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:
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!