When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household gods. Genesis 31:19
I often have insomnia. When I do, I will turn to my Bible App and listen to scripture being read to me as I struggle to “lay me down to sleep”. It works…most times. I reason that what better way to find repose than to rest in the Word of God and in His teachings. But last night it didn’t work – because I was ruminating on something that I had not quite put my finger to as yet….so I turned to my audible Bible and listened to the story of Jacob, Rachel and Leah in the book of Genesis. Whew! No wonder God advises us to leave and cleave to one spouse. What a mess….but I digress.
As I listened to chapter 31 it was recounting Jacob’s desire to finally get up enough chutzpah to strike out on his own and leave Laban his father-in-law. It was then that I heard the scripture above… I was surprised and confused by it. Rachel stole her dad’s house gods? One of scriptures great matriarchs? Really – what’s up with that? More importantly, WHY? Was this to spite the old man? (after all he did give her away to a stranger (Jacob) at the well years before and then trick him into marrying Rachel’s sister, Leah, first). He also gave away her inheritance to the stranger…Was that it?
Maybe. But my woman’s intuition leads me to question a dual motive. Did Rachel steal daddy’s god’s for “insurance?” Maybe the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob wasn’t enough for her? Maybe she was hedging her bets….did she decide that Faith in her husband’s God needed a little extra?
She did nothing new that millions of “Christian’s” haven’t also considered… Faith (God) + ______. (to fill in this blank think works, deeds, wealth, other “gods” such as education, accomplishments, control or maybe your personal peccadilloes …)
Snap! That was it – that is why I could not sleep…. You might remember that back in April I wrote a blog about the Sifting Season. Honey – I am still in the midst of it and thus one of the reasons I have not been writing so much of late.
But it is that sifting that God has allowed which has sent me, my heart and my will all over the proverbial faith map. What I have realized in the process of trying to “muscle” through it – is that I was counting on a little god to help. Unfortunately, that little god isn’t even a demi-god…it is me and my personal fortitude.
In the midst of my “season” I have taken to (wo)man handling my difficult situations and trying to fix, resolve, overcome, fold, spindle and ….whatever to bring all the challenges back to smooth sailing.
But God. His nocturnal whispering in my ear was meant to remind me that as much as I try to wrestle control – it is He I am wrestling with…and just as Jacob wrestled with the Lord – I am destined to lose. I have come to realize that counting on my “little god” is not only wrong, but out of God’s will.
God allows the rain to fall on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45). He allowed Job to be afflicted and lose much – but there was a process and a purpose in his troubles. The end result Job learned much about God.
God is sovereign in all things…and Job said, “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2) .
Everything is subject to God (In Job 1:6-12 Satan had to ask the Lord’s permission to harm Job and even then, there were limitations in place).
God allows difficulties to draw us closer to Him…and after a time of trouble, He will restore us. “God blessed Job’s later life even more than his earlier life”. (Job 42:12)
So though I have had spiritual amnesia, I am reminded that there is only one God – and I am not He. I have been blessed to walk beside the Lord in good and bad times for 17 years. I know that I need nothing other than Him by my side when the rain falls. So Rachel can have her little gods – because the God I serve is a very big God and I am in His hands as these momentary troubles pass. Amen and amen.
2 Corinthians 4:17 The Message (MSG)
16-18 So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.