Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sunday, January 10th: Genesis 30-31 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Genesis 30-31

I'm going to focus on Chapter 30 today....

Marrying two women is going to result in trouble, which is one of the reasons God decreed from the very beginning that a marriage should be between one woman and one man, nevermind marrying sisters!  The ongoing battle in which their rate of childbirth determined the victor was very sad, and likely this story of their heritage and ancestry was quite humbling for the Israelites.

Bob Deffinbaugh makes some great points in his sermon The Battle of the Brides
Sex, love, and marriage can never be fulfilling unless enjoyed within the guidelines determined by God.  Love without sex may be frustrating (what Jacob would have experienced before he was finally able to marry Rachel), but sex without love is so much worse (what Leah and Jacob experienced - Leah never felt loved, and Jacob was pretty much reduced to a prostitute at one point).  Leah also found out very quickly that neither sex nor children can create love.  Things go very wrong when we become slaves to sex.  Jacob  circulated among his four wives frequently enough to produce a growing family, but look at what happened to him in the process. He was not the master of his harem, but he was mastered by his harem. He was pushed from bed to bed by his wives. He was purchased for the night. The passivity of Jacob in these verses is an indictment of his lack of leadership. He was a slave of sex and marriage, not its sovereign.  It is also clear that marriage cannot be fueled purely by physical attraction. Jacob seemed to love Rachel purely for her looks, and Rachel did not feel any more loved than Leah did.

Sin tempts us to think that God is holding something back from us by having such narrow guidelines for sex.  But God's commands about sex are not given out of stinginess or to take the fun out of it.  On the contrary, God designed sex and He designed it to be most fulfilling when in enjoyed in the exclusivity of the marriage relationship.  Which means, we need to make the correct choice in choosing a mate - and look at Abraham's servant's method as an example over Jacob's.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Genesis 32-34


Miriam said...

Hi everybody! I've been absent for a little more than a year, but I'm joining back in. I've read all the posts for this year so far and everybody is doing a great job. I'm looking forward to continuing on this journey again.

I noticed as I read yesterday's and today's passages that Jacob's nature seems to be to take advantage underhandedly wherever he can, and then ends up being taken advantage of so often at them same time. In some parts of his story I actually feel sorry for him, and yet so much of it he actually brought on himself. "As you sow, so shall you reap" seems to ring so true when you look at his story.

Pamela said...

^ Hi Miriam! Welcome Back!

Great post Tammy. It's so true that Leah and Rachel both suffered and tried to fill a void in their life in many ways. What they found was that even when they got what they thought they wanted they didn't feel happy. I think that is true in our own lives too that we chase after things that we think will make us happy and then discover that they don't.

TammyIsBlessed said...

Glad you're back Miriam!!

Conrad said...

There definitely appears to be a theme of competition in this chapter. Competition between Leah and Rachel with bearing children, and also competition between Jacob and Laban in their own abilities. Laban felt he was wealthy from his own doing, and Jacob believed that the Lord blessed Laban with his possessions as a result of what he was doing for Laban.

I work with someone who truly believes, and tries to convince me, that from his hard work over the last 25 years and my hard work over the last 17 years, that we have made the owners business what it is today, and if it wasn't for us, they wouldn't be having the life of luxury. To some extent there is some truth to that, but we need to remember that it is God who blesses us through others, and it is God who provides. Whether it is with children or possessions, everything we have is His.

Nathan Reimer said...

By Hollywood's standards we would think that Jacob is one lucky guy, with all these women wanting sex with him, but as we see in this storey, and again by the blog, sex without love and apart from God's guidelines isn't fulfilling. A very important lesson we need to pass down to the next generation.