Journey to Judah
I love to go on vacation. I’ve cruised to several Caribbean countries, read many a book on Florida beaches, and walked the coastline in San Diego. Plus I have a wish list including Hawaii, Alaska, and New York City. Maybe one day…
Though I love to vacation, I also love returning home to the beauty of Kentucky and the company of my extended family. The older I get and the more experiences I have, the more I come to realize the greatest journey I take is not a week on the beach but walking each day of life. The here and now, the family and friends, the job, the household chores, the running to this performance or that event… this is the greatest journey and I want to make the most of it.
In Genesis 29, the sage of Jacob continues as he finds his mother’s family in the east. From them, he selects a bride, Rachel the daughter of Laban. He agrees to work 7 years in exchange for her hand. On the wedding night, Jacob the great deceiver in regards to his brother is on the other end of a deception. In his bed was not the lovely Rachel but her older and not as lovely sister Leah. Outraged at being deceived, Jacob went to Laban. For the promise of another 7 years of labor, Jacob was given Rachel also.
Two wives. One loved, the other not. We could use our imaginations but we don’t have to as the next few chapters detail the tension, conflict, and drama in that household.
For now, let’s look at Joseph’s first four sons all borne to him by the unloved Leah. As she named each child in connection to her current circumstances, we can learn much about her journey.
- Reuben- “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now” Genesis 29:32
- Simeon- “Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one also.” Genesis 29:33
- Levi- “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have born him 3 sons.” Genesis 29:34
- Judah- “This time I will praise the Lord.” Genesis 29:35
My heart is moved by how much the Spirit is teaching me right now through her. Notice how she went from being in misery and desperate for the love of her husband as seen in the first 3 names to Judah. Throughout her life, she never really had the love and affection she wanted from her husband and lived in competition to her younger sister. YET- the name “Judah” indicates she learned to praise God anyway.
I love the implications her journey has to my life! No matter if life turns out to be a bed of roses or one disappointment after another, I can praise God anyway! By the way, it was not through Rachel but Leah and specifically through Judah that God would direct the line of Christ! How appropriate the line of Christ went back to a praise to God.
I will always love vacation trips. However, the greatest journey is the one I walk today so I want to do it with a praise on my lips for the God who walks by my side and in my heart no matter the circumstances. Thank you, Jesus! Amen!