Stop The Proverbial Tug-Of-War.

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

February 17,
Genesis 30:1 (NIV)
When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!”

Genesis 30:1 (MSG)
When Rachel realized that she wasn’t having any children for Jacob, she became jealous of her sister. She told Jacob, “Give me sons or I’ll die!”
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“When Rachel saw that she conceived no children for Jacob, she envied her sister, and said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I will die.” -AMPLIFIED

Laban had put Jacob in an almost impossible situation for a harmonious family life. By tricking him into marrying both Leah and Rachel he has been put into a place of divided allegiance between the two. This is never a good place to be.

We find Leah realizing that she is unloved and the Lord realized this fact too. Scripture tells us her story; “When God realized that Leah was unloved, he opened her womb. But Rachel was barren. Leah became pregnant and had a son. She named him Reuben (Look-It’s-a-Boy!). “This is a sign,” she said, “that God has seen my misery; and a sign that now my husband will love me.” She became pregnant again and had another son. “God heard,” she said, “that I was unloved and so he gave me this son also.” She named this one Simeon (God-Heard). She became pregnant yet again—another son. She said, “Now maybe my husband will connect with me—I’ve given him three sons!” That’s why she named him Levi (Connect). She became pregnant a final time and had a fourth son. She said, “This time I’ll praise God.” So she named him Judah (Praise-God). Then she stopped having children.” -Genesis 29:31-35 (MSG)

Sadly, Rachel was feeling unloved and slighted also because she was not having children. She became jealous and decided to put the blame on Jacob; who responded with these words; “Jacob got angry with Rachel and said, “Am I God? Am I the one who refused you babies?” -Genesis 30:2 (MSG)

And so the insanity within the family grows. The two sisters seem to constantly be vying for attention from their husband and things become quite sticky when maid-servants become involved.

This impossible situation brings to mind the words of Jesus; “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” -Matthew 6:24 (NIV)

“A man may do some service to two masters, but he can devote himself to the service of no more than one. God requires the whole heart, and will not share it with the world. When two masters oppose each other, no man can serve both. He who holds to the world and loves it, must despise God; he who loves God, must give up the friendship of the world.” -Matthew Henry

Jacob felt as if he were being pulled in both directions; the proverbial tug-of-war. This is exactly how a Christian who insists on following the ways of the World when they are a child of God would feel. One cannot have the best of both worlds. We will belong wholly to the one and the other will be slighted or vice versa. Whom would you rather belong to? The One, True, Eternal, All-Powerful God or the temporary, limited, unsatisfying ways of this World. Choose wisely, for your choice will affect all of your Eternity.

My Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I choose to put you first in my life. I totally understand that proverbial tug-of-war and I do not want to have any part of it; it breeds insanity in a person’s life. Before making decisions in my life, help me to stop and inquire of you. Help my heart remain true to you and in all things help me to give you priority. The things of this World mean nothing to me compared to an Eternity spent with you. Be number one in my life; today and forever.

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