Thursday 1 August, 2019
16 Then they moved on from Bethel. While they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth and had great difficulty. 17 And as she was having great difficulty in childbirth, the midwife said to her, “Don’t despair, for you have another son.” 18 As she breathed her last—for she was dying—she named her son Ben-Oni. But his father named him Benjamin. 19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 20 Over her tomb Jacob set up a pillar, and to this day that pillar marks Rachel’s tomb. 21 Israel moved on again and pitched his tent beyond Migdal Eder. 22 While Israel was living in that region, Reuben went in and slept with his father’s concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard of it. Jacob had twelve sons: 23 The sons of Leah: Reuben the firstborn of Jacob, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun. 24 The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. 25 The sons of Rachel’s servant Bilhah: Dan and Naphtali. 26 The sons of Leah’s servant Zilpah: Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob, who were born to him in Paddan Aram.
The narrative of our lives. Jacobs’ life story continues with much emotion hidden beneath the lines. Pride and joy at the birth of his youngest son, mixed with the grief and sorrow at the death of the woman he loved and laboured 14 long years to marry. Disrespect and the betrayal of trust of his eldest son.
Our lives are a mix of joy and pain and almost never how we imagined it to be as we move through the journey of life. Jacob’s is no different. There is no further comment made of Reuben’s act, though I wonder if this wasn’t the reason why Isaac overlooked his later offer in chapter 42?
Through the journey of life, regardless of joy or overwhelming pain, God is our constant, never changing, always available, consistent in His love, compassion, honour and faithfulness to us.
Jesus whatever my life circumstances, the roller coaster of emotions, may I always keep my eyes firmly fixed on you so that I can live my best life. Amen
Written by Suzie Hodgson
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