Genesis 29-30, John 12
John 12:25 touched me today! “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” – while life can be hard you must love it because it is a gift every day!
I JUST noticed something pretty cool!!!!
When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone from the opening of the well and water the sheep. The stone was then placed back on the well’s opening. (Genesis 29:3)
Then Jacob said, “Look, it is still broad daylight. It’s not time for the animals to be gathered. Water the flock, then go out and let them graze.” But they replied, “We can’t until all the flocks have been gathered and the stone is rolled from the well’s opening. Then we will water the sheep.” (Genesis 29:7-8)
Maybe I’m crazy but this really reminded me of jesus and His resurrection?!? The stone being rolled away, jesus coming back to give life in His spirit to “ALL THE FLOCKS” .. Water was essential for the sheep as jesus Himself is LIFE for all who believe.
Really neat insight. Love these pictures of the Gospel in the OT
This is probably a very misinformed question.. But why is it totally acceptable for Jacob to sleep with so many different women, even ones that aren’t his wife? (Which he has more than one of.) Is it just the culture of that time?
I believe all 4 of them were considered his wives. Right?
By world standards, yes technically. But biblically God still defines marriage as one man and one woman so Rachel and the two servants were 3 women that Jacob was breaking his vows with. They were tarnishing the idea of becoming One Flesh and were completely out of line with God’s will for marriage because of it. You see it many times throughout the OT but you also see all the hurt that comes from people taking on multiple spouses and concubines.
So true. Look at all the fighting Etc! They barter for him. “You can have him tonight if you’ll give me some of your food”! Makes me sick-ish to even think about it
My husband thinks ONE wife is trouble enough … Can’t imagine a man wanting to deal with 4 women at once!!! (Heeheehee)
I have had a hard time with this as well. From my understanding, as well as discussions with various theologians in my life, there are a few reasons for this. God is the same yesterday, today and forever so just because it happened often in Old Testament does not mean God was “okay” with it. Which we see in scripture referencing Abraham and Isaac (lying about how their wives were their sisters, the Kings were upset by this betrayal because they knew it was wrong.) one common thought I have heard discussed is that it was very important for men to continue their lineage through bearing sons, as we see in this scripture, so having many wives was more common. I’m sure there are other reasons out there, but hope this answers some of your questions. :)
My question is why does God keep helping people like Jacob after he went and deceived his brother? Why is he rewarded for lying and his brother gets nothing in return? This just seems to be a reoccurring thing so far and I was just wondering what other people thought.
Grace… Gods promise to Abraham will be fulfilled – regardless of obedience.
The way I have approached this is that it is the word of God written by men who lived in a socio/political context. It’s the same God that has been wise enough to know how to express love and knowledge through time. Think about it… How many things could we see today as acceptable that would shock our future generations. So maybe the concept of multiple wives shock us as I’m guessing speedating could shock our future kids? But God in his love knows how to reach us and teach us things. I hope I made sense :)
I have read that God was not okay with multiple wives but yet he let it happen to protect the women as well as to populate with sons. The women then could not protect themselves and often ended up in bad situations. So men married multiple women in order to be there protector and provider. Today, women are more than capable of taking care of themselves. God was merely looking out for women. Just a thought that I had came across because I too did not understand.
Lauren, it was not acceptable to have multiple wives. God did not ordain that. He created man, then a woman for man. It is pretty clear what God envisioned for us. Now men, makes their choices. Men is corrupt easily. And men, thinks short term, including the short-term pleasurable moment. God ultimately gets to His will, even through our stupidity, but that doesn’t mean he can spare the consequences attached to our choices.
Ishmael is a good example. Born because Sarah did not trust God, or wait patiently for God’s answer… In turn Ishmael is the father of the nation of Arabs. Arabs & Jews are constantly at war with each other (half-brothers!). Did God choose Ishmael’s birth? No! Yet, he allows people to make choices. Sarah made a choice foolishly, that have reaped dire consequences … Great thing God is God, and He can work around our choices.
I’ve been totally shocked by Genesis. I had no clue I was missing this information. I’ve read most of these chapters with disgust on my heart but realized this: the earth was wiped clean. Noah and his sons were left to make everyone here. Cousins! I see this with Isaac. He chose Rachel, his Uncles daughter, as his wife and ended up with both of their cousins. I think that reproduction in itself was a NECESSITY back in the OT. It seems as if it was even a second thought, as it is today, to be incestial out of need for reproduction. Granted this was years and years after Noah. Everyone was still cousins and we still are except the linage is so vast now that we don’t really consider ourselves family when reproducing with each other. I TOTALLY hear where you are coming from. That’s the only way I could make sense of it besides others comments on previous fathers of the OT showing example of sin as much as it can be today and God pouring his grace regardless.
I’m loving john 12:46 right now. I love the imagery and the reminder that, as believers, we are free to always walk in the light! We no longer have to keep going back to the darkness that our sinful nature tells us we “deserve”. Jesus is our light forever and always, amen!
Interesting how the names Leah gave her first 3 sons were pleas for love. “Maybe I can earn his love with 1 son? 2 sons? Surely with 3 sons!” But the 4th – Judah – something changed before he was born. Instead of desperately craving human love, she had learned something of God! Now she says, “I will praise the Lord!” Almost as if she’s saying, “even if I never have the love of my husband, it’s okay. GOD is more than enough. He is ALL I need. All I desire”.
I noticed this too! Very lovely.
Comments like these are why I come to read the comments! What a beautiful and in depth note that I did not notice on my own.
My very favorite part of the scripture! I find it interesting that the first versus in the next chapter show in contrast Rachel Who looked to her husband to provide what she needed and he reminded her that he is not God!
Ironically Jacob, in the end, is buried next to Leah, “the unloved wife”. :)
Also, Judah is the one who is in the lineage of Jesus!
I love the contrast in John 12 between Mary and the authorities. Mary loved Jesus. She poured out perfume worth 300 denari, a year’s wages. She laid down and wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair. She didn’t care what anyone thought because she loved Jesus. But then you see the authorities who are afraid to confess their belief in Jesus, “for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.” (John 12:43) May we be like Mary, unashamed and completely captivated by the love of Christ.
YES. Oh, John 12:43 just slayed me. How often do I fall into that trap? Afraid of following Christ because I am scared of what the world will think of me. When in reality, what good has following the world ever done?!
What this passage also shows is the fact that we should never wait to serve the Lord and to show Him our love. We often think that it’s not appropriate, or we are afraid of other people’s reactions, or whatever. The time’s NOW (even though some people don’t like it). If Mary would have waited to do this later, it’d have been too late… But by doing it now, she prepared Jesus for His death (since they couldn’t do it then)
The story of Jacob and Leah breaks my heart every time I read it yet it has so many truths and things we can learn and God is so evident in the story. In fact I wrote a blog post about this a couple months ago after reading this passage….http://www.raisingupstones.com/when-everything-falls-apart/
Note in my NIV Study Bible for Gen. 29:21: my wife. If Jacob had said “Rachel,” Laban would have had no excuse for giving him Leah. Also an interesting point, Jacob’s wording allows for a loophole.
Pam, I didn’t get first what you were saying, but do now. Great observation! The trickster got tricked and Laban could have pleased a “wife” loophole technicality.
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