Skip to main content

Through the Whole Bible: Genesis 29

Genesis 29 (link) demonstrates what happens when someone who has lived with treachery and deceit meets someone cut from the same cloth. It’s the story of what happens when Jacob meets Laban and the people caught in the middle.

Most of you that are regular Bible readers are familiar with the overall sweep of the story: Jacob is working for his relative, Laban, and the question of compensation comes up. Jacob agrees that he’ll work seven years with his labor providing the bride-price to marry Laban’s daughter, Rachel.

Then, Laban tricks Jacob into marrying his older daughter, Leah, first. Then, Jacob marries Rachel and commits to seven more years of labor. This is not the best side of anyone to be seen: Jacob dashes into polygamy so that he can have the wife he wants, Laban treats both of his daughters poorly.

This is bad. The story finishes up with Jacob treating his wives poorly: his preference for Rachel is felt by Leah while Rachel suffers from seeing Leah constantly provide offspring for Jacob. Why do I say suffers? Not just from the barrenness, but think about this: how is Leah bearing all of these children? A certain amount of Jacob’s energy and devotion is going to Leah, though he professes to prefer Rachel.

What do we take from this?

1. There will always be someone more clever, more deceptive than you are. No matter how much you try to be sneaky, you can find someone to out-sneaky you. It’s no way to live, being dishonest and treacherous all the way through.

2. There will be someone who tricks you in life. As much as you might try to be aware, be careful, be wary, there will be times that you are tricked or betrayed. Why? Because people are sinful and that comes out.

3. You have to find a way to respond to being betrayed and tricked. What will you do? As best you can, you should keep your integrity. Even in the face of deep deception, be honest and keep your integrity. Jacob could have kidnapped Rachel and hit the road, but instead he honors his own word. Though there is some criticism to be passed to Jacob, he comes off the better man here. Be the better person. Every time, no matter how tired of it we may get.

4. Be more honourable. This bears restating: every time. Be the more righteous person, be the one with more integrity. It does not always end up for your best temporal benefit, but do it anyway. Do not live life as if your earthly life is all that will be.

5. This needs fairly constant reminding: do not mistreat your wife. I would argue that not having “wives” is a good part of this. Part of Jacob’s issue at the end of the chapter is a divided household: one wife he loves, one wife he has to take care of. One of them is providing him with heirs, the other is not. End result: home is more than just a little bit of a mess.

Married folks: you can only have one spouse. Most of you are not inclined toward a formal polygamy, but many of us are inclined toward a divided heart. We love our spouse, but we also love football. We can’t keep both loves happy, so 14 Saturdays a year, we set one aside. You see the issue? Be married to only one love.

Unmarried folks: if you choose to marry, pick one love and be certain that your one love only loves you. Don’t get into a divided situation. Ever.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.



First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…