Tag Archives: sister

SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (LUKE 6:37-42 “DO NOT JUDGE”)

37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Continue reading SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (LUKE 6:37-42 “DO NOT JUDGE”)

WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (LEAH: THE UNLOVED SISTER)

Leah’s father, Laban, was a piece of work. It wasn’t being his oldest daughter. Her greater burden, however, was being the older sister of Rachel.

Everybody noticed Rachel. And why not? the Bible bluntly says she “was shapely and beautiful” (Gen 29:17); we can be sure family members, neighbors, and adolescent men raved nonstop about her. Meanwhile, poor Leah is described only as having “ordinary eyes.” The idea is that next to her head-turning sister, Leah was all but invisible.

Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (LEAH: THE UNLOVED SISTER)

STOLEN HOUSEHOLD IDOLS

These “images” that Rachel had stolen from her father were household idols known as teraphim. Small statuettes in human form, they may have represented deceased ancestors of the family. They were consulted in a superstitious way for guidance and direction in everyday life.

Continue reading STOLEN HOUSEHOLD IDOLS

WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (MARTHA: THE ‘GET-BUSY, GET-IT-DONE!” GAL)

1102013266_univ_lsr_xl

JOHN 11:5 – “Now Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus.” 

The New Testament informs us that Martha lived in the little village of Bethany (on the east side of the Mount of Olives, a couple of miles from Jerusalem). Some speculate she was married to the man known in the Gospels as Simon the Leper (compare Matt 26:6-7; Mark 14:3; and John 12:1-3). Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (MARTHA: THE ‘GET-BUSY, GET-IT-DONE!” GAL)

WOMAN OF THE BIBLE (RACHEL: BLESSED AND CURSED)

image_thumb325

When Isaac became concerned about the neighborhood Canaanite girls stealing the heart of his youngest son, Jacob, he instructed Jacob to leave home: “Marry one of the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother” (Gen 28:2). So Jacob packed up and headed for Paddan-aram (his mom’s hometown).

It was an emotional trip-leaving his parents, striking out on his own. On the way, Jacob stopped at Luz to get some shut-eye. During the night Yahweh himself appeared to Jacob in a dream, reiterating the promises he’d given years grandfather Abraham. It was a good sign.

An Jacob neared his destination, he came to a well. Some local shepherds there were in the process of telling Jacob all about Laban when a gorgeous shepherdess-Laban’s daughter Rachel-showed up with her flock. When happened next was like a scene from a romantic comedy. Jacob jumped up, watered Rachel’s thirsty sheep, kissed his shocked cousin, and began to weep loudly. When he gathered himself, he told Rachel who he was. In a flash she was running home to tell her father the news (see Gen 29:1-12).

Jacob stuck around and started helping Laban out. When Laban became uncomfortable with all that free labor, he said to Jacob, “Tell me what your wages should be” (Gen 29:15). Jacob didn’t even have to think. “I’ll work for you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel” (29:18).

Seven years seems like a long time to us, but the “shapely and beautiful” Rachel was a catch, and Jacob was utterly smitten. Consequently the years “seemed like only a few days to him” (Gen 29:17-20).

However, on their weeding night Uncle Laban pulled a fast one. He gave Jacob his older, less attractive daughter, Leah. It sounds hard to believe, but whether due to darkness, an excess of veils, or perhaps too much wine at the reception, Jacob was none the wiser. In the bright light of morning, Jacob was justifiably ticked. He confronted Laban, calming down only when Laban agreed to give him Rachel in one week’s time if Jacob would work for him seven more years. Jacob agreed.

Marriage is complicated; throw in an extra spouse, and things start getting really messy. Rachel was beloved, but childless. Leah, despite being unloved (see Gen 29:31), had several children. After watching her big sister produce four sons, Rachel became angry and desperate. She arranged for Jacob to have children by her servant girl, Bilhah, which resulted in the birth of two sons (see Gen 30:1-7). This started unhealthy competition between the sisters. Leah responded in kind, giving her handmaid, Zilpah, to Jacob. Soon, there were two more sons in this atypical family.

It wasn’t until after Leah gave birth to two additional sons and a daughter that “God remembered Rachel. He listened to her and opened her womb. She conceived and bore a son, and said, ‘God has taken away my shame'” (Gen 30:22-23). She named the boy Joseph, which means “may the LORD add another son to me” (30:24). The name was probably both a note of praise and a prayer.

Soon after the birth of Joseph, Jacob decided to take his family back to Canaan (see Gen 31:17-20). During the long journey, Jacob had a strange midnight wrestling match with God at the Jabbok River (see Gen 32:22-32). He also had a nerve-rattling reunion with his brother, Esau (see Gen 33:1-16). Rachel became pregnant again either during the family’s sojourn in Succoth or their short stay at Shechem (see 33:17-18). It was after stopping to worship at Bethel, and then heading for Ephrath (Bethlehem), that Rachel went into severe labor (see 35:16).

Life was always so complicated for her. Her rare beauty. Her conniving father. Having to share her husband with an envious big sister. Infertility. And now this: giving birth in the middle of a trip in the middle of nowhere.

It was another boy. God had answered her prayer (see Gen 30:24). Realizing she wasn’t going to see her newborn grow up, she named him Ben-oni, “son of my sorrow.” Probably because didn’t want to think of Rachel’s death every time he called his son, Jacob changed the boy’s name to Benjamin. Then he buried the great love of his life.

WOMEN OF THE BIBLE “RAHAB- THE SHADY LADY”

rahab_poster

  HEBREWS 11:31- “By faith the prostitute received the spies in peace and didn’t perish with those who disobeyed.” 

There’s no nice way to say it. Rahab was a harlot-in modern parlance, a hooker. At her home atop the wall that surrounded the bustling, ancient city of Jericho, Rahab took in strange men and gave out sexual favors.

Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE “RAHAB- THE SHADY LADY”

BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES “TOTAL BODY BOWING”

sojdeh_116416

There were several different ways of bowing in Bible times. These ranged from lowing the head to bending the knees to kneeling down before another person. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES “TOTAL BODY BOWING”

MEN OF THE BIBLE (LAZARUS: BACK FROM THE GRAVE)

Nov.-30-pic-1-e1511995473547

     JOHN 11:3 NIV- Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. . . So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

As you lie on your sickbed, hoping Jesus shows up in times to heal you, your sisters, Mary and Martha, are doing everything they know to do help you-including sending word to Jesus about your condition. But He doesn’t show up in time and you fade away and die. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (LAZARUS: BACK FROM THE GRAVE)

MEN OF THE BIBLE (LEVI: FROM VIOLENCE TO PRIESTHOOD)

170px-Levi_by_V.Osipov

When Jacob’s sons learn that their sister, Dinah, had been raped by Shechem, son of Hamor the Hivite, and that Hamor had approached their father to ask for Dinah’s hand in marriage for the offender, they stepped in and gave Shechem a condition-every male must be circumcised so the Shechemites would be like them. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (LEVI: FROM VIOLENCE TO PRIESTHOOD)

SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (MATTHEW 7:4 & 5) DON’T CRITICIZE OTHERS

 

bible_0_0

MATTHEW: 7: 4- Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Continue reading SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (MATTHEW 7:4 & 5) DON’T CRITICIZE OTHERS