This past week I have done much better with my goal to read the Bible every day. I only missed one day. JJ's asthma was acting up and by the time I finally got him settled after his breathing treatment, I was tired and went to Dream Land with him snuggled in my arms on the bed. I wrapped up the book of Genesis reading chapters 21 to 50.
Week two's reading continued with even more drama involving Abraham's wife Sarah, her lady's maid Hagar and Abraham and Hagar's son Ishmael. So, Sarah gave birth to Isaac like God told Abraham she would. And I guess they held weaning parties instead of sip and sees back then. Genesis 21:9 says that while at the weaning party for Isaac, "...Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing" at Isaac.
Of course, Sarah was not having it. She went to her husband and told him that it was time for Hagar and Ishmael to kick rocks pretty much because she wasn't going to have Ishmael getting jealous and trying to overthrow Isaac to become Abraham's heir. And if you've ever read the story of Cain and Abel then you can't really blame Sarah for feeling this way. Cain killed his full blooded brother Abel because of his jealousy.
However, at the same time Sarah wouldn't have been in the situation she was in if she hadn't pushed Abraham to sleep with her lady's maid from the start. Just a lesson that it's better to tell God what you want and be patient until He gives it to you instead of trying to solve the problem yourself. Hey, they had to live and learn back then too.
Now I know you all have heard the phrase the 'cousins make dozens.' Gross, I know but apparently it wasn't so gross back then because Isaac married his father's niece Rebekah. Let me just say that I couldn't even imagine or entertain the idea of JJ marrying my niece. But such was the norm in that time. From what I gather, this was done because sometimes those families who were supernaturally blessed and virtuous by God moved from their homeland, they settled in areas where it wasn't good for the different cultures to mix or the suitors there weren't from suitable families. So, you had to go back to your hometown and your own family to find a mate for your child that was worthy.
And while we're on the subject of love, Jacob fell in love with Rachel at first sight. So, the Bible does in fact confirm that there is such a thing as love at first sight for those who say it's not possible! And yes, the it actually said that "he loved her" because I know somebody is going to argue that it was just sexual attraction. Anyways, Jacob told her father, Laban, "I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter" (Genesis 29:18). Talk about true love!
This man committed to being a shepherd for seven years before he could marry Rachel. And if that isn't romantic enough, Genesis 29:20 says "So Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her." Wow! Like now days just asking a guy to wait a year or two before you get married to have sex seems like a lifetime to them (and us). This is the kind of love I think that we all desire and that I'm praying God will send my children when they are ready to get married.
Jacob's fight for the right to marry Rachel doesn't end there. You'll have to read his story to find out what goes down on their supposed wedding night! Also, this week I read about Joseph being sold into slavery by his 11 brothers. Again jealousy was to blame. However, as Joseph put it, God let what his brothers meant as an evil plot work for his best interest. And boy did it ever.
Joseph became the governor of Egypt and Pharaoh's right hand man pretty much. Just proof that when people do things out spite to hurt you that if you keep your trust in God, He'll work it out so that you come out victorious. I'm really focusing on that after my fall out with certain family members. I don't know why they did what they did, but I do know that since then the separation from them has given me a new found sense of peace.
Jacob does end up reuniting with his entire family. He ends up saving their lives during the seven year famine and helps them to get in good with Pharaoh who gives them the best of the best just because they're Jacob's relatives. I'm really looking forward to starting the book of Exodus. It's known as the book of deliverance because it's about Moses helping to deliver the Hebrews from Pharaoh. Back then Egyptians and Hebrews were like Whites and Blacks during slavery and the Civil Rights time.
Would you work for your in-laws 7 years just be able to marry your spouse like Jacob did?