The book of Exodus is all about how Moses, a Hebrew boy, who should have died was saved from the Nile river by the very daughter of the one who ordered his death. This same Moses then grew up to lead the Israelite people out of captivity in Egypt alongside his brother Aaron and his sister Miriam. So far in the series Women of Exodus we have seen some very courageous midwives who refused to murder infants. We met Moses’ biological mother and his adoptive Egyptian mother. Today I want to take a close look at his older sister, Miriam. She plays a great part in the story of the Hebrews’ exodus out of Egypt. She can very well be one of the most important women of the Old Testament. I’m so excited to take a look at her life and share her story with all of you.
We first meet Miriam in Exodus 2:4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.
A couple of weeks ago I introduced the book of Exodus with, HELLO SHIPHRAH AND PUAH. Maybe you’ll remember that these ladies were midwives who stood up to pharaoh. The pharaoh in Exodus was more ruthless and a bit of a coward compared to the pharaoh in Genesis who was generous and respected God’s people. The new pharaoh wanted to suppress the people of Israel who resided in Egypt. He did so by condemning all new born baby boys to death. How disgusting is that?! The following week I spoke about Jochebed. She was a Levite woman who was brave and sacrificed her safety in order to save her son’s life. Today I want to tell you about the Egyptian woman mentioned in Jochebed’s story. That Egyptian woman was pharaoh’s daughter.
The evil pharaoh had a not so evil daughter. We can see her goodness come through in Exodus chapter 2.
Exodus 2: 5 Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. 6 She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.
The first characteristic we see is that she was compassionate. She felt pity for the poor child that was doomed to drown in the river.
The story continues and in verse 9 pharaoh’s daughter shows mercy. She literally saved the boy’s life.
9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him.
In verse 10 she demonstrates a generous heart.
10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son.
She adopted the child knowing that otherwise he would be murdered. She was offering him a life that would be far better than the life of a slave under her father’s rule.
Overall pharaoh’s daughter exhibits all of the qualities that her father was lacking. She saved a Hebrew while her father was attempting to murder all of their baby boys. She also was kind and caring.
Without knowing it she harbored the one who would be used by God to set the Israelites free from pharaoh’s reign.
Honestly, my main take away is that you do not have to inherit the negative qualities of your parents. I know I sometimes think about my parents and their qualities. I consider the ones that I want and the ones that I struggle internally not to take as my own. We don’t have to be full of worry, negative, doubtful, bitter, and unforgiving, a quitter or any other negative trait you can think of.
As a matter of fact. Take a minute and think about what that characteristic is. Do you see it in your mind?
Now say this out loud:
I DO NOT have to be (insert negative quality here) like my mom/dad.
Did you do it? Do you believe it?
I want to expand my faith that it may cover you and help you believe.
Like pharaoh’s daughter, let’s not take on the poor mindsets or attitudes of those before us. Instead let’s choose to inherit their positive qualities and add the ones they are missing which we want to pass down to the generations coming after us.
My Prayer For You:
Jesus, I pray that you may give us the courage to change. Help us identify the qualities that can easily stick to us but which would not give you glory. Help us to honor our parents by praying to you for their healing. Help us to reflect you in all that we do with our lives. That the generational curses may end with us. That we may not continue passing down destructive cycles, be it of worry or bitterness. Jesus, thank you for your word that is rich and complete. I pray that as we learn from it, it may renew our minds and satisfy our spirits. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Memory Verse: John 8:32
John 8:32 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
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Come back next week for HELLO MIRIAM!!
I didn’t think you had.
You know, I get the feeling that Asenath was not just a prize, I think pharaoh wanted Joseph to assimilate to the Egyptian culture as much as possible. After all he was second in command, the Egyptian people needed to be able to trust him. What better way to do that than to have him marry an Egyptian woman. I’m sure it was also part of the plan for Joseph to be associated to an Egyptian family who was well known and respected. Asenath connected Joseph to what would seem to be a rich Egyptian culture. The people he governed would not be able to tell that he was really a foreigner and not one of them.
This idea immediately makes me think about the influence we as women have. It actually reminds me of that line from the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, “The man is the head of the house but the woman is the neck.” It makes me smile and giggle a little bit. I can’t even begin to claim that I know anything about that being that I am seriously single and have never been married. But a woman doesn’t need to be married to have influence. The fact of the matter is that we are all influencers. Either we influence for good or the opposite. We each have a circle of influence. We have an instagram/twitter/facebook following and the amount of followers doesn’t matter because the point is that someone chooses to follow you. Honestly the people you influence the most are probably unrelated to your social media. Whether we like it or not there are people who watch what we do and will follow suit.
I’m reminded of the students I get the chance to lead at The Wave Student Ministry. Yes, many of them follow my social media accounts but I’m reminded on a regular basis that they are watching my actions more than my instagram posts. I’ve experienced first hand how students will follow my behavior during worship or even when I was in the classroom my mood would set the tone. People will follow suit.
I think that Asenath was successful in her influence over Joseph. If you know the story you know that Joseph’s success solely came from God however I think that God blessed his marriage. Even though Asenath wasn’t a Hebrew woman God was able to use her to bring forth fruit in Joseph’s life in the form of two sons.
So the question is, how are we using our influence?
This past Wednesday our youth pastor gave an incredible message on occupying the school hallways in such a way that students transform their schools. He used the story of Zacchaeus from Luke 19:1-10 to connect the way the crowd prevented Zacchaeus from seeing Jesus. He posed the challenge to our students of clear the crowd or get out the way but don’t be part of the crowd.
Now I pose that same challenge to you and myself. Are we part of the crowd? Are we preventing people from seeing Jesus? Or are we clearing the crowd so that Jesus can be seen even by the shortest around us?
Our influence can do that. We can “Live out loud” for Jesus and help others get closer to Christ just by living influential lives on purpose. Living intentionally with the bigger picture in mind. The bottom line is that we are influencers like Asenath. It’s up to us to determine the direction in which we will lead.
My Prayer for You:
Heavenly Father thank you so much for opening our eyes to you. Thank you that there was someone in our lives who we were influenced by and in turn we met you. Thank you for giving us the ability to also be influencers and leaders to those around us. Jesus I ask you to help us live our lives on purpose. That we may be intentional about living for you. That we may be careful in our decision making, remembering that every decision we make will influence those watching. It will either draw them closer to you or suggest that they can distance themselves from you. Please help us to influence those around us towards you always. I pray that our lives may be a huge arrow that points everyone we encounter in your direction, that they too may meet you and know you. Thank you for your mercy and patience with us as we navigate through this corrupted world. I pray that you may shield us from all the false glitter that constantly tries to distract us. Help us to shine so bright that your light in us may clear the crowds. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Memory Verse: Hebrews 12:1
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us
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Welcome back!! I’m always so honored that you would take time out to hangout here and read the words God has placed on my heart to share with you. If you missed last week I was talking about Tamar. She was Leah’s daughter-in-law. Feel free to go back and catch up.
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Let’s talk about Potiphar for 2.5 seconds. Right off the bat in Genesis 39:1 we learn that Potiphar is an Egyptian official who works directly for pharaoh. His official title was, Potiphar the Captain of the Guard. So we know that this is a man of power. He is a wealthy man in the most powerful country of that time. We also learn that he is a very smart man. Why do I say this? Well, in verses 2 – 6 we see Potiphar recognize that Joseph wasn’t like all the other slaves. Potiphar didn’t worship the God of Israel but he noticed that this God blessed Joseph, He blessed Joseph so much that anything Joseph touched prospered. So Potiphar being the intelligent man that he was placed all of his businesses in Joseph’s hands because then it would also prosper. However this is also where we see what Potiphar’s vice is. Verse 6 “… he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.” Hmmm…. our smarty pants, super high ranking official Potiphar was also a gluten.
Keep verse 6 in mind as I go back to Potiphar’s wife.
Now that we know a little bit more about Potiphar we can draw some conclusions about Mrs. Potiphar.
1. She was married to a rich man = she was rich.
2. She didn’t work so she was home all the time.
3. Her husband bought a slave, gave him all his work to manage, and just ate all day.
4. She was probably super bored and lonely.
5. She is the original desperate house wife!
Now you and I know that sometimes when people are bored they end up doing some pretty dumb things. And I don’t want to make any generalization but sometimes when someone has everything they could possibly need or want they end up thinking they can always get whatever they want and no one will ever say no. Which ends up being the case with Mrs. Potiphar.She was bored and spoiled and when she wanted something she went after it until she got it. The problem is that not everything we want is good for us. And just because we want to do something doesn’t mean it’s okay to do it.
At the end of verse 6 going into verse 7 there is an important detail to this story, “Now Joseph was well-built and handsome.”
My boy Joey was a holy hottie. He had God’s favor all up on him and he wasn’t painful to look at.I think you might know where this story is headed now.
Mrs. Potiphar noticed Joseph and was like, “How you doin?”
Now why is this wrong?!? MRS. Potiphar!!!! She was obviously married and not just to a random person. She was married to Joseph’s boss.As we continue reading chapter 39 we watch as Potiphar’s wife goes from being a rich, bored housewife to a vengeful angry desperate housewife.
She starts by noticing Joseph’s good looks. She gets bold (in a negative way) and straight out throws an indecent proposal his way, verse 7 “Come to bed with me!”
Actually I take it back, after rereading that verse again for I dunno how many times… I realize that she wasn’t asking him or proposing it as if he had an option. Mrs. Potiphar was commanding Joseph to go to bed with her as if it was part of his job description. I know this isn’t about Joseph but his responses are so on point. He obviously says “No!” Verse 10 reveals that she was not prepared to handle the word “NO!” “she spoke to Joseph day after day…” She was determined to get Joseph into her bed one way or another. Finally her desperation got the best of her. Verse 11 says that one day Joseph went to work and none of the servants were in the house. Meaning it was just him and the desperate housewife. Honestly, I think she probably gave everyone some distracting out of the house task to get rid of them and create this opportunity. In verse 12 she caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” Joseph was no fool. He literally RAN for his life. He ran so fast that Mrs. Potiphar was left with his coat in her hand. She was livid. Remember she wasn’t used to being denied what she wanted. Our desperate housewife sot out to get even with Joseph for the humiliation. She took his coat to her husband and cried, “RAPE!” You and I both know that she was lying but her husband believed her. She didn’t get what she wanted out of Joseph so she had him thrown into jail for having integrity.
Potiphar’s wife is often referred to as one of the Bad Girls of the Bible . I think she was simply bored, neglected and spoiled.
So what’s the takeaway? How have I been Mrs. Potiphar before?
Maybe you’ll be able to relate.
Have you ever wanted something so bad that it makes you mad when you can’t have it?
Have you ever been angry with God because you pray and pray and keep praying for something in particular and God just keeps on saying…. “Ummm, NO!”?
Have you ever been angry with someone for not doing what you want them to do and look for a way to get even?
Or, have you ever chased after what you wanted even though the door kept shutting in your face? And the more often that door was slammed the harder you chased?!
On another note….
Have you ever been so bored that you start lusting after something you normally would stay far, far away from?
Most people think that lust is just about sex and sexual desires. But the truth is that lust can translate to anything. You can lust after money, fame, popularity, nicer shoes, a bigger house, a fancier car, a certain type of relationship, a particular job, and the list goes on and on. The problem with lust is that whatever you are lusting after can become an idol in your heart. You want it so bad you start wanting it more than you want Jesus. Yea, I said it. Lust will lead to idolatry. Which is why I pray almost on a daily basis for God to remove the lust from my heart. I know what it is to place something/someone on a higher pedestal than God and it has never ended well.
Potiphar’s wife was definitely dealing with lust. She was lonely, bored, had too much power and wanted someone to follow her orders and obey her every command. She wasn’t a believer so she didn’t know it, but I truly believe that was her conflict. She was idolizing her power and when her power wasn’t enough she went from desperate to MAD.
I can go on and on so I’m going to leave you with one thought.
1. Run away from lust!
2 Timothy 2:22 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.
My Prayer for You:
Dear Jesus, I ask you to please grab hold of each and every single heart that encounters this blog post. I ask you to search those hearts. Reveal any lust in them and please remove that lust. I ask you to not just remove it but replace it with purity and righteousness. Lord Jesus, I thank you for this story in your word. I pray that your scripture may not return to you empty but that it may penetrate and change someone’s heart today. Thank you for each and every reader. Please bless them beyond their imagination. Pour down upon them supernatural favor and blessings that spill over. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Memory Verse: 2 Timothy 2:22
2 Timothy 2:22 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.
Thank you so much for stopping by. If you enjoyed it or if God spoke to you through it go ahead and click that like button. Or click that share button if maybe you know someone who needs to read these words. Don’t forget to subscribe for the next newsletter which will be sent out on Sept. 1st.
Until next week!
Keep Shining! Nat
I’m BACK!!! It’s been two weeks since my last post. I’ve been kicking myself in the butt over and over again for not making the time to write. If you got the newsletter last week then you know what’s been going on. If you didn’t get the newsletter than what are you waiting for to subscribe?!? Stop reading and go on over to the right hand side of your screen and type in your email address. I send out a newsletter the 1st and 15th of every month. I really don’t want you to miss the next one.
This week I want to continue learning about the women of Genesis. We’ve been in Genesis for what seems like forever! But it’s been a ton of fun getting to meet some women who I had never noticed before. Today’s woman of the bible is Tamar! Tamar is part of Jacob’s family through marriage. Click on that read more button and jump into this unexpected story.
Shame on Judah for blaming innocent Tamar for his sons’ deaths which were caused by their own wickedness.In any case, Tamar waited. And waited. And waited. All along she was in mourning for her two dead husbands. She waited for Shelah to grow up. And grow up he did, but he never went to Tamar and she was never called back to her husbands’ home. She was left, forgotten.
So much time passed that her mother-in-law passed away. After her passing Judah decided to go check on his workers who were shearing his sheep near Tamar’s father’s house. He must have forgotten about the proximity to Tamar’s home or the possibility of running into her. Tamar however did not forget the debt that was owed to her. She disguised herself as a prostitute to deceive Judah and seduce him. The old man completely fell for it. She convinced him to leave valuable personal items as collateral in the meantime that he sent payment for her services. Of course she ends up getting pregnant. The town finds out and the word gets back to Judah. The law is that prostitutes are to be put to death so he condemns her and calls for her death. Not realizing that she was his very own daughter-in-law. She sends him the collateral items with a message, “Recognize these? The owner is the father of my child.”
Judah had no option but to take responsibility.
Tamar is saved from her death sentence and ends up having twin boys.
Poor Tamar. I’m thinking that all she wanted was security. Love would have been a great bonus but in her situation she needed to be taken care of. She was wronged repeatedly by Judah and his sons. So she took manners into her own hands. Her methods were probably not the most morally correct but she got results.
I think that sometimes we don’t get the results we want because we are afraid to do something we normally wouldn’t do. Think outside the box. Be creative and innovative when searching for solutions. Maybe try a disguise.
I am NOT saying that prostitution is ok.
I am saying that being bold before the Lord is. Nothing you or I do will surprise our God. He has placed everything we need within us. And by “everything” I mean the HOLY SPIRIT.
I am studying the book of John with some of my students from church and today I read John chapter 3. The second half of verse 34 blew my mind. John 3:34b “for God gives the spirit without limit.” As I finish writing this post I recall this verse and the thoughts that ran through my head.God blesses us without limit. There is no end to the amount of Himself that God gives to us. Starting with His creativity in designing and creating this world we get to enjoy. Continuing with the sacrifice of His one and only son. He tops the giving with an unlimited supply of Holy Spirit!
We in our humanness are the ones who create limits for God. Suggesting that He can’t do one thing or the other.
Today I want to suggest that perhaps the solution to the situation you’ve been dealing with has been in front of you this whole time! I am sure Tamar felt limited. She probably felt hopeless and helpless. I bet she even felt a bit confined. But she was outright bold and fearless. She was determined to break the limits that had been wrongly placed on her by others.
Today I dare you to be fearless! I dare you to tear down the limits that you’ve created around yourself. I dare you to step into that which God has been calling you to. Like Tamar take off the figurative widow’s clothes and throw on a brand new veil. Tap into the unlimited supply of Christ’s spirit that resides within you and watch as He brings forth double the blessings!My Prayer for You:
Heavenly Father I pray for all of the eyes reading this. I ask you to bless them. I ask you to reveal to them where in their lives they have raised limits before you. I ask you to give them boldness and courage to tear down the limits and to take of the “widow’s clothes”. I ask you to dress them in new clothes of an unlimited nature. That abundance may be upon them. That they may experience your faithfulness in an extravagant way. I thank you for Tamar’s story. It reminds me that you created me to be creative and innovative. I pray that you may spark creativity and imagination in the minds of my readers today. That they may be able to see through your eyes. Thank you Jesus for your goodness. It’s in Jesus’ holy name that I pray, Amen.
Memory Verse: John 3:34
John 3:34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.
I would love to hear of your bold moments. Share one in the comments below. Don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to get more from SuperStarNat.com
Am I leading a remarkable life? To answer that I guess first I would need to define what I believe a remarkable life would look like.
The list can go own…
If I am completely honest with myself and you, I’d have to say that I have a long way to go. The last couple of weeks I’ve been working on memorizing the book of James for United Camp 2015 (subscribe to the newsletter to get more on camp). I got up to chapter 3 but in chapter 2 I came across a verse that has been pressing on my heart like crazy. Jame 2:13 Kind mercy wins over harsh judgement every time. (MSG) It’s as if God were literally writing this verse on my heart. Revealing to me the immense need for kindness in the world around me. I think maybe this verse has been on repeat because Jesus is doing a work in me. Have you ever noticed how much it hurts when God grabs the hedge cutters and starts pruning you? Well, in order to live a remarkable life, one that is remembered decades and centuries after you are gone, one that leaves a mark and creates a legacy; we must be pruned. Oh my sweet friends, let’s allow God to do a great work in us that like Deborah we made live lives worth mourning.
I’m grateful for verse 8 in which we get to meet Deborah if only for 3 sentences. She reminds me that it’s possible to become the best version of me. She reminds me that I CAN impact the world around me. She reminds me that I can break the generational curses in my family and boldly say, “IT ENDS WITH ME.” Whatever that IT may be. Deborah also reminds me that it’s up to me. How I am remembered and mourned is up to me.
My Prayer For You:
Dear Jesus, I pray for every reader who happened upon this post. I pray for every faithful reader who visits this blog weekly. I ask you to please open their eyes to your work in their lives. I pray that they may pray bold prayers. I ask you to give them courage in their prayers. I pray that you may give them strength and assurance as you move in and through them. Please continue working in them that they may continue to grow and become better versions of themselves. Please give us all spirits of kindness. Help us exercise kindness in our daily lives with loved ones and strangers. I ask you that as we live out your kindness you may reveal yourself to the world around us and increase your kingdom. Thank you for the kindness and mercy that you so graciously bestow upon us. In Jesus name, Amen.
Memory Verse: James 2:12-13 MSG
James 2:12-13 Talk and act like a person expecting to be judged by the Rule that sets us free. For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time.
I am sure your definition may be different from mine. I would love to know your characteristics for a remarkable life… please leave them in the comments below. Also remember to subscribe to the newsletter, it’s emailed every 1st and 15th of the month!
This post is about his only daughter. Dinah. Jacob had twelve sons and one daughter.
Dinah is first mentioned in Genesis 30:21 where we learn that she is the daughter of Leah. Her name doesn’t show up again until chapter 34 where her story unfolds.
As the only girl of the family I imagine she was very protected. For that reason I find it odd that in verse 1 it says that Dinah, “went out to visit the women of the land.” No where in this verse does it say that she was accompanied. Was she traveling alone? She must have been alone because in verse 2 we see that Shechem, the son of the ruler of that area, “saw her, took her and violated her.”
Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, was raped.
Side note: if you are not a believer or if you are prone to think that God’s word is just a bunch of old stories that have nothing to do with us today…. reread that sentence above. God’s word from the first to last book is completely relevant to us today.
According to a report put out by the White House in 2014, it’s estimated that “1 in 5 women are raped in their lifetime.” This doesn’t include the number of victims that are molested or sexually assaulted in other ways.
Now you may be thinking… why are you going there? Well, I seriously think that we need to talk about the subject. Based on that statistic most of you reading this will know someone who has been or God forbid will be raped, or you yourself have been assaulted. I myself know women, (more than one) who have been sexually assaulted in one way or another. It’s a real issue.
I want to spread awareness but I also want to speak to those who have been victimized.
- It was not your fault! Sexual abuse in any form is never okay!
- Don’t hide. As difficult as it may be to stand up and speak about what has happened in our pasts, it’s necessary. I’m learning that God cannot heal what is in the dark. We must shed light on our hurts, whatever those hurt are.
- You are not alone. I’m also learning that I am not the only person who has experienced some of what I’ve experience so I promise you, you are not the only one who has experienced what you’ve experienced.
- There is hope. Romans 5:5 “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
Going back to Dinah. I am positive that she was devastated in all ways possible. She was most likely emotionally distraught and mentally stressed. She probably blamed herself. I’ve been told that victims tend to feel shame and guilt after been abused. Dinah probably felt those emotions too.
I’m far from an expert on this topic. But after reading Dinah’s story I felt it on my heart to remind someone today….
Your story is not in vain.
When we shed light on our past and hurts allowing God to heal and bind us up we win.
When we seek Christ in the midst of pain and crisis we find healing.
When we surrender our guilt and shame at the foot of the cross we find deliverance.
When we reject the devil’s lies and accepts Jesus’ truths we find purpose.
I’m believing for you. There is hope. Let’s, all of us, take our pains and hurts and place them in God’s hands like paint brushes. Let’s sit back and watch as He paints a beautiful redemption masterpiece out of our stories.
My Prayer For You:
Lord Jesus, I don’t know what their stories are but you do. I don’t know what they have experienced in their lives, what hurts they carry, what shame or guilt they battle daily, but you do. Father I don’t know what their struggle is but thankfully you do! I ask you to please lighten their load. Please heal their wounds. Please give them the courage to seek you and professional help so that they can finally find the peace they’ve been desperate for. I thank you so much for the courage to speak on a topic that is so rough. I pray that someone may find hope in the words that I write. I pray that you may use this blog to encourage and inspire. Please let every reader know that you love them and that they are not alone. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.
Memory Verse: Psalm 34:17
Psalm 34:17 The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.
If you or someone you know has experienced any type of sexual abuse seek help.
You can check out RAINN: Rape Abuse Incest National Network or call them at 1-800-656-HOPE(4673)
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The problem was that Leah and Rachel were married to the same man, Jacob. To make things more interesting Jacob was married to Leah through deceit. Who he truly loved was Rachel. The sisters feuded over their husband’s love and attention. So you guessed it. Leah and Rachel brought their servant girls into the mix. Up to this point Rachel was barren. Not having birthed any children put her in what she thought was a huge disadvantage to her sister. Leah had already given Jacob four children. We learn in Genesis 30:1 that Rachel became jealous of her sister and took out her frustration on Jacob. As a result Rachel resorted to old manipulative schemes seen earlier in Genesis. In order to gain mommy points and get even with Leah, Rachel pulled a page out of Sarai’s playbook. She handed Bilhah over to Jacob to conceive. Yup. Bilhah ended up giving birth to two boys. Leah who already had 4 boys of her own reacted to Rachel’s schemes by giving Zilpah over to Jacob as well. She wanted to keep the upper hand. Zilpah also gave Jacob two sons.
These manipulations just pulled more people into the fire and didn’t resolve anything. Rachel and Leah continued to feud.
Zilpah and Bilhah were now all the way caught up in the middle.
Unfortunately for them, they were slaves and didn’t have much of a say.
You and I, on the other hand, have been made free in Jesus. We do not need to be all the way caught up in anyone’s feuding rivalry.
My one and only point. If you feel yourself being drawn into the middle of someone else’s brawl.
SET A BOUNDARY! Or multiple boundaries.
There is a huge difference between being supportive of a friend in need and being manipulated as a pawn in their war. I’ve experienced it before and you probably have too.
A friend has been offended by another friend and now one or both want you to choose a side. Or a couple you are close to breaks up and again you are being made to choose a side.
You know whose side you choose? JESUS’ period!
Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in someone else’s drama. Definitely pray for all parties involved and if asked respond with wisdom aka scripture!
My Prayer For You:
Heavenly Father, I pray for wisdom. I ask you to please bless us with discernment. Lord teach us to listen to you that we may be quiet when you prompt us to be quiet. That we may speak only when your spirit leads us to speak. Lord I pray for our friends and family. I pray that you may keep us all in peace that there may not be any animosity or fighting between us. I ask Father that if differences arise you may help us to make the Jesus choice! Help us to cover our loved ones in prayer that their wars and battles may be resolved by you. Thank you for your word. Thank you for the examples we see in your word of what to do or not do. I ask you to help us create and maintain healthy boundaries in our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Memory Verse: Prov 10:19
Prov 10:19 Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.
Have you ever been asked to pick a side? How did you handle it?
Comment below and tell us all about it!
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I’m excited to continue taking a look at Jacob’s wives. Last week we peeked into Rachel’s story (read it here) This week I want to focus on Leah and her experience. If you haven’t already subscribed to the mailing list go ahead and do that now. Starting on July 15th I will be sending out bi-monthly update emails with news, personal updates and extra freebies you can only see in the newsletter! You won’t want to miss it!
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In Hello Rachel we learn that Jacob has fallen in love with Rachel and that her father tricks him into marrying her sister Leah.
Poor Leah! What stress must have been upon her shoulders. To be the older sister and unmarried meant so much. The fact that she was unmarried meant that she would be a burden to her family. It also meant that she was in the way of Rachel’s freedom to marry. In verse 26 Laban excuses his behavior to Jacob by saying “It’s not our custom here to marry off a younger daughter ahead of the firstborn,”. I am sure this hurt Leah. She must have resented her father for forcing a man who didn’t love her to marry her. She must have resented the other family members who probably felt pity towards her and weren’t discrete about it. She must have been jealous of Rachel who was wanted and loved. How painful to feel unwanted. To feel rejected. Have you ever felt rejected? It is such a lonely and painful emotion. In my experience rejection comes along with a whole parade of friends. Rejection has made me feel worthless, not enough, unvaluable, small. Rejection can give way to jealousy and bitterness. In my opinion it can be severely damaging if we allow it to be. Unfortunately, it is one of those negative emotions that everyone will encounter at some point in their lives, for one reason or another.
I’m sure Leah was experiencing all of these emotions. Not to mention the fact that she probably felt ugly and compared herself to her sister. Verse 17 reveals that Leah was not as attractive as Rachel, “There was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes, but Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face.”
How disappointing all of this must have been. Maybe Leah never dreamt of marrying for love, but I would imagine that she at least hoped to be chosen, selected. Now she had to endure a marriage to a man who openly loved her sister more than her. Verse 30 “So Jacob slept with Rachel, too, and he loved her much more than Leah.”
Leah doesn’t deal well with the rejection. I will be sharing my thoughts on Leah’s and Rachel’s coping on July 15th! Make sure you subscribe and confirm your subscription in order to get the continuation of this portion of the story!
Like I said earlier, rejection is a part of life. The good news is that we can learn to turn to the Lord when we feel rejected. We can allow His love and word to heal and restore us. God has a lot to say about how much He loves us and how He does not reject us.
I have listed some bible verses that have greatly blessed me when I’ve felt lonely and rejected. [Emphasis added by me]
Know that Jesus was also rejected. This is a reminder that he indeed experienced every emotion we ever will.
- John 1:11 ESV / “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.”
- Isaiah 49:15-16 NLT / “Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! 16 See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.”
- Jeremiah 30:17 ESV / For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord, because they have called you an outcast:
- Isaiah 41:9 ESV / You whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”
- Philippians 4:19 ESV / And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
- Psalm 27:10 ESV / For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.
- 1 Peter 2:4 ESV / As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious,
- Psalm 34:18 ESV / The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
- Psalm 40:2 NLT / He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.
My Prayer For You:
Heavenly Father, I pray a special prayer for every person who is experiencing loneliness and/or rejection at this time. I ask for every person who is dealing with the aftermath of being rejected. I pray that you may infuse their hearts with your word that is living and powerful. I ask you to please heal them as you declare in your scriptures you came to bind up our wounds. You came to save those who are crushed in spirit and you are near to the brokenhearted. I ask you to please give us the courage, strength and faith to turn to you for healing when we are hurting. I pray that we may not turn to the things of this world which will only leave us empty and hurting worse than before. I ask you to please bring peace and comfort and joy to those who are in need of it in this moment, Lord, that they may see your mighty hand moving in their lives. I thank you for your goodness. I thank you for your mercy. I thank you and praise you for always loving us and never rejecting us. We can always turn to you! In Jesus name, Amen!
Memory Verse: Psalm 34:18
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
I would love to know what bible verses you use when you are feeling lonely or rejected. Go ahead and share your verse with me in the comments below!
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The fact that Rachel is a working woman reminds me of the responsibility I have to stay busy and not be idle. How important it is for us to work and use our giftings and talents. I truly believe that we position ourselves to be blessed when we are productive workers or volunteers. Sometimes I wonder if life is just passing me by as I work day in and day out, but then I remember that God is always moving. Even behind the scenes of what seems boring and mundane, He is orchestrating a beautiful story.
Rachel is shepherding the sheep towards the well when she sees a stranger among the other shepherds. He looks in her direction with a mixed expression of excitement and relief. She watches as he quickly removes the stone from the well in order to water her sheep and then he runs towards her. He presents himself as her father’s nephew. A relative! Rachel gladly runs to her father’s home and retells the recent events. She then leads Laban back to the well to meet his sister’s son, Jacob. It was quite the scene. A splendid family reunion. Laban invites Jacob back to his home.
I imagine Rachel continues about her business as usual. Maybe she noticed Jacob’s attentions towards her. He might have stolen secret looks at her while working on Laban’s land. A month after his arrival Rachel’s father asks Jacob how he could repay him for working for him. I’m sure Rachel beamed with joy when Jacob asks for her hand in marriage in exchange for seven years of service.
How patient Rachel must have been as she waited for Jacob to complete his service to her father. My favorite verse in this story is verse 20“So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.”
Finally, the day comes when Jacob’s seven years of service are complete. I can’t imagine Rachel’s excitement. Butterflies must have taken flight within her as she knew that she would be wed to the man who loved her and was willing to work so long in order to gain her.
Ladies, the right man for you should be willing to wait. Seven years or as long as it takes. If he can’t wait for marriage to get the goods then he is no good!
I truly believe that when it’s God ordained the time will fly and like for Jacob years will feel like days.
Sadly, in vesre 23 we see that Laban had other plans. He plays a trick on both Rachel and Jacob. 23 “But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob,”
How absolutely devastating. A day that was supposed to be all sunshine had a heavy dark cloud over it. What a rift this deception must have created between Rachel and her sister. Rachel must have felt extremely betrayed. I wonder if she blamed Leah for not having already been married.
At this point in the story the idea that sometimes we have exactly what/who we want directly in front of us but out of our reach comes to mind.
Have you ever been in this situation? How did you deal with it?
I must say that it’s not an easy one. I can’t even begin to think that I have the right answer to that question.
The best I could come up with is to seek God’s guidance. Definitely let’s not make emotional decisions because those never end well. Also, let’s not force things to happen if it’s clearly the wrong time. A friend once told me, “The right guy at the wrong time is just as bad as the wrong guy at any time.”
Rachel doesn’t completely lose Jacob. On the contrary, Jacob commits to work an additional seven years to marry Rachel.
They are wed but I can’t tell you that this was a happily ever after ending. Verse 30 says something crucial to the story, “and his [Jacob’s] love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah”
Rachel ends up having to share her husband and who wants that?!
Next week I want to take a look at Leah and her side of the story.
1. Don’t wait around for life to happen but work.
2. Live and enjoy where you are because that’s exactly where God needs you to be.
My Prayer for you:
Heavenly Father, you know how strained we feel sometimes. Sometimes our lives feel boring, insignificant or even mediocre. I ask you to please remind us that our seasons in life are not in vain. I ask you to transform our hearts that we may live with grateful hearts. Help us to enjoy our walks and rejoice in them regardless of the difficulty level. We trust that you are working behind the scenes. Help us to be patient as we wait for whatever we are praying for. Also give us wisdom that we may not become desperate and make permanent decisions on fleeting emotions. Thank you for your constant grace and protection. Please comfort those hearts that are hurting. Your word declares that you came to bind up the brokenhearted. Please let lose your healing over those who feel broken and damaged. Thank you, Jesus for hearing our prayers. It’s in your name that we pray, Amen!
Memory Verse: Psalm 37:5
Psalm 37:5 Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.
I tried more of a storytelling approach today. Did you like it? Leave a comment, click like, or share this post! I would love to connect with you!