Cover to Cover-Week 4

Cover to Cover-Week 4

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 This week’s readings: Genesis 22-39; I Chronicles 1: 32-53; I Chronicles 2: 1-2

It was quite an interesting week of readings that included a lot of what one could read in the morning’s newspaper or watch on CNN…love, marriage, infertility, births, deception, war and death.

This is what lingered with me this past week and I will try to not be so wordy…but it may be difficult as this was a packed seven days.

But before I begin, let me list the people that I came in contact:

  • Abraham
  • Sarah
  • Isaac
  • Rebekah
  • Esau
  • Jacob
  • Rachel
  • Leah
  • Laban
  • Dinah
  • Simeon
  • Levi
  • Joseph
  • Judah
  • Tamar
  • Potiphar
  • Potiphar’s wife

In Psalms, David asks for an undivided heart and as I read the many accounts and interactions between the early people of God, I wondered if they had had undivided hearts instead of ones that possessed jealousy, rage, hatred,bitterness or deception…how different the course of events would have been…how different my life would be…

“Teach me your way, O Lord,
and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.”
Psalm 86: 11

Isaac marries Rebekah…they have twins…two nations within her womb…Esau and Jacob…Isaac loved Esau…Rebekah loved Jacob…divided hearts towards their children…

Do I show favoritism towards one child over another?

Esau gives his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew…his heart is enraged against his brother and against himself.

This section in Genesis 27-28 spoke to me about the intimacy of marriage.  Rebekah loved Jacob…she desires that he have the blessing of the birthright as Isaac is old and nearly blind. She knew her husband’s weakness…she knew he could not see clearly, she knew he intended to give his blessing to Esau and she knew how he liked his food prepared and to taste… she knew that she could craft the events in her favor…Her heart was divided between her favored son and her husband…she possessed a heart of deceit…do I cook up schemes designed to get my own way?

Esau loses the blessing of the birthright by the schemes of Rebekah and Jacob…his heart is filled with sadness and rage at everyone including dear old dad…so he decides to get him back by marrying a Canaanite woman…a heart divided by anger, hatred and revenge.

Genesis 29-30 reveals a love triangle…Jacob…Rachel…Leah…

This story never ceases to make me sad…yes, Rachel and Leah’s father Laban, had a deceitful heart, switching brides at the last minute and making Jacob serve so many years for Rachel…but poor Leah…she breaks my heart…yet God saw that Leah was unloved and he opened her womb…listen to her pleas for Jacob’s heart after she gives him son after son:

“It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.” (Gen.29: 32)-Reuben “misery”

“Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.”  (Gen. 29: 33)-Simeon “one who hears”

“Now at last my husband will be attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.”  (Gen. 29: 34)-Levi “attached”

“This time I will praise the Lord.”  (Gen. 29: 35) Judah “praise”

Leah’s heart went from one that desperately wanted love to attachment to praising God…a heart full of praise.  Perhaps she had  always felt second best when it came to Rachel…it must have been humiliating to have your father trick Jacob into marriage…

Rachel now possessed a heart full of jealousy towards her sister and did the only thing she could do…she gave her husband to her maidservant…hearts of competition sprung up between the sisters as they each vied to see who could keep having sons…Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher and Issachar.  Leah conceives again and has Zebulun and says,

“God has presented me with a precious gift.  This time my husband will treat me with honor because I have borne him 6 sons.”  (Gen. 30: 20) Zebulun “honor”

Leah also has a daughter named Dinah and Rachel has her first son because God remembered her and listened to her and opened her womb…Joseph “may he add”.

It was a blessing to read that Esau’s heart was restored when Jacob came to see him…reminiscent of the prodigal son’s father’s greeting wouldn’t you agree?

Following Dinah’s rape in Genesis 34, the hearts of Jacob’s sons (in particular, Simeon and Levi) fill with revenge and rage and is unleashed with mass destruction and loss of life. 

 Rachel has her last son Benjamin and dies in childbirth…a heart of longing had been filled.

The last 3 chapters of this week begin the story of Joseph…Joseph is one of my favorites of the Old Testament…I will comment more next week but right from the beginning…a heart of favoritism…hearts of jealousy…hearts of hatred…a pure heart…

What kind of heart will rule my life?  What type of heart do you desire?

Lord, give us an undivided heart so that we can fear and praise your Name!

At last count, there were 23 cover to cover readers…see the number is growing…it bears repeating…it’s never too late.

On a personal note, I have never experienced anything like this this cover to cover reading experience…I am not sure if it is the measure of accountability or knowing that I am not alone in this pursuit but it has empowered my reading…it has never felt overwhelming and there is such grace if mishaps occur…I do know that our fearless leader Bev is praying for us all and I know that we are all praying for each other…the first month isn’t even over but I feel very encouraged about the future…and I have a whole list of wonderful blog friends to visit…win…win…indeed!

18 thoughts on “Cover to Cover-Week 4

  1. I loved this recap of these events! Oh and the questions-so good for application. Thanks for this read. It has blessed me!
    Thanks for entering my contest too!
    BLessings,
    Angela

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  2. Susan,

    Thanks for the heads up…hopefully that problem has been solved…I don’t know why I decided to tackle this today…probably because I get very little done when the kids have a shortened school day because of finals…so why not play on the blog…

    Yes…so grateful for a God that delights to give us a new clean heart!

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  3. Julie,

    I will have to ask you about the study you did on Leah…that would be really interested to know about…she definitely touches a cord in us as women.

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  4. Annie…the battle of an undivided heart…how often I have been there and didn’t even realize…it truly causes us physical and spiritual blindness, doesn’t it!

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  5. Mary Lou…

    I love that…”when we praise it clears out the cobwebs and dirt and replaces it with God”…let everything that has breath praise the Lord…

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  6. Nise’…I know I wish I could say that it was completely foreign to devise a way to get my own way…but it’s not…but half the battle is being aware, isn’t it…makes us better armed.

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  7. Hi ya Helen, love your new look, but I’m having a bit of trouble reading everone’s comments in this section with the white writing on gray. I’ll have to put on my glasses!

    Yes, our hearts indeed, there’s much to see and learn in the Bible, isn’t there? It never ceases to amaze me what God impresses on our hearts when we read His Word – powerful.

    Reading your post I was struck with the Scripture about how deceitful our hearts are. Jeremiah 17:7 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked, Who can know it?”

    God knows our hearts and yet He forgives us when we ask. I love that He gives us a new heart – His heart. Praise God!

    Great insightful and thought provoking post my friend 🙂

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  8. Thank you for your beautiful words, your beautiful heart Helen. Your heart is your sanctuary. HE IS YOUR HOME!

    I come and read and see SO MUCH I didn’t think about and like the undivided heart…what rules me this moment? What do I want more than the love of my Christ like Leah…attachment to people that they validate me? Say something! There is so much in the readings we have embraced…I read the Bible all the time for many many years but never have seen so much in one day is what it seems like. Like God opening the eyes of our hearts…where have I been?? Just love this journey with YOU…Bev

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  9. God took me through a study of Leah a few weeks back. I loved what I learned about her and how God revealed her to my heart.

    I believe she found God in ways no man could give to her.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Julie

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  10. Wow! I learn so much from your wonderful insights in our reading from week to week! I feel the same way you described at the end. I feel such an excitement over our reading through the Bible and I look forward to Monday mornings.
    Have a blessed day!

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  11. I am convicted myself with a divided heart. David’s prayer is important. I also was so saddened for Leah “lookin’ for love in all the wrong place.” Nobody likes to feel second, especially to their husband. You make some points I want to ponder longer. Thank you for taking the time to ponder the deep. Blessings, annie

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  12. I too am blessed by your thoughts… Reading what others are getting out of the same pages I’m reading is a mind blowing, mind, heart blessing thing….Leah’s heart must have been finally blessed when she named Judah, since it means praise….When we praise God reaches in and cleans out the cobwebs and dirty and replaces it with Himself…..how we all need to praise Him wherever we are and no matter what is going on in our lives…You expressed yourself so beautifully. Made me see things I hadn’t seen before…

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  13. Whew…your thoughts about Rebekah knowing her husbands weaknesses and scheming to get her own way really spoke to me, I know I’ve done it in the past. Ouch.. What kind of heart do I want to rule? Undivided please!! I am blessed by your thoughts.

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