Saturday, June 18, 2011

Genesis 30:1-24 PART 3

Before we move on from this chapter, I wanted to share with you some of the thoughts that Jon Courson has in his commentary on this passage. He writes of two mistakes Rachel made here: first, she looked to the wrong person to have her needs satisfied (she wanted Jacob to give her a child); second, she asked in the wrong way.

Rachel had the affection of Jacob, unlike her sister, Leah. But she lacked children. And what she lacked became her obsession. She was sure that having children would fill the void, but as we already saw, only God can fill up the emptiness in us.

Then, she didn’t really ask so much as she demanded her way: “Give me children or I’ll die.” When she did get her son, Joseph, she immediately wanted another, because she apparently felt she had to keep pace with her sister! And, as we know, she died giving birth to the second son. Here is what Jon Courson writes in his commentary (Application Commentary, OT, Vol !, Pgs.144-145):

As she was dying in childbirth, what did she say? Not, “Oh, praise God, another son;” not, “Oh, Lord, You’re awesome to give this barren woman two children.” No, as she was dying in childbirth, Rachel named her son Benoni, or “Son of my Sorrow.” The last word on beautiful Rachel’s lips was “sorrow” (Genesis 35:18).

Rachel demanded her way and it killed her.

Reading that is just so sad! Instead of trusting God with His plan, we often demand our own way - and sometimes He will give it to us! Even as Rebekah lost Jacob because she was trying so hard to control his life, now Rachel loses her life by insisting on her plan over trusting that God was working in her through her barrenness.

Courson shows how the birth of Rachel’s second son parallels the roles of Christ:

A broken Rachel names her son Benoni, “Son of my Sorrow.” But a wiser Jacob renamed him Benjamin, “Son of my right hand.” As the Son of Man, Jesus was called the “Man of sorrows” (Isaiah 53:3), but as the Son of God, He sits at the Father’s right hand (Colossians 3:1). And as He does, He prays for us. . . God says, “I am so in love with you, I’m not demanding something from you, but I’m dying for you. I love you to death. And the sins and mistakes you’ve made so foolishly, I will wash away completely in order that you can live with Me eternally.”

Courson then quotes one of my favorite verses here and breaks it down:

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways, acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5,6

  • Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; Don’t look to anyone else to fill the hole in your soul.
  • And lean not unto thine own understanding. Don’t demand God to do things your way.
  • In all thy ways acknowledge Him, Realize God alone is your Satisfaction, your Reason for living.
  • And He shall direct thy paths. He will fill every need.

Precious people, don’t trust in your own demands or desires, your own plans or perspectives. If you do, you’ll die with the word “sorrow” on your lips. Instead, trust in the Lord with all your heart, and He will direct you not to the place of Rachel’s sorrow - but to the place Leah found her ultimate satisfaction: He will direct your paths to Himself. (Courson, P. 145)

I could not have said it any better, so I didn’t try! :)

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