Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Unloved Woman

Have you ever known an unloved woman? One who felt her husband didn't love her? Have you ever felt unloved, or forgotten by someone? A friend, a parent, a spouse? No one likes to feel like they are not worth another’s time. How much more this would hurt if you were in a marriage like that. I am thinking specifically of the relationship between Leah, Jacob, and Rachel. Here is one of my all time favorite scriptures. It seems a bit obscure, but you will see why I like it in a minute.

"When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren." Genesis 29:31

Now, I am not rejoicing in Rachel’s barrenness, but what I am rejoicing in is God going to bat for Leah. He gave her honor, when everyone else had dishonored her. I could cry thinking about how loving and compassionate God was to her.

"When the Lord saw... He.."

When he saw her pain HE took action. He did something tangible. Do you wait for the Lord to take action for you? There are no other words more powerful to me in the bible than when God "rises" to rescue his own. This is the same God who can create the universe with a word! That he would be passionate enough about your circumstance to rise to meet the challenge is astonishing.

"Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!" Isa 30:18

The bible says Leah was the undesirable sister. Not even her own father wanted her. He didn't respect her enough to find her a husband in an honorable way. Instead, he passed her off in secret to the first unsuspecting relative he could find. Even her sister was against her.

What do you think life was like for Leah? Her Father didn't want her, her husband didn't want her, and her sister didn't want her. She was told she was undesirable, while her sister was loved and desired by the husband they shared. But God wanted her. God honored her. Listen to how Leah named the first four of her sons. See how she obsessively tries to win her husbands attention, and then watch as she goes from misery in her circumstances to praising God for her blessings.

Reuben : "... Reuben, for she said, 'it is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now'." (Reuben means, "He has seen my misery") Gen 29:32

Simeon: "Because the Lord heard I am not loved, he gave me this one too." so she named him Simeon (Simeon means "one who hears") Gen 29:33

Levi: "Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have born him three sons." so he was named Levi. (Levi means attached) Gen 29:34

Judah: "This time I will praise the Lord." so she named him Judah. (Judah derived from the word praise) Gen 29:35

Notice how her situation didn't change? Leah would have six sons, an honor for any woman of her time. But her husband still didn’t love her. With the first three sons she wallowed in her misery but by the 4th son she began to praise God. She finally saw Gods hand in her circumstances, and that was her true reward. She would feel "loved" through God. Even though her circumstances didn’t change.

When we are unloved, or even just feel unloved, we have a choice. We can say, " woe is me I am so forgotten", or we can begin to praise God in our circumstances, and say “ HE is enough.” Cast your cares on him... even your desire to be loved, because He is even the provider of our love. He lavished it on Leah, the unloved woman, because from her came the tribe of Judah, and as you know from this tribe came our savior, Jesus-oh what a blessing! Rachel had the eye of her husband, but Leah had the eye of God almighty! Praise you, oh Lord that you are not like man! Praise you, oh Lord, that you have your eyes on those who are forgotten or unlovely or hated, praise you that we are loved deeply by you even when those who are supposed to love us don't. Praise you Father that you see us and you say:

"The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord." Psalm 45:11 NIV

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Blessed is She...

"Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"  Luke 1:42

At first I had much difficulty taking this scripture into my heart as my own. After all, this is referring to Mary the mother of Jesus. But in Studying the words, it's really about believing isn't it? It's not about who I am or what I've done that is good or bad, but about God giving grace when we believe.When we step in belief we are blessed. Something happens in a heart when we stubbornly refuse to give in to the enemy's plan to sow doubt and despair.

"Blessed is she who has believed..."
Has believed. How long have you believed? How long have you waited for that thing you are believing about? The blessing seems to come after the believing, but not necessarily immediately after believing. Actively believing, not a one time deal. Continuously walking in a state of belief. No longer wishing for or even hoping for in the sense that you "hope it will happen" but in a state of waiting for God to reveal his timing. Knowing that your God will either bless you with whatever it is, or give you something HE regards as better. Oh, that is powerful. To know that God will not give you something because you want it, but to give you what he thinks is better for you. When we have this kind of trust, we are blessed. When we really believe that God is for us, and is working for what is best for us, we are blessed.

"what the Lord has said to her..."
How do you know what the Lord has said to you? Are you engaged in active, continual listening? The bible says that his flock know his voice. Perhaps He "Has said" something to you long ago, perhaps we must have long suffering or long waiting to see the fruition of what we know has been said. Mary had to wait until the signs of pregnancy were obvious to "see" what she was believing for. She didn't immediately see what she was believing for. This kind of believing means that we must spend time actually listening to God. Do I listen? Really? In such a "get it done" society, do we really spend the time we need to listen to Gods voice?

"will be accomplished..."
Yes Lord, accomplish your will! God will make it happen. Is anything to hard for God? Do you believe God can do it? Here is the real question...  do you believe God will do it? We can trust in the word of God! If what you believe he has said is backed by scripture, you know that God will do it. Do you know the one thing God CAN'T do? He can't be what he is not. God can't lie, becaue it is the opposite of what he is... He is truth. So we can 100% trust that if said it, he will do it. Here is a scripture to take to heart about what he has said he will do.

"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Now the dwelling  of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mournng or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.'" Revelation 21:3-5