Thoughts on Prayer: A Tangled Web
Ever noticed how some things run in families? Some families are known for being charitable. Some families are known for being honest and truthful. Some are known for having many teachers, doctors, lawyers, fireman, farmers, etc. in them. There even seems to be a pattern of such traits and professions running through the family for several generations. Some traits which tend to run in families aren’t so positive or honorable. Family…we all have one. Each family has honorable and…not so honorable traits. We are human, aren’t we? But God…do love that phrase…has a plan for each of us. (Genesis 24-34)
Remember Abraham trying to pass off his wife as his sister; not once but twice? Issac had twins, Esau and Jacob. Jacob was the second born son. He conned his first born brother, Esau, into selling him the birthright of the firstborn son. This ensured Jacob would get the majority of his father’s wealth upon his father’s death.Issac’s wife, Rebekkah, devised a plan to ensure Jacob (whose name means Deceiver/Supplanter) would receive the blessing of Issac that goes with the inheritance of the family fortune. (As you can imagine, this didn’t “sit” too well with Esau when he found out.) Rebekkah devised a plan to get Jacob out of town.Issac unwittingly complied. That’s how he met Uncle Laban. Uncle Laban took deception and manipulation to a whole new level.
Jacob was sent to Uncle Laban’s to find a wife. He found Rachel. However, Rachel had an older sister, Leah. Leah wasn’t as pretty as Rachel in Jacob’s eyes. Laban tricked Jacob. On his wedding night, Laban sent Leah into the marital tent. (Imagine Jacob’s surprise the next morning!) Jacob had to put in another seven years of labor and farming for Rachel. After 20 years of serving Laban, Jacob was more than ready to return home. Jacob devised a plan and left secretly. Laban eventually caught up with him. God warned Laban in a dream to be careful when speaking to Jacob. Jacob and Laban made a covenant of pillars and each went on their way.
Jacob continued on his way home, until he had to pass through Edom. Guess who owned Edom? Esau. Needless to say, Jacob was concerned for his life. Instead, Esau welcomed him and eventually sent him on his way. (That must have been a wonderful impromtu family reunion.) When Jacob reached Shechem, he bought some land and settled there. His daughter, Dinah,was raped. The prince of that land loved Dinah and wanted to marry her. Her brothers wanted to get even. They devised a plan: In order to marry Dinah,the prince and every male in the land had to be circumcised. The prince thought this a brilliant idea. He really did love Dinah. On the third day, with the princed and his men healing from circumcision, the brothers killed all the men and looted the city.
The saying, “Oh what a tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive”, rings true,doesn’t it? Kind of depressing to read about. But God… I do love that phrase…even in the midst of all this deception God’s plan wasn’t thwarted. The twelve tribes of Israel were born. God kept His covenant with Isaac and Jacob. His promises were being fulfilled. Yes, there were consequences for poor choices and decisions. He is a good Father. He is seeking to raise mature sons and daughters. However, God isn’t surprised by the “situation(s)” in which we find ourselves. You will never find Him in a panic and contemplating what to do next. He is absolutely confident in Himself and His abilities to provide, protect and see you through. He has a plan for you and it’s good(Jeremiah 29:11). This week review the place(s) He has met you on your journey. Mark them or highlight them on some way. I have a friend who takes small smooth garden stones, decorates them and writes a verse on them to commemorate God meeting with her. They add a touch of whimsy and vibrancy to her garden. Get creative. Make it fun. Celebrate the faithfulness of your covenant keeping God in your life and the life of your family. Share your celebration story with a friend and at least one family member. Be blessed in the One Who is slow to anger and abounds in lovingkindness, whose compassions never fail, Whose mercies are new EVERY morning because of His great faithfulness. His lovingkindness is from everlasting to everlasting.