dash of two hand-maidens would probably fill up a years worth of programming for Jerry Springer, Oprah and Judge Judy, something for everyone. I think the reason we find this episode funny is that we recognize their behavior in either ourselves or other folk that shall remain nameless to protect the innocent and the guilty. Woman for ages have been trying to secure the love, affection and support of a man by way of children. It did not work then and it sure aint’ working today.

On my first read-though this morning I had wanted to post up about Jacob and how exemplary of husband he was, taking responsibility for his actions, NOT! But, when I read this through a second, then a third time something else caught my eye that totally sobered my train of thought. Both Rachael and Leah were bitter about how they were married off. The writer of Proverbs stats in the 30th chapter that there are four things that make the earth tremble, one is an unloved woman when she marries or an unloved married woman [Prov. 30 21-23 (depends on the translation)]. So you have a woman that was given as a “Booby” prize by her father (who wants to be second choice, you have another woman who was the first choice but became the second choice in the marriage ceremony. She did not even get a party. Neither were happy campers and resented what their father did. This is documented by the last couple of verses in today’s passage:

14Rachel and Leah said, "That's fine with us! There is nothing for us here--none of our father's wealth will come to us anyway. 15He has reduced our rights to those of foreign women. He sold us, and what he received for us has disappeared. 16The riches God has given you from our father are legally ours and our children's to begin with. So go ahead and do whatever God has told you."

There father had sold them for his benefit. Abraham and Isaac had offered up their wives out of a perceived fear that a ruling king would desire them for their beauty and kill them. Although not as overt as Abraham and Isaac, Laban married off his daughters in a sale that benefited him financially, what a lovely man. Unlike us, God gave His Son to bring us back to Him. We have this tendency to give up the ones we proclaim we love to benefit self. God love, so He gives. We lust so we can get. Love desire to benefit others at the expense of self. Lust desires to benefit self at the expense of others.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

There are some great Bible study material that have fictional accounts of the Bible stories. Fictional in the sense they try to draw the feelings, emotions and thoughts of the person of the passage out and getting you thinking of being in their shoes. "Embracing His Vision" and "Resting in His Reality" by Tara Rye are at least two of her works that do this.

Embracing His Vision:
http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/embracing-his-vision/2823508

Resting ini His Reality:
http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/resting-in-his-reality/2127700

I do not think Jacob is being at all superstitious in the case of the sheep. Dr. David Yonggi Cho does a fantastic job of explaining this in his book The Fourth Dimension which is one of my favorite books after the Bible. He explains that God is revealing to Jacob how to really activate his faith and not Jacob turning to superstition evidenced by Jacob's dream which is similarly from God about the rams.

Dr. Cho explains how God really gave this revelation and understanding to him when he started his church and now he has the largest church in the history of Christianity with over 750,000 members! God showed him how to really have growth in his (and really God's) sheep for the church as a pastor. I highly recommend the book especially for any who really want to grow their ministry. In a way, this is akin to the Israelites looking upon the snake on the rod that Moses made to be healed.

How was Jacob able to control what type of animal was born only using the reeds in the water?

Jesus tries to prepare the TWELVE for what is to come when they go out in HIS name.

I LOVE the series of books called LEFT BEHIND by Tim Lahave, this series is about what happens at the end of the world during REVELATIONS.

It might almost fall under the category of historical romance, but Francine River's Redeeming Love is one of the best books I have ever read.

Its a fictionalized re-telling of the story of Hosea.

Matthew 10:1-23

Matthew 10

This is a SPECIFIC Commission that has never been revoked and is also prophetic in nature.
======================================================

I am saying:

This is a commission not to Gentiles nor Samaritans but to the lost sheep of Israel (mat 10:5-6). Sheep often connotates believers, and I believe along with the lexicon that Christ is saying go find the people who will be believers that are Jewish and in Israel. Why? Because later Christ says when they don't listen go on to the next house or the next town. Find the people who are poor in spirit that will receive the message.

Message: Preach the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Not the Millenial Kingdom. The rule and reign of God is imminent and available to every person. It can start right now inside of you.

As a sign of Authority: vs.8 Heal, cleanse, raise, cast out. Miracles.

Specifically on this mission and prophetically in the future - Take nothing with you. See "I am NOT saying".

Specific instructions: Search out those "poor in spirit. The peace you wish is the tranquility in Christ, if not receiving take the wish and go.

Prophetically: vs 15-23. Christ refers to the day of judgment and from then on I believe it is prophetic. Note: vs 16 applies to present and future. However on the present mission none of the dire things happened. Death, persecution, hatred, etc.

Why Prophetic and Jesus just not wrong. First, Jesus is God in the flesh and He is incapable of being wrong. Secondly, nowhere in Bible is this commission ever revoked. Third, It will not be over until the Son of Man comes (and He is already here, so He must go and come back.)

Personally: I believe the prophetic aspect of this revolves around the 144,000 saved Jews who are to preach to Israel in the Tribulation where the dire things noted above will happen.
======================================================
I am NOT Saying:

That you cannot apply parts of this passage to your ministry.

Some people cite the going out without supplies. Whatever you want to apply as God's instructions make sure you have other verses in the Bible supporting your concept of missionary or evangelizing work.

Personally, vs 20, I always trust and pray that when I am sharing it is God speaking through the Holy Spirit His words and not mine. I am the vessel/conduit for God's message and it is His work and His glory that is on display - not mine.

Gen 30

Family in conflict

Leah was hated. God does not want discord or hate in any family - even a polygamous family. I think this was more on Jacob than Rachel, and God opened Leah's womb and Rachel was barren - probably because Jacob wanted it the opposite (his) way.

Series of children born to Leah and maidservants, and finally Rachel. But there was strife.

Nowhere here does it say Jacob went to pray for Rachel's fertility (as Isaac and Abraham did for their wives), nowehere does it say that Jacob remembered the problems of laying with a maidservant (like Abraham and Hagar), Jacob did not put a stop to the (later) children being named for each woman's supposed victory over the other. Jacob was passive - he went along to get along, and did not consult the Lord.

Rachel envied Leah, and Leah was probably jealous of Jacob's love for Rachel. It must have been tense and for each in periods of infertitlity they gave their servants unto Jacob for more children. Again no lesson from Abraham and Hagar.

Mandrake incident: Women may know and acknowledge God, but they are not depending on the Lord. Instead both wanted the mandrake plant. Mandrake plants were considered mystical and magical by the Middle Eastern culture. The plants (also called "love apples") were thought to be able to inspire love and desire for another, and to enhance conception. Leah wanted the former, Rachel the latter.

It is a mixed bag here as both were wanting to utilize the mystical plant it is in verse 17 and 22 that it finally alludes to the fact that both women finally went to God in prayer. I have been so guilty of this - going to God in prayer as a last resort, when prayer should be the first thing one does about anything.

[Note: It says "God remembered Rachel". God never forgot Rachel. The Hebrew connotation of "remember" here is that God took note of and cared for Rachel (allowed her to conceive). When? After she had finally gone to Him in prayer.

At least the women finally seem to be turning to the Lord, but what about Jacob?

Gen 30-31

A few things:

1)Laban liked God when it prospered him, but he still worshipped other gods to cover all the bases. How did Laban learn the God was responsible. It says through divination. The Hebrew word here is "nachash" which is the root word used for the serpent (root: shining one)in the Garden. If Bullinger (post on Gen 3) is correct than it probably was through satan that Laban knew the situation. Satan's attempt to keep Jacob with Laban rather than go home. Satan knew Jacob's vow, and would try to stop God from fulfilling the conditions so Jacob would never take the Lord as His God. Satan's attempt to thwart God's plan.

2) Jacob is still scheming and probably thought it was through his hard work and ingenuity that his herd's of speckled critters grew and he prospered. But all things come from the Lord, and God made that very apparent (Gen 31:12) to Jacob.

3) God is sovereign and whether He is called upon or not His plan progresses. In the dream God tells Jacob he has seen all, and reminds Jacob of His promises and Jacob's vow. God promised Unconditionally, Jacob set up conditional terms before Jacob would make the Lord his God.

It is time. I have prospered you and watched over you. I fulfilled your conditions, and now it is time to go to fulfill the last of your conditions (return home). The first part of Jacob's boot camp is over. It has been twenty years (Rebekah had said it would only be a few days), and Jacob has been indentured, taken advantage of, had marital conflicts, and is now envied by Laban's family.

Now the Lord says it is time to come home, so that the Lord can finish the work He started in Jacob. As He will do in all of us.

"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Phl 1:6

Raeann,

"How was Jacob able to control what type of animal was born only using the reeds in the water?"

Excellant question. the answer is: Jacob is NOT in control of the results of breeding. God is in control and always is in control. God is Sovereign.

In Gen 31:7 Jacob realizes God is not going allow Laban to harm him. Jacob might have tried an urban legend, or something he thought would work by putting the reeds in the water. But the Truth is -- if Jacob had done nothing the results woyuld have been the same.

In Gen 31:12 Jacob had a dream during the breeding season, and the angel of God told Jacob, God saw and took control of the situation so that Jacob would prosper. Now God has fulfilled his part of the bargain you stated twenty years ago - it is time for Jacob to fulfill his part and go home to his native land.

Again, "the angel of the Lord" is the preincarnate Jesus coming to Jacob. God is eternal and angels are created, thus angels can not be God. But Jesus can be the preminate messenger (Hebrew for angel means messenger) of the Lord and speak with God's authority - because Jesus is God. "I am the God....vow to me" No angel can say those words, although the Jewish faith insists the angel is special and is speaking for God. He is special, because the angel of the Lord is the second Person of the Trinity.

Trudy,

I will pray for God to give you the grace and strength to deal with your health issue. Will also pray for healing.

Hi John A.,

Was that you who prayed for me today? Today when I was out at a coffee shop trying to do my Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) reading, and I was experiencing incredible pain, I felt this warm heat sense go down my back. I was able to walk home. Yesterday I was stranded and had to call for a ride, even though it is only two blocks.

The only thing is that my knees are now locking up on me. If the Lord moves you, would you please pray for me. (I do have other major health problems, that I would appreciate prayer for as well. :-)

Thanks!

God bless,
Trudy

Trudy,

I prayed for you between 5 and 6 pm East coast time (US). So it probably was not the same time as I believe you said you were a morning studier.

But I will pray again now (9:00 pm) Eastern time (US). May God bless you - my Sister in Christ.

John A.

Hi John A.,

No, no, no... it was you! (...or maybe someone else?)

I went out in the late afternoon today. (I'm definitely not a morning person.) The time that you mention, would have been the time alright.

Thanks, again, for your prayers. I'm still free of back pain even as I write this!

Our Lord Jesus Christ definitely touched me today. Many people have prayed for me in the past, but I have never had this experience.

God bless,
Trudy

Gen 30 - 31:16

All of the 'giving servants to lay with him" just makes me think "Don't they learn?!?" It is just not a great idea! God's blessings will always be accomplished through the ways He has ordained!

'Buying' sleeping with her husband for her son's mandrakes?!? Sounds like soup/birthright transaction, but now with superstition added in! Some things just ought not be for sale. The devil tempts us to sell things that ought not be for sale too. Our trust, our foundation, reliance - when we shift from those resting in God and His promises we are trading them for cheap and phony substitues that are FAR LESS valuable - really only destructive to us.

Reading about more superstition regarding the goats - this really makes my heart sad. It is so pervasive in our world. People want to weave it right in with Christianity - it DOESN'T have ANY place! It is at best, meaningless - and at worst destructive and deteriorating to our lives and certainly our walk with the Lord. Why ever choose that over the God of the universe?!? (I really do get very upset about this!)

proverbs 3:13-15

pray for and seek wisdom - they come from God and are SO worth it!!!

Mat 10: 1-23

v 1 made me reflect - ALL authority and power come through Him (any good that is!)

What faith the 12 had to do these things boldly(cast out demons, heal, raise dead etc.), rely on Him for provision (no silver, no tunic etc) , protection (you will be flogged etc) , and even words (don't worry about what to say, Holy Spirit will give you words)!

"Shake the dust off as you leave"

When we are mocked, rejected, or denied - we too need to be able to 'shake it off' and move on. No baggage allowed!

God heals. The response to prayer is because it was in His Will. We are just faithful by praying and you were being faithful by asking for prayer.

I have had two prayer healings since becoming a Christian. Three if you count my mental illness being lifted at Salvation. The question I asked, and I would encourage you to ask is Why me? Why this healing Lord?

For me the first was so I would reconsider severing a relationship with a fellow Christian. He was getting on my nerves, but God wanted me to hang in there with the man. (BTW that man is who prayed for me, and we are close brothers in Christ at this time.)

I believe the second time was for a non-believer to see that the Lord is personal and involved in our lives, and to attest that what we (the same man and I) had been telling the non-believer was true.

You will have to pray about what today's incident meant for you.

Regardless, the Glory goes to God, and I pray He does a mighty work in your life.

Regarding Gen 30:37, I once heard a Bible teacher explain that these streaked animals were the result of genetics. (Quite frankly, I didn't pay a lot of attention, because the topic was over my head.)

But even if it was genetics, it was still God.

Trudy

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