Tagged: women of genesis

HELLO KETURAH

Surprise!

Today we find a lesser known woman of Genesis in chapter 25.
Her name is Keturah.
Not much is said about Keturah. Her name appears twice in Genesis, in verses 1 and 4.
In true Old Testament fashion she is listed along with the names of her sons and grandsons.
So who was Keturah?
She was Abraham’s concubine or additional wife.

Abraham in his old age… really old age… he’s now well into his 100’s, took another wife.

Genesis 25: 1 Abraham had taken another wife, whose name was Keturah. 2 She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah. 3 Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan; the descendants of Dedan were the Ashurites, the Letushites and the Leummites. 4 The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanok, Abida and Eldaah. All these were descendants of Keturah.

Personally I believe that this happened after Sarah’s passing which is recorded in Genesis 23. In Genesis 24 we learned that Isaac married Rebekah. If we put it all together, Sarah passes and Isaac get’s married, we can understand that Abraham probably became lonely. Out of loneliness he took another wife. Or maybe he just wanted to continue having children to increase his descendants even more. Regardless, Abraham marries Keturah and she makes it into history.
Keturah means “incense” 1. She had six sons with Abraham and that’s all we know.

I always enjoy coming across unknown women in the bible. It reminds me that no matter our position we can make history.
I long to impact the world around me and live a life that is to be remember for generations to come. To leave a thumbprint on this world. A legacy.
Don’t you?

My Prayer for You:
Lord, I ask you to use Keturah’s name to remind us of our significance. The fact that you created us makes us valuable. I ask you to remind my readers of their worth in you. I ask that you stir their hearts. You created them with purpose. I pray that they may seek that purpose with which you knit them together. I pray that they may walk in you in such a way that they may leave an amazing legacy for the generations to come. That one day someone may say their name and praise you for how you moved through them. I thank you because we are chosen by you. Thank you for using us. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Memory Verse: Matthew 10:31
Matt 10:31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Advertisements

HELLO REBEKAH PART IV

Up to this point in Genesis we have seen Abraham send his servant to find a wife for his son Isaac. We’ve met Rebekah the woman Abraham’s servant came upon at the spring. We learned that her character was pure and generous.
Catch up: Hello Rebekah Part I, II, III.
Today I want to wrap up Hello Rebekah with Part IV.

Genesis 24 is a lengthy chapter. So much is going on.
I encourage you to read the entire chapter (here).

I particularly enjoy reading verse 28. I picture Rebekah grabbing her skirts in her hands and literally running home from the spring to tell her family the news. She probably picked up on the signs that this man was important and would bring a huge change to her life. I bet she even left the water jar behind forgetting the whole reason she went to the spring in the first place.
28 The young woman ran and told her mother’s household about these things.

After sharing the news, Rebekah’s brother rushes back to the well and invites the man to join them in their home offering him all the comforts. In verses 33 – 49 Abraham’s servant explains to Rebekah’s family the situation and everything that happened at the spring. He shares how Rebekah behaved exactly as he had secretly prayed Isaac’s wife would behave. He proceeds to ask her family for permission to take her back with him to Abraham’s home as Isaac’s wife.
50 Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or the other. 51 Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has directed.”
They immediately see God’s hand all over this story. God was clearly writing Isaac and Rebekah’s love story right before their eyes. How could they deny it? How could they reject the request? Rebekah was to be wed!
This automatically gives hope! God is the author! He wrote this story! He is writing my story! He is writing your story!
54… When they got up the next morning, he said, “Send me on my way to my master.” 55 But her brother and her mother replied, “Let the young woman remain with us ten days or so; then you may go.” 56 But he said to them, “Do not detain me, now that the Lord has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master.”
There is a saying in Spanish, “Lo que ta pa ti, nadie te lo quita”… “Whatever is in store for you, no one can take it away”
I believe this is true! It’s funny how Rebekah’s family were happy to oblige the night before but in the morning light wanted to delay the process. Maybe they realized they may never see Rebekah again. Maybe they became hesitant. Maybe they just wanted to prepare her for what was to come. There is no way to know for sure. What I do know is that they wanted to delay the trip. They wanted to keep Rebekah from her destiny even if for 10 days. But so much could happen within 10 days and Abraham’s servant was wise enough to understand that. He said, ‘Oh, No!’ He insisted that they leave immediately to prevent any circumstances getting in the way of Rebekah leaving at all.
In the same way I believe that there may be people in my/your life who will unknowingly try to delay the process. Or maybe knowingly. Heck, it could even be me, myself making poor decisions and delaying my blessings all on my own. That sounds like bad news… but the good news is right behind it.  
57 Then they said, “Let’s call the young woman and ask her about it.” 58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?” “I will go,” she said.
When God calls you. Because He WILL call you, be ready to say, “I will go.” Rebekah was, and she did. Because of her preparedness she was blessed.
59 So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, “Our sister, may you increase to thousands upon thousands; may your offspring possess the cities of their enemies.”
That is also my prayer for you! That as you and I work through our character defects we may be ready to accept God’s call. That as God calls us out into our mission field, we may respond with, “I will go.” And that as we go, we may be blessed beyond measures even our imaginations do not know.
The last couple of verses in Genesis 24 reveal Isaac and Rebekah’s first meeting. It’s truly romantic. Out of a movie if you will. Go read it for yourself (here)! But remember those verses were written as a result of Rebekah’s willingness.
Are you ready?
Are you willing?
God is writing your story. He is calling on you to go. How will you answer Him?

My Prayer For You:
Jesus Christ, I thank you once more for Rebekah’s story. I truly love this story of destiny and God’s authority. I appreciate the fact that as you wrote Rebekah’s story, you can write mine as well. I pray for those reading this today wondering if you are writing their story. Those who are seeking their happy ending in you. Jesus please reveal to them sneak peeks of your plan. Help us become the people you designed us to be that we may be ready to accept your call. That we may not hesitate or delay the process but that we may be pure and generous as Rebekah was. That we may be bold and courageous to step out into the unknown wherever you may call us to. That as we chase you and listen for your voice we may answer you with, “I will go.” Thank you for your protection and covering over our lives. Be glorified through us at all times. We love you and need you! It’s in Jesus’ heavenly name that I pray, Amen!

Memory Verse: Genesis 24:58  
Genesis 24:58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?” “I will go,” she said.

HELLO REBEKAH PART III

I hope you enjoyed last week’s guest blogger Alyssa from We Are Bloggish. If you missed her post go ahead and click here to check it out!

The past few weeks we’ve been learning about Rebekah, Milkah’s granddaughter.
Quick Review….
Week 1: I focused on the journey to her and how it relates to the man of your dreams.
Week 2: I discovered three of Rebekah’s character traits in Genesis 24:16 that we can all apply to our lives.
Week 3: I want to continue examining Rebekah’s character.

Genesis 24: 17 The servant hurried to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water from your jar.”   18 “Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink.

  1. Servant’s Heart… Rebekah was quick to help a stranger in need. She didn’t walk away and ignore him. I imagine her coming up from the spring with a mind full of desert thoughts not even noticing the man with a full caravan. Maybe he startled her with his approach knocking her out of her daze. Regardless of her daydreams she was “quick” to serve! I love it. To be honest, this convicts my heart. How often am I asked for a small favor and in my heart do not respond with a servant’s heart as Rebekah did?

The next verse blows me away even further.
19
After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have had enough to drink.” 20 So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels.

Talk about a servant’s heart! Can I add a generous one, too? Let’s shed some perspective on this task Rebekah just volunteered herself for. In verse 10 we are told that Abraham’s servant loaded 10 camels to go on this trip. Ten, T-E-N, TEN!!!! How much does a camel drink? You best believe that I googled it! According to an article I found from National Geographic camels can drink up to 30 gallons of water in a span of 13 minutes.

So hold up! Rebekah drew enough water for the camels to drink their full. Let’s do some math. 10 camels, 30 gallons per camel, so Rebekah drew 10 x 30 gallons of water which equals 300 gallons of water. How long would that have taken?! How big was her jar?! Remember last week I mentioned her upper body strength… yeah, homegirl was STRONG!!!!

I am not saying that I want to draw 300 gallons of water but I definitely want to be a servant like Rebekah. She went the distance. She had a whatever it takes attitude. She didn’t cringe away from this man because he was a stranger or because he was dusty and dirty from the ride there. Now please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. I do not by any means advice you to put yourself in a dangerous situation. But how often are we driving and a homeless person is on the corner asking for some change. I’ll tell you some of the things I’ve done… I know I’ve rolled up my window quickly and avoided eye contact. Not comparing Abraham’s servant to a homeless person just comparing my heart to Rebekah’s. Food for thought. Sometimes we just need to examine our hearts. I know I need to all the time.
In verse 21 we learn that we are not the only ones peering into Rebekah’s heart. She is being observed by the stranger as well.

21 Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful.

Bonus thought: Let’s be observant. Kindhearted like Rebekah and observant like Abraham’s servant. Sometimes it’s best to just sit back and watch someone’s character and decisions. Allow people to show what’s truly in their hearts before you allow them all the way in or make them privy to your secrets.
Remember Proverbs 4:23, guard your heart.

22 When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels. 23 Then he asked, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?” 24 She answered him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son that Milkah bore to Nahor.” 25 And she added, “We have plenty of straw and fodder, as well as room for you to spend the night.”

Today I hope to encourage you to be generous and have a servant’s heart. It’s been said that giving is better than receiving and that you can’t receive with a closed fist.

Let’s be generous even when it’s uncomfortable. Let’s be generous even when it inconvenient. Let’s be generous because you never know what blessing God has waiting for you on the other side of that generosity. Like Rebekah we can be on the brink of greatness and all we need to do is respond with a generous heart.

My prayer for you:
Heavenly Father. You are the owner of all of the cattle on all of the hills. You created all that is in existence. Lord help us to remember that if you are kind to the birds of the sky how much more will you take care of us your children. I ask you to break all greed in our hearts that we may learn to be generous and servant-hearted. Help us remember that when we treat others with kindness and generosity it is as if we are doing the same to you. Please make us aware of when we are not being generous and give us the strength to surrender to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Memory Verse: Hebrews 13:2
Hebrews 13:2
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

HELLO REBEKAH PART II

Last week we had the chance to see how Abraham made arrangements to find Isaac’s wife. We learned some principles to live by that can help us safeguard our hearts. (Proverbs 4:23)
If you didn’t get a chance to read Hello Rebekah Part I please check it out. I think you’ll find it to be encouraging and full of truth.
This week we get the chance to take a closer look at Rebekah herself. I hope that we can glean some traits of what a Godly woman looks like by studying Rebekah.
Previously we stopped with her arrival at the well and Abraham’s servant approaching her. I left out verse 16 last week on purpose, let’s pick up there now.

16 The woman was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever slept with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again.
Already from this one verse I see three characteristics that can be applied to our lives no matter where we are in our walks.

  1. Very Beautiful… What are we doing to take care of our bodies? Beauty looks differently to everyone. There is no absolute when it comes to beauty. As children of the King of kings we are responsible to maintain healthy lifestyles. That includes eating the right things and limiting the wrong things. Notice I did not say eliminating the wrong things… let’s be real, I’m not going to stop eating cheese puffs, I just can’t eat them everyday. We also need to be conscious of our sleeping and skincare habits… I’m totally guilty of not getting enough sleep and not washing the makeup off my face before going to bed. Am I the only one?? Let’s not forget exercising! It’s so hard to get the momentum going but once you’re in, it could be the best stress reliever and empowering activity you have in your life. And remember your outer beauty is limited by your inner beauty. Make sure to work on your inner beauty as much or more than you do on your outer beauty. In Matthew 12:34 Jesus said “the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Is your heart beautiful?
  2. A Virgin… In this day and age we are so bombarded with sex and sexual innuendos everywhere we look, making it more than challenging to escape the lustful propaganda.
  • If you are a virgin protect your virginity with your life! Don’t throw your pearls to swine! (Matt 7:6)
  • If you are no longer a virgin for reasons that were out of your control; understand that it was not your fault. Release the shame and guilt to Christ. Forgive. As hard as it may be, forgiveness is key. Forgive your perpetrator and forgive yourself. The enemy wants to keep you stuck in guilt and shame convincing you that you did something wrong. But you didn’t! Seek professional Christian help and allow Christ to bring healing to the hidden places of your heart. Psalm 147:3 promises that Jesus is ready to mend your broken heart and heal your wounds.   
  • If you do not fall into the first two categories know that I do not judge or condemn you! Jesus doesn’t either. Turn from your sin, confess it to Christ. Repent. Forgive yourself and start anew. For though your sins are red like scarlet Christ can wash them white as snow! Isaiah 1:18

Virginity equates to purity. Purity of heart, mind, and body. Above I mentioned that inner beauty is more valuable than external beauty.

  • Purity of heart is where it all starts. It’s from our hearts that purity will flow. If we have lust within our hearts than we will act upon those lustful desires. We may pretend we have it under control and suppress it or hide it. But the truth will always come through. If we have lustful hearts no matter how much willpower we use eventually we won’t be strong enough to contain it any longer. 
  • Being pure of mind is a matter of our thoughts. What do we allow ourselves to think? What do we allow ourselves to watch, listen to and read. These factors influence our thought lives. We need to protect our minds and shield ourselves from taking in anything that can lead our thoughts to a lustful place. But when it happens, because we are human and it may very well be inevitable, we must capture those thoughts and submit them to the word of Christ.  (2 Cor. 10:5)

Lately I’ve been learning that it’s not what I put into my heart but what comes out of it. Our heart is the spring and purity needs to start there in order to well up out of it and into the rest of our lives. Maintaining purity isn’t always about the willpower to say no in the heat of the moment. It’s about having a pure heart versus a sinful one. I know I’ve focused on lust while referring to purity but other conditions of the heart we should be aware of are: jealousy, envy, greed, hate, guilt and shame. A great resource to learn how to combat four of these heart poisons is Andy Stanley’s book Enemies of the Heart.
3. Hardworking… Rebekah is a working girl. Most of us are now-a-days. I don’t know about you but I have never filled a jar with water and carried it on my shoulder. I can’t even begin to imagine how much upper body strength this girl had to be able to do this manual labor. Ladies let’s be hardworking. Let’s be diligent in our work. Focused on being the best at what we do that Christ may be glorified through our work ethic. Verse 16 doesn’t give Rebekah justice as too how hardworking she is. Next week I want to dig a little deeper into the next few verses and talk about some more of the qualities Rebekah possesses that would look lovely on us.

My Prayer for You:
Dear Jesus I pray that you may shine your light into the depths of our hearts. I ask you to remove all darkness and impurity from within us my God, that we may lead pure lives. I ask you to reveal to us those areas in our hearts that need to be cleansed by your hand that we may be able to pray for those areas specifically. Thank you for hearing us and for sacrificing your own purity that we may be able to experience purity in you. Lord I pray for the readers who have suffered from any type of abuse. I ask you to mend their hearts and bind up their wounds. Please lead them to the right help where they can face their truths and find healing in you. Thank you because even in our darkest moments you are by our side. Thank you because you hear our prayers and act upon them. I ask that we may have the patience and courage to wait on your response. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Memory Verse: Psalm 51:10
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

If you enjoyed today’s post don’t forget to LIKE, TWEET and COMMENT below!!! I would love to connect with you on Instagram or Twitter as well. Click the icons and follow away! 

HELLO REBEKAH PART I

Last week was so great! We got to meet some hidden treasures. Milkah and Reumah. We were reminded about our identity in Christ. And we got a preview to today’s woman in the bible….  Rebekah! Rebekah and Isaac’s love story is one of my favorite. You’ll see me say that a lot, LOL. It’s just that when God writes a love story it’s beyond beautiful. Genesis 24 is one of those breath taking love stories that can only be orchestrated by the Father. Funny enough it starts with a father, Abraham, arranging his son’s wedding.
4 but (you) will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.”

Rebekah was sought out. A long journey was taken with the sole purpose of finding her.
In the same way, the man God has for your life will seek you out!
Personalize it and say it out loud.
The man God has for [MY] life will seek [ME] out!
Reread that!
Let it seep into your spirit. As a single woman of faith I know the struggle. The very real struggle. Every word of encouragement is a drop of water in the desert.
GOD HAS A GODLY MAN FOR YOU.
LET HIM SEEK YOU OUT!


7 he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there.

I am believing with you single sister, that when God sends him He will send an angel before him to prepare the way. You are God’s daughter! You are his craftsmanship! He wants you to be paired with only someone who will value you and protect you as the masterpiece you were created you to be are!

11 He had the camels kneel down near the well outside the town; it was toward evening, the time the women go out to draw water.

The importance of being in the right place at the right time. Keep your commitments. This strikes so close to home. Just this week I was tempted to break a weekly commitment to attend an art exhibit. Mind you I really wanted to go to this exhibit’s opening reception and potentially meet an artist I’ve recently started following. Of course, the way things usually go… the event fell on the same night as my weekly small group. It could have been really easy to miss just one week. I would’ve be missing it for a fun and wholesome reason. I had to consider whether it was really worth me breaking my commitment. Couldn’t I just go to the exhibit on another night? Or maybe go after? I ended up keeping my commitment and going to the art exhibit afterwards. Everything worked out perfectly! I got my weekly dose of the word and encouragement that we all need AND I was able to go to the exhibit and meet my new favorite artist. Had I skipped out on my group I probably would have felt a little guilty and I know I wouldn’t have had the chance of making friends with some of the new members. Let’s be responsible with our commitments and God will reward us for our obedience.

I think that many times we get in our own way as well as God’s way. How? By not being where He told us to be. When we don’t follow His leading. When we skip out on serving or attending church services or simply talking to the person He nudged us to talk to, we prevent Him from creating divine encounters. Divine encounters? Yup! That unexpected, totally God moment when you run into someone you were not expecting to run into. That, my dear sister, is a divine encounter. We can’t force them to happen even though I know sometimes we try. I know I think about it secretly all the time… example: I’ll dress up real cute thinking that just maybe the person I want to see will be there too.
Rebekah had no idea that Abraham’s servant was on his way to look for her. She was just going about her business. Doing the mundane tasks of fetching water from the well. But, let me not get ahead of myself.

12 Then he prayed,

God’s man for you will be a prayerful man! If he isn’t praying then guess what… HE ISN’T FOR YOU!!!
We don’t always want to accept it but it’s a safe guard…. don’t expose your spirit to be intertwined with a spirit that is not in communion with the LORD. I promise from personal experience it will only cause pain!
Sisters, let’s trust that God’s plan is bigger and better than what we can think up or imagine for ourselves. One way to show we are relying and trusting in the LORD is by staying away from men who are not up to His standards.
If you read the whole passage you’ll see that he didn’t just pray but he prayed a specific prayer. He asked God to make it obvious. I encourage you to do the same. Pray for specific signs and answers. Be open to receive God’s answers even if they aren’t what you may be hoping for.

15 Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder…

There she is! An answer to a prayer…. reminds me of Eve being an answer to Adam’s prayer.

17 The servant hurried to meet her and said…

I was once told that the right man will come to you with a plan.
If a guy is fluttering around your life but is indecisive and has no plan or interest in a plan RUN!!!! It’s so much easier said than done. But it is possible to run. I did! You can too!!!!

If you know what you want don’t hang around waiting for an “okay” guy to be all in. I had to make that decision recently. It was hard and it was painful. But it’s better to hurt for a little while and run away from the wrong guy than to attach yourself to the wrong guy and hurt for a lifetime.

Let’s learn from each other and take a preventative approach. Let’s prevent drama and pain by latching onto God’s promises in His word.

Memory Verse: Habakkuk 2:3
Habakkuk 2:3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.

My Prayer for You:
Heavenly Father, I pray for every woman reading this post today. I ask you to cover them with a special protection. I pray that you may guide them to be where you want them to be at the exact time you need them to be there. I ask that you may put a sleeping beauty blessing over their passion that it may not be awakened before its time. I ask you Heavenly Father to please be with each and every single reader as they make important relationship decisions in their lives. Please help them RUN from sexual sin. Help them say NO to those who they know in the depths of their hearts are not healthy for them. Thank you for hearing our prayers and thank you for being with us while we navigate the journey you’ve designed for us. Grow our faith and trust in you that we may not lean on our own understanding. And please help us seek you with all of our hearts. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Please comment below and let me know if this post was inspiring, encouraging or helpful to you in any way! I would love to know how God is moving in your life through Superstarnat.com.

HELLO MILKAH AND REUMAH

I absolutely love when women pop up in the bible for one or two verses. There may not be much on their stories but one thing’s for sure. They lived significant lives! They mothered significant people and were part of world changing families. That is the case with Milkah and Reumah.

Genesis 22:20-24 zooms in on Nahor’s family for a total of 4 verses. In these short verses we are reminded that he is Abraham’s brother.

Remember Abraham? Used to be Abram. He’s married to Sarah who used to be Sarai. Revisit Hello Sarai/Sarah here… I, II, III.
When I read this google definition it suddenly occurred to me that the family dynamics in Nahor’s house were very similar to those in Abraham’s house. They were brothers after all. Abraham had a legitimate wife, Sarah. But he also had a second wife, Hagar, who did not have any where near the same standing as his first wife. The same dynamic is happening with Nahor. He has his first wife Milkah who is different from Sarah because she was obviously not barren having bore him eight children. Nahor also has a second, “wife” Reumah who is described as a concubine and not a wife. I wonder, did she also start out as a servant/slave?

What I learned from Reumah:
1. I can’t allow labels to define me.
Just because society or the world defines you as one thing does not mean that you are confined to that description. You are not being held hostage to that connotation. You are free to live the life you choose regardless of what label has been placed on you!
You are more than any label because your most important label is DAUGHTER OF THE KING!

2. My life does matter.
It’s easy to think that your life is not important because we fall into a certain category… I’m just a (fill in the blank), I’m not making any real difference. That sentence right there. That’s a lie from the devil! YES YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE! There is someone who is looking to you for encouragement or motivation. Someone who is maybe looking to you for approval or acceptance. Your life matters very much! You have been created with a specific purpose to fulfill that only you can do! Just because it seems like you’re the secondary character in your movie called Life does not mean that you are!
You are a protagonist! Live it!

Memory Verse Psalm 57:2
Psalm 57:2 I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.

My Prayer for you:
Lord God, today I pray for the reader who identifies themselves with either Milkah or Reumah. I pray for the reader who is struggling to understand their identity. Father help them know that they have a real identity in you! That in you they are more than anything this world can ever say they are. I pray that the words from this blog post may breathe life into a dying spirit today. Lord, help us live for you in such a way that we leave the next generation better than we could ever be. Thank you for covering us with your protecting hand. Thank you for loving us beyond measure. Thank you that your love covers over a multitude of sin. Thank you that we are your children and in turn we are royalty! I praise your name and lift your name above all else. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!


Milkah
Milkah is first mentioned in Genesis 11:29. In one verse we are told that she is the daughter of Haran and the wife of Nahor.
As the daughter of Haran she is also the sister of Lot (verse 27).


Family ties and connections in the bible fascinate me. As Lot’s sister, Milkah is sister-in-law to Lot’s Wife and aunt to Lot’s Daughters. As Haran’s daughter, Milkah is Abraham’s niece. As Nahor’s wife she is also Sarah’s sister in law. Talk about keeping it all in the family.  


We see her again in Genesis 22:20 where we learn she has mothered eight sons to Nahor. The 8th and youngest son is Bethuel. In verse 23 we are informed that Bethuel becomes Rebeka’s father.

Now I’m sure that all the brothers are mentioned for lineage purposes and to explain family ties and how the family grew and spread over time. But for my blog’s purpose I’m going to zoom in on the fact that Rebeka is mentioned. I can’t wait to talk about her.

Honestly, I feel like the whole reason these four verses are recorded is simply to make the statement that Milkah is Rebeka’s grandmother!


This passage gives me the preview that Sarah’s and Milkah’s families will be further intertwined at some point in the future. We will get to check it out in Genesis 24/Hello Rebeka.

What I learned from Milkah:

  1. My family does not predict my legacy.

In thinking about what Milkah taught me I considered her relatives. I considered the women she was tied to in her family. Sarah was co-dependent, inpatient, and manipulative. Lot’s wife was so in love with her past sin that she couldn’t let go and it destroyed her. These two women of Milkah’s same generation made choices that created pain and suffering in their lives and the lives of the people near them. Milkah on the other hand did not allow their mistakes to hinder her family line. Later in Genesis we will study how generations after her there are women in her lineage who are hardworking and God fearing.
Her legacy, your legacy, my legacy is not a reflection of our family ties!


Reumah

Genesis 22:24  His concubine, whose name was Reumah…


Just a concubine? Or more? According to Bible Hub Reumah is the first woman in the bible to be recorded as a concubine. I found it so odd that the second wife of a secondary character would be named when her status was “CONCUBINE”. Bible Hub also states that her name means “exalted”. What?? This confused me even further. A concubine with a name that means “exalted” 1. The meaning of her name made me want to dig deeper. In all my searching I kept hitting a dead end. All I found was that she was a concubine, which we already know.
But then, I thought of something.
What’s the definition of the word concubine?

HELLO LOT’S DAUGHTERS

Last week we met Lot’s wife.
If you didn’t get a chance to read last week’s post click here.
She couldn’t contain herself and looked back at the last minute. Her lack of self-control left her daughter’s without a mother.
This week I want to take a closer look at Lot’s daughters.

Picture

Lot and his Daughters

14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters.

Lot’s daughters were engaged with men from Sodom and Gomorrah when the angels of the Lord showed up to deliver their family. They were probably excited about getting married. Every engaged girl I’ve ever known has been ecstatic and over joyed at the prospects of marriage. I wonder if they were devastated when their fiancés refused to leave the city with them. They refused to let go of the wickedness of S&G to create a new life with them.

I know my heart would have shattered.

Not only did these two sisters lose their future husbands in their escape they also lost their mother. Who’s to know how close they were. The passage doesn’t mention any grieving or morning for the loss of their mother. Regardless of their mother-daughter relationships losing everything in a matter of minutes must have been traumatizing to say the least. And to top it all off their father driven by fear rushes them into the mountains to live secluded in a cave! Who does that?!

They may have been able to start over and meet new potential suitors. However that is not what happens. Maybe it was their upbringing in Sodom and Gomorrah. Maybe it was cave fever. Maybe they lost hope all together. I can’t begin to imagine what type of desperation possessed the older sister to suggest what we know today as a vile and inappropriate act.

31 One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth. 32 Let’s get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family line through our father.”

We learned in Hello Cain’s Wife that God had yet to outlawed incest in the times of the book of Genesis. It doesn’t become a sin until Leviticus. So, in some regard her idea isn’t all that crazy or far-fetched, if viewed from the perspective of that time period and their customs. If someone suggested that today… I’d be very very concerned for them. In any case the younger sister agreed.

Side bar: [They must have been lonely. I know what loneliness feels like and it’s one of those heartaches that you feel physically. To me it hurts so much that I just want to tear my heart out to make the ache stop. It’s one of those cases in which the tears sting so bad when you cry and you don’t know what to do so you just wallow in it until it passes.]

I’m learning that Jesus is always at our side. We never need to feel lonely because Christ is always with us. Besides no one will be able to be with us every second of the day. We will be alone at times; in moments of loneliness lets’ cry out to the author of time and space. Let’s allow God to fill the relational void.

If only Lot’s Daughters had the good sense to call out to God for a solution instead of attempting to fix their problems on their own. I read a blog post about Lot’s family that mentioned an interesting point, the girls probably knew that they were doing something inappropriate because why get their father drunk? Why not just talk to him and tell him what was going on? Maybe he might have understood and mustered the courage to leave the cave and rejoin civilization.

 We learn in verses 34 through 38 that in two consecutive nights the sisters get Lot drunk and sleep with him in order to become pregnant. They both conceived and gave birth to sons.

Happy ending? I wouldn’t say so. Their sons’ descendants grow up to be enemies of God’s chosen people.

Not such a great fate for Lot’s family after all.

Read the full story here.

What I Learned from Lot’s Daughters:

  • We are all capable of doing wild things when faced with desperate situations.
  • Sometimes it’s easier to take matters into our own hands.
  • The journey is just as important as the destination.
  • Always measure the consequences.


What did you learn from Lot’s Daughters? Anything stand out to you? Share in the comments below!

 My Prayer for You:

Dear Jesus, please help us remember that you are near even when we cannot feel or hear you. Lord, help us present all requests to you instead of seeking out quick fixes that will only hurt us further in the long run. I pray that you may use today’s post to minister to someone’s heart. That the words read on this screen may be of encouragement and Godly conviction. I ask you with a humble heart to lead us into your will and not our own. Please help us put aside the plans that satisfy our flesh but grieve your spirit. Thank you for loving us without reservation. Thank you for hearing our prayers. In Jesus’ name, Amen!


Memory Verse: Isaiah 41:10
Isaiah 41: 10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

HELLO LOT’S WIFE

This week I want to focus on one of the few Old Testament women mentioned by Jesus himself in the New Testament.
With three simple words Jesus preached a whole sermon.
Luke 17:32 “Remember Lot’s wife.”

In Genesis 19 we find the story of Lot and his family. They lived along side Abraham and Sarah for sometime. But once they went their separate ways Lot led his family to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. It turned out to be a salty situation. The city was destined for destruction and Lot and his family would be destroyed along with everyone else inside the city unless they fled.  Verses 15 – 17 and 26 give great insight to the story.

15With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.” 16When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them. 17As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”

26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

There you have it. Lot’s wife looked back. She was given one instruction. Don’t look back. She couldn’t follow through with it.

Maybe she was just curious.

Maybe she had gotten so used to her S&G home that she hated the thought of losing it.

Whatever the reason, Lot’s wife looked back. As a result she was instantly turned into a pillar of salt.

This story makes me think of how looking to my past can hinder me from reaching better things in my future.

I understand that it’s important to know where we come from to know where we are going. I also think that it’s important to have a good grasp of our past in order to not repeat the same mistakes in our future.

But let’s face it. How common is it to get so stuck in the past that you can’t enjoy your present? Or to be so paralyzed by the past that the future seems unattainable?

Lot’s wife teaches us a grave lesson.

#1 Be obedient.
#2 Let go of the past and move into your future.

Clinging to the straws of long ago will only stop you from moving forward. I know it’s prevented me from seeing life with clear eyes. I know it’s kept me attached to people who were harmful for me for longer than necessary.

Looking back to the familiar may be the easy way out, the comfortable way. But who ever said you can achieve great things by being comfortable?

Salt may help preserve our food and season things up but in Lot’s wife’s case salt proved to be her doom. I want her saltiness to be a lesson learned. This lesson was obviously important enough for Jesus to bring it up himself.

Read the whole passage here.

My Prayer for You:
Lord God, I pray for the people who keep looking back. I pray for those who are unable to see what is right before them because they refuse to let go of their past. I ask you to take the scales off their eyes. I pray that you may give them the strength to let go. That they may see a better future before them. I ask you Jesus to please protect us from our own sinful natures. Help us fix our eyes on you that we may not fall into destruction because of wandering eyes. Thank you for hearing and acting upon our prayers. Thank you for covering us, leading us and guiding us even when we feel alone. I pray that your will may be done. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Memory Verse: Proverbs 4:25-27
Proverbs 4:25 Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. 26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. 27 Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.

HELLO HAGAR PART III

Week 3 and the final week of Hello Hagar…

If you are here for the first time, WELCOME!!! You have no idea how ecstatic I am that you’re here!!!

If it’s not your first time, I’m not lying when I say I am equally as excited that you decided to come back!!!!

Either way THANK YOU for stopping by and hanging out here at SUPERSTARNAT.COM

Need to catch up?
Hello Hagar Part I… click here.
Hello Hagar Part II… click here.

Have you read my Hello Eve or Hello Sarai/Sarah series??? Check ’em out and let me know what you think!

The last two weeks we learned about Hagar’s misfortune. She was a slave who was forced to have a child for her masters. Once she became pregnant an intense hatred between herself and her mistress erupted into mistreatment and Hagar’s running away. Last week we saw how God was with her through it all. He protected her in the desert and sent her back to her mistress. Today we see what happens almost 20 years later. Have they learned to live in harmony? Have they accepted their roles and flourished within them? Or has the underlying tension kept everyone walking on eggshells?

Genesis 21 drops a bit of a bombshell on the story. It let’s loose a rather unexpected turn of events. At this point Sarah, Hagar’s mistress, has had the child she has waited forever for. She decides that she no longer wants Hagar around, sending her and her son away for good has become her desire. Abraham wisely consults with the Lord and in verse 12 God responds. His answer may be surprising, let’s read it…
12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you…”

So God tells Abraham to go ahead and please his wife in this, to send Hagar away with her son. Basically Hagar got kicked out!!!

13 I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”

God blesses the idea of sending Hagar away but not without first speaking a blessing over her son.

14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.

I bet Hagar had no idea she was going to be exiled from the only home she’d known for more than 30 years when she woke up that morning. Maybe she was overcome with uncertainty and fear at the thought of having to leave and not knowing where to go. Back into the desert she went. This time she did not go alone. Her son accompanied her in the wanderings. Having a limited amount of supplies soon became an issue especially because they wandered without a final destination.

15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob.

Lack of water took it’s toll and her son began to dehydrate. One piece if information that strikes me about this story every time is the boys age. When read without background knowledge it comes off like he is just a young child. The reality is that the boy was a teenager. She walked away from her teenaged son and left him to die.

Wow! What a moment of hopelessness. How incredibly crippling it must feel to be in a position where the one person you love the most in the world is slipping away and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

But then God… maybe there is nothing you or I can do in some situations but there is always one who can make the impossible possible.

17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”

Talk about coming through at what felt like the last minute. Once again God met Hagar in the middle of desolation. Once again God reminded her that He was in control. She thought she would watch her son die from a distance and probably die shortly after him. But God had other plans.   

19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.

I love how it says that He “opened her eyes” as if implying the wells presence the whole time. I wonder what is directly in front of you that you have been praying for but have not noticed? What is God opening your eyes to?

My Prayer for You:
Lord God I pray for for the unmet prayers. I pray for those in
unbearable pain. Those who are watching their loved ones suffer and are unable to take the pain away. I ask you Jesus to step in the way you did for Hagar and her son in the desert. I pray that you may open eyes today. I ask you Heavenly Father to reveal your promises and blessings in the lives of your people today. I thank you because you always have a way of showing up when we feel our lowest. You have a way of creating a way when we see no way. Thank you Jesus for hearing this prayer and thank you for what you are doing in the unseen. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Memory Verse: Matthew 19:26
Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”


Picture

Wandering the desert.

HELLO HAGAR PART II


Today we will take a look at what led to Hagar fleeing the scene and what happened once she did.
If you haven’t read Hello Hagar Part I click here to catch up.

Picture

Quick recap:
Sarai couldn’t have children so she told her husband to create a family through her slave, Hagar.
Hagar became pregnant and began to despise her mistress.
Let’s see what happens next and what we can learn from it.

Genesis 16
4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. 6 … Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.

I’ve experienced many different levels of anger: so mad I’m shaking, so mad I have to walk away, so mad my ears become extremely hot and turn red, so mad my voice steadily increases. The worst of all is when I am so mad I can’t contain myself and the tears start flowing.

Why do I mention my levels of anger?
Because I think Hagar was going through her own levels of emotional distress during this season in her life.


At this point Hagar has been with Sarai for years and I would imagine that even as her slave they had as cordial and positive a relationship as was appropriate. However the minute Hagar felt something other than complete respect for her mistress things began to go south. Hagar mustn’t have been the best at hiding her emotions because it’s obvious from verse 6 that Sarai felt her disdain and responded in tow.
Talk about baby momma drama!!!
I can’t begin to imagine how poorly Sarai must have treated Hagar for her to get to the point of, “I CAN’T TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”. She got to level 10 of fed up. Sick and tired of being sick and tired she packed a bag and hit the road.

Hagar ran away.

She ran away from the problem. She ran away from her reality. She ran away from a toxic and apparent hopeless situation.
Who was she to compete? She was still a slave and had no rights.
So she fled.

I know Hagar isn’t the only person who has ever felt so overwhelmed, hurt, disappointed, disillusioned, mistreated, hopeless or burdened and thought the best remedy would be to take the next exit off the highway to crazy. I’ve done this myself. I ran away from situations and circumstances instead of facing them head on. I am sure that maybe some of you have as well. Things didn’t go as planned in the fleeing process did they? I know they definitely didn’t for me and they didn’t for Hagar either.

I bet she thought she could just go back to Egypt with her son and start a new life. Little did she know that in running away from Sarai and the mess her life had become she was actually running right into a holy encounter with God.

7 The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert;

I love verse 7. In such a low desperate moment God finds Hagar. She was Egyptian and probably didn’t even follow the same god that Sarai and Abram did, yet their God went and sought her out in the middle of the desert. The desert always makes me think of the driest most arid condition of the heart and soul. Hagar was physically and emotionally in a desert. God met her there. He didn’t just happen upon her, he went looking specifically for her.
Isn’t that beautiful?
He is gracious like that and if he did it for Hagar he will also do it for you and me!
So if you are in a desert today I hope these words may be a refreshing icy cold drink to your spirit.
God can and will meet you where you are.

8 And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered. 9 Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.”

God met Hagar in the desert to give her an instruction. An instruction to get out of the wilderness.

My God will not leave you in the desert longer than need be! God will provide you with a way out, a lesson learned. Which is exactly what he did for Hagar. He tells her to go back and submit. Basically he’s telling her to get her emotions under control and not allow them to interfere with her responsibilities. Sarai may have been wrong but that doesn’t mean it was okay for Hagar to be anything but honoring.

10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.11 The angel of the Lord also said to her: “You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard of your misery.

After God gives Hagar an instruction he gives her a promise. That’s so encouraging. Just as much, or maybe more, as God wants our obedience he wants to bless us. I have a friend who would always say, “God wants to bless you more than you want to be blessed.”
Listen for the promises and get ready for your blessing!!!


13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen” the One who sees me.”


In closing, Hagar went through so much in a matter of 13 verses. She started off as a slave who was ordered to become pregnant and when it happens she despises her mistress. As a result her mistress treats her severely and she runs away. While fleeing she encounters God in the desert and he gives her an instruction and a promise.

Her response is FAITH! She declares her belief in God. She reminds us that God’s eyes are on us. He sees us. He hears our cries. He knows our pains and sees our misery.

My Prayer For You:

Heavenly Father, I am so blessed by Hagar’s story. Thank you for this image of protection. Thank you for revealing to us how you watch over us even when life seems to be the driest of deserts. Lord God I pray that you may use Hagar’s story to bless and impact someone’s heart today. That as we celebrate Easter this weekend we may remember the gravity of your sacrifice. Help us not to take you for granted but that we may live lives that reflect who you truly are. I pray all of these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Memory Verse: Deuteronomy 31:8
Deuteronomy 31:8  It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”



I would love to know if you have been impacted by Hagar’s story in any way. Comment below with your favorite scene from this dramatic chapter in Genesis. Remember to like and share if you like this post!!!