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Women in the Bible I: Day

Rachel: love redeems

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Text: Genesis 31:3-35, Isaiah 53, Luke 23:46, Romans 5:6-11

Today we’re looking at Rachel. We’re looking at that one time she told her husband one thing and then turned around and did another thing.

I’m in no way like her, except for all of the ways that I am. In fact, the only way that I’m not like her is in the fact that I happen to be single so I don’t have a husband to manipulate.

I might never steal, but I would probably take. I might not hide, but I might not share. I might not lie, but I’d probably not tell.

I know that I’ve encouraged friends in what God has told them and then manipulated situations to ensure earthly success.

I’ve heard truth from God through wise people and done the exact opposite because I actually know better than God. I’d never say that aloud, but my actions scream those words.

But today, and everyday, instead of dwelling on my failures, I must immediately look to Jesus because He shows me a better way.

See, Jesus was born in the same place where Rachel died (Genesis 35:16-20). The story of Rachel isn’t absent of Jesus; it is simply showing us that long before Jesus, there were women who were messing up, and long after Jesus, we are still women messing up.

Rachel and Jesus show a beautiful contrast.

Where Rachel is beautiful in appearance and form (Genesis 29:17), Jesus was scorned and not attractive to human eyes (Isaiah 53).

Where Rachel is deceitful and manipulative (Genesis 31:32-35), Jesus is faithful and true (Philippians 2:5-11).

Where Rachel doesn’t trust the timing of God (Genesis 30:1-3), Jesus committed His spirit into the hands of God (Luke 23:46).

In every single area that I fail, which is in every single area, Jesus redeems. He comes into my line of sight and changes my vision from myself to Himself. And He really is the best view.

Today, let’s look to Jesus. I know that sounds basic and simple, and yet also really hard at the same time. So instead of dwelling on that, let’s just do it. Let’s drop to our knees and taste His sweet love for us. Because, sweet friends, His love for us is a lot bigger than our love for us (Romans 5:6-11).

 

Special thanks to Nadine Schroeder for contributing today’s guest post.

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  • Nadine, thank you for this devotional!

    God has used it, as He so often does, to confirm something he's been speaking to me all day, through different avenues.

    I LOVE seeing the contrast between us and Jesus, because its then I'm reminded that I am nobody, and that its only in surrendering to Him that He comes alive in me!

  • [email protected]

    How powerful- God sees Christ in me and not my flaws and shortcomings. WOW! I have struggling “feeling” redeemed and worthy in my heart, but I see a new light. Thanks for the Word and insights. Worship through sharing!!!

  • Ktowngirl

    Nadine, I loved your insights. Here's a thought I had after reading the passage. Rachel was angry and bitter about losing her possessions to Laban (Gen 3:14-16) and even though God had blessed her husband with so much wealth she stole Laban's idol. It reminds me of James 1:14-17. The temptation was in her heart (anger and bitterness) and it led her to sin (steal and lie). How many times do I harbor thoughts that lead to sin? I needed to be reminded to "immediately" drop to my knees and drink the sweet nectar of Jesus' love in order to joyfully gaze on His perfect provision for me – confessing and letting go of my junk to then really appreciate His blessings!

  • I got done with all the readings, (and I too was wondering where we were headed with the variety), and then YouVersion took me to YESTERDAY’S devotional through the link. It threw me for a minute!!

    Anywho… A thought and a memory from the chapter in Isaiah: in my early years of my faith walk (I was maybe 33 or 34, a brand new believer… I’m 48 now), there were some prayer warriors on the church that REALLY wanted to see me healed – physically healed, that is. I had undergone 2 major spinal surgeries at that point, and was in a great deal of pain, not quite sure how to handle the magnitude of the progressive deterioration.

    These warriors prayed for me faithfully, and healing happened!! But it was a different kind of healing. I was being made ‘whole’… In my mind, heart and spirit.

    Isaiah 53:5 in the NLT says ‘But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be WHOLE. He was whipped so we could be healed.’ (Emphasis mine)

    I found a definition of healing during that season of my life, and sure enough, one of the Biblical definitions of ‘healed’ is ‘whole’.

    Although some of those prayer warriors were disappointed that PHYSICAL healing didn’t manifest, I have never wished it any other way!! The healing of my heart and spirit made it possible for me to learn HOW to deal with the physical pain – with God’s help… I began a faith walk that has filled my life with the joy, peace, and love of Jesus Christ.

    I would very much enjoy physical healing. But, as Isaiah says, we can be made WHOLE through Jesus. I defy anyone to claim that my lack of PHYSICAL healing left me LESS THAN WHOLE!!! I am whole and healed through the wonderful power of Jesus Christ!! Praise Him!!

    And a brief comment on Rachel… She has a ways to go, as do I. She messed up, as do I. I like the comment one of you made, that it is easy to criticize the women we read about in Scripture; but perhaps we need to remember that all these women mentioned in God’s Word were completely IMperfect – as we are… But God used them anyway. And He uses us in the same way, in the midst of our imperfections and sins… He uses us to further His Plans. Yes He loves us just as we ARE, but He loves us TOO MUCH to leave us that way!!

    God Bless, sisters, and have a beautiful day!

  • Lord, help me to listen to your voice all the more;
    for it is so very sweet to hear. I love you, father.

    Girls, PLEASE pray for and have in your thoughts my friend Jordin. Her walk with God has been estranged at best, and she is open to biblestudying tonight with me. I'm crying as I write this, because she is one of my best friends, and Iove her so; I want this night to be one that is full of honesty, brokenness, and Christ's presence. Please pray a blessing over it. Thank you, girls! Have an amazing day!

    • amykelly213

      I pray that all goes well with the bible study tonight. I pray for Jordin and for you!! :). No expectations… Just let God do His thing!

  • just what I needed today! thank you for allowing God to use you and sharing this!

  • Jesusgirl, I agree and loved being reminded that when he looks at me He sees Christ made perfect in me! I am beautiful through His eyes! Let us today not focus on our unworthy selves but focus on How Great God Is! His redeeming love, His unending mercy and grace, His Holiness and His Perfectness washed over us through His cleansing Blood!

  • Sisters, I encourage you to read the entire story of Rachel from Genesis 29-35. She was a complex person with many flaws, yes, but much striving. While we can choose to negatively contrast her with the positives of Jesus-I think we can learn from her frustration. She lived in such a different time and I can only imagine her hardships. I pray that we look upon these old testament women with compassion, not just contempt.

    If I take away the comparisons and focus on the NT scripture-I am uplifted by the reminder that we boast only in the Lord for he reconciled us while we were sinners in his sight. For this, as a sinner daily, I am so grateful.

    • nadinewouldsay

      Sarah, I love that you pointed this out. I was able to learn much about Rachel as I read her story, and it's a beautiful story. I agree. I hope everybody reads her whole story.

  • Michelle Harris

    Sometimes when we feel we are failing at life, for whatever reason, it is hard to just truly turn the situation over to God. What may seem hopeless to me, is a piece of cake to Him. I had just shot off an email to my husband before reading today's SRT telling him how I am struggling today with our financial situation (I lost my job in January) and how I am really trying to just be still and let God have this. Then I read this devotion and this sentence jumps out at me…"But today, and everyday, instead of dwelling on my failures, I must immediately look to Jesus because He shows me a better way." I needed this gentle reminder this morning….

  • Graphics

    I think the one thing that most of do way too much is look at ourselves. So many of our issues come from spending time unraveling ourselves when Christ would do that for us if we would just FOCUS on Him.

    Much Grace Ladies

    • eradical84 (EllenMR)

      Sadly, too true! I pray we all could turn our obsessive self absorption to focusing on Him…just think of that, if we REALLY did?! Graphics, your simple statement really hit home!

  • "I actually know better than God. I’d never say that aloud." I think, if we are honest with ourselves, that is true of all of us! Most of us have tried to orchestrate life our own way! We're used to being in control; but, once we let go and give in to the fact that we do NOT know better than God it is such sweet relief. Having the whole world in OUR hands is just too heavy!!
    New subscriber; thank you for this!

  • jesusgirl71

    Part 2… wow! never thought of it that way before, but that's exactly what jesus did. I just have to try and grab hold of it!

  • jesusgirl71

    Today, let’s look to Jesus. I know that sounds basic and simple, and yet also really hard at the same time. So instead of dwelling on that, let’s just
    do it. Let’s drop to our knees and taste His sweet love for us. Because, sweet friends, His love for us is a lot bigger than our love for us (Romans 5:6-11). wow! His love for us is a lot bigger than our love for us. And yesterday, I was asking the question: how do I look to jesus? just do it! another thing I read yesterday, if I can at all articulate this, which i'm not sure… Here is why we don't have to strive to please God. first, we couldn't anyway, but second, we are in christ. so when God looks at us, He isn't looking at us or what we did, He is looking at christ, looking at who he is and what he has done and crediting it to us. it's like, I felt like the clumsiest kid, clutzy, never could seem to do things right. and it's like someone came and took all that clutsiness away and transferred their gracefulness and their abilities to me and now I have them and am no more clutsy.

  • Candacejo

    I am moved to tears! I am redeemed! Beautiful Nadine! I have loved your Secondary Heart because it is so real and today you have brought out so many good nuggets for us to dwell on! But I can't get past the redemption. Instead of me rambling, as I do too often, I am going to post this song, Redeemed… <a href="http://.http://youtu.be/ZDAGCow3dsg” target=”_blank”>.http://youtu.be/ZDAGCow3dsg

    Seems like all I can see was the struggle
    Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
    Bound up in shackles of all my failures
    Wondering how long is this gonna last
    Then you look at this prisoner and say to me
    "son stop fighting a fight that's already been won"

    I am redeemed, you set me free
    So I'll shake off these heavy chains
    Wipe away every stain
    Now I'm not who I used to be
    I am redeemed… I'm redeemed

    All my life I have been called unworthy
    Named by the voice of my shame and regret
    But when I hear you whisper "child lift up your head"
    I remember oh God you're not done with me yet

    Because I don't have to be the old man inside of me
    'cause his day is long dead and gone because
    I've got a new name, a new life I'm not the same
    and a hope that will carry me home

  • Hi sisters! To be honest, I just dragged myself today to finish my devotion… I guess it's a part of that roller coaster ride that we Christians experience in our walk with the Lord..

    God spoke to me in another way today after I finished reading the devotion. I wrote it in my blog: http://steady-myheart.blogspot.com/2013/07/steady

    I humbly ask for your prayers for me today sisters. Thanks and God bless you all!

    • amykelly213

      Loved your blog post today, Keilah. I know exactly what you mean. I often feel the same way.i am praying an extra SOS prayer for you today, my sister!!

    • AnnaLee

      I had a day like this a couple of days ago too, Keilah, and I beat myself up for not being on top of things or being focused in God's word. I think we all need to remember Christ's grace a bit more throughout our failures; it is SUFFICIENT to cover all of that flesh, and He is near and ready to love us even when we are missing the mark, and missing it by long shots (which is more often than we'd like to admit).
      I read your blog post and absolutely loved it! I tried commenting but it wouldn't let me. Anyways, I'm going to bookmark your blog- thanks for sharing. :)

    • Catherine_K_L

      Beautiful, Keilah! Read your blog. The scripture you have handwritten blessed me today. I praise God for you being his instrument, today.
      Praying for God to fill you fresh with the Holy Spirit today, that you will find strength to endure and feel the peace and joy that only He can give

  • My walk with my Lord could be more fruitful if I would grasp this one word from your sentance "immediately" (But today, and everyday, instead of dwelling on my failures, I must immediately look to Jesus because He shows me a better way.) I waste too much time dwelling instead of remembering that I am a saved sinner; I need to repent quickly, so that I am ready to work for His kingdom at all times. Thank you for the devotional.

  • anonymous

    Among SO many other similarities and convictions…

    I couldn't help but notice the last verse in Gen 35 and what Rachel said to manipulate and deceive-that it was her time of the month. I must confess that I often make excuses for my sinful behavior based on that same fact. UGH so convicting!

    • AnnaLee

      Amen! that's something a lot of people (including myself) tend to miss when we read this passage, but while blaming things on our period is sometimes legit, we still make our own decisions. God, help us during that time to look more fully towards you!

  • amykelly213

    I can't help but laugh! Ibukun and Cynthia, I was going to post the same things!!
    I was not sure where it was all going, but the connection is beautiful! "The story of Rachel isn’t absent of Jesus; it is simply showing us that long before Jesus, there were women who were messing up, and long after Jesus, we are still women messing up." Boy do I mess up!! A lot! But I love what Nadine said about shifting the view from myself to himself… "He really is the best view". Amen!
    Such a beautiful message this morning! Thank you!!

  • Okay Nadine, you had me for a moment. I read the passages of Scripture first, as I always do. And can I be honest?… I’m sure I can; for WE ARE SISTERS… I had a little attitude… She wants me to read ALL OF THIS?

    I pressed in and continued not sure where we were headed, BUT I am truly thankful for the journey. I see YOU, I see Rachel, and YES I see myself. Thank you for being obedient and allowing God to use you in a very special way!

    • nadinewouldsay

      When I submitted my piece, I might have written down (jokingly) that I wanted everybody to read "the entire Bible" since I felt like I was kinda smashing a whole pile of scripture down!

  • When I read the passages, I wondered, “What’s the connection between all these verses? We are supposed to be talking about Rachel right?” And then I read this and it all made perfect sense. It’s easy for me to just sit in a pit and throw a pity party for myself because of all my sins and shortcomings and failures when all Jesus calls me to do is focus on Him and His perfection and all that is good in Him (which really is everything) He loves me so much more than I love myself. He knows just how bad I can be yet He loves me the same and believes that it is possible for me to be good. To be like Him!

    Thank you, Lord!

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