Sunday, August 17, 2014

Returning to God

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.


Genesis 28:18

I remember as a child, my grandmother showed us how to make a Jacob’s ladder with string. It gave us a visual for the story. God gives Jacob a visual in the form of dream so Jacob knows that God is with him and is watching over him. Jacob also created a visual for himself, a standing stone. Anytime he or his family passed that way, the story could be remembered and retold, just as it is to you today. Although we cannot see the stone, the story is being retold thousands upon thousands of times because Jacob raised up a stone of remembrance.

Genesis 29:35

Leah seeks to please Jacob, to be his lover as well as his wife. When she saw that he would not love her, she took consolation in how good God was to her in giving her sons. She praised the Lord. God is not a respecter of persons but he will give help and comfort to the downtrodden. Leah saw that rejection by man, even one she loved, was not rejection by God. God blessed her and she finally recognized it.

Genesis 30:17,22,34

Rachel blamed Jacob for her barrenness. Leah blamed Rachel for taking her husband. Jacob blamed Laban for changing his wages. All three used their own means to try to get what they wanted. It was all very unethical. They were not blessed because of what they did. They were all blessed because they cried out to God and He moved in each of their situations because of faith, certainly not because of their efforts to fix things themselves.

Genesis 31: 42,53

Jacob leaves without Laban’s knowledge. Rachel takes her father’s idols and hides them unbeknownst to Jacob. When Laban catches them, Jacob allows Laban to search their stuff for his idols. Laban fails to search the trunk Rachel is sitting on. Jacob chastises Laban and says that had it not been for God Laban would have sent him away empty handed. Laban wants to pretend that he serves the same God.


What about us? We say - we worship God; we are a Christian nation founded on Christian principles…. But do we not live as Laban? We are concerned about money and other things we idolize – cars, clothes, sports, houses, etc., etc. Who are we kidding? Certainly not God.


Father, help us recognize when we are idolatrous. Help us not to try to fix things our own way, but learn to lean upon You, crying out for Your help. Help us to humble ourselves before you and seek to be true worshipers and witnesses to our families first and also to world.  In Jesus name. Amen

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