ONE BITTER HEART, ONE BITTER LIFE

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Rachel said to her father, “Don’t be angry, my lord, that I cannot stand up in your presence; I’m having my period.” So he searched but could not find the household gods.” Genesis 31:35 NIV

Today’s verse is a classic child lying to her dad scenario. Rachel is leaving her homeland with her husband Jacob.  She doesn’t feel like she is getting the inheritance she deserves from her father, Laban. She has been told by her husband not to do this.  She is in rebellion to both men. She’s lying to both men. Rachel has a heart issue, left unattended, it affects the rest of her life.

Rachel and Jacob’s story is not normal.  Jacob worked 7 years for Laban to marry her.  When he had finally completed his duty, Laban, sends Leah into the marital tent.  Leah was Rachel’s older sister, custom said she had to marry first. When Jacob found out he confronted his father-in-law.  Laban told him he’d have to work another 7 years to marry Rachel. Jacob does it, he works 14 years to marry Rachel. Interesting love triangle Jacob, Leah and Rachel have together.  

All of these years later, Jacob is finally able to leave Laban and head home with his brides.  But Rachel has stolen household gods from her father (Genesis 31: 19 NIV).  The sad part to her story, she didn’t need her father’s inheritance.  Jacob didn’t need her father’s inheritance, he was successful without it.  They had God’s blessing on their life, they didn’t need anything else. Rachel’s sense of entitlement is planting a bitter root in her heart.  Instead of trusting God’s blessings, she’s decided to bless herself. In her act of rebellion, she planted a root of bitterness. Acts of rebellion plant bitter seeds.

Acts of rebellion plant bitter seeds.

Rachel wasn’t caught.  Neither her father nor Jacob ever knew as far as I know.  There is not one act of “punishment” so to speak, for her actions.  However, her life wasn’t great after this happened. She struggled to get pregnant, Jacob falls in love with Leah, and she dies a painful death in childbirth.  Her bitter heart led her to a bitter life.

Rachel’s ultimate problem was bitterness.  She was bitter she wasn’t getting all that she felt she deserved.  In today’s world, this is called entitlement. We feel entitled to a certain lifestyle, certain income, certain inheritance.  When we feel entitled to something, then don’t receive it, we become bitter. When we become bitter, we’re planting a bitter root in our hearts.   Bitterness grows as we feed it with more and more lies of what we think we deserve. If we’re not careful, we’ll become like Rachel, and live a bitter life.

Question of the Day:

What do your actions say about what is growing in your heart?

Further Reading: Genesis 31:17-32:12 NIV, Matthew 10:24-11:6 NIV, Psalm 13:1-6 NIV, Proverbs 3:16-18 NIV

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