Archive for category Marriage
I wonder if Deut 24:5 is the origin of the honeymoon period for newlyweds. It says a man cannot have any duties placed upon him, such as fighting in war, during the first year of his marriage. It says he must be free to stay at home and bring his wife happiness. I wonder in times of war if the number of marriages rose dramatically to try to get out of fighting? You know, kind of like the population of Canada rose dramatically during the Vietnam War.
As I read through the lists of sexual sins that Israel should not practice, I realized many of them were practiced by their own ancestors. Some examples off the top of my head:
- No sex with father or mother (Lot & his daughters)
- No sex with sister or half-sister. (Abraham)
- No sex with daughter-in-law (Judah & Tamar)
- No sex or marriage with sisters (Jacob with Leah & Rachel)
In Lev 18:24-30 we learn that these sexual sins God lists were being practiced by the nations around Israel as well as the nations of Canaan whom God was destroying by Israel’s hand. His warning for Israel was not to be like them. It is easy to get caught up doing things people around us are doing, but God’s commandments are given to guide our behavior and understand what pleases and upsets God. That’s why Psalms often refers to the law as a light to our path. and a guide to righteousness.
The law regarding escaped slaves caught my attention. Since slavery was part of their culture, I would have thought that Israel would be required to return runaway slaves. However God says that if a slave sought refuge from their master, that they were to let the slave live amongst them and not to oppress them. I had to think awhile about why God would not want them to return a slave. It seems to mirror Israel being slaves in Egypt who were oppressed, and God freed them from their bondage to show them the way of righteousness. If a runaway slave sought refuge in Israel, God would want that ex-slave to learn the way of righteousness also. Unfortunately Israel didn’t often walk in righteousness, even though the law taught them how.
I wish the US would understand why God told Israel not to borrow from other countries, but rather to lend. Because the borrow is a servant to the lender and you never know what kind of master another country might be.
The law regarding brothers marrying their brother’s wife if he died and they had no children was not a new practice God taught in the law of Moses. It was already a custom of the people as seen in Genesis chapter 38 with Judah and Tamar. This command reminds us that when a woman married a man she was leaving her family behind and becoming part of his extended family for the rest of her life.
The rules for the priest’s behavior, marriage, family, and wellness seem to contain the same level of detail that God required in the sacrifices and offerings. I wonder if this higher standard for the priests corresponds to the higher standard God had for teachers in the New Testament as James states in chapter 3. Both of these concepts seem to apply the idea that to whom more is given more is required.
The year of Jubilee would be an awesome concept for any nation to follow. If one’s parents or grandparents lost the family estate, they wouldn’t ruin the family forever. It appears to foreshadow the liberty and inheritance that one receives in Christ. But, I wonder if Israel ever practiced this wonderful command from God. I don’t know of any examples of this occurring in scriptures or history.
I didn’t remember the verses in Lev 25:23-24 that say the land is God’s and that Israel were but aliens and tenants in the land. That is why they couldn’t sell the land, it didn’t belong to them but God. This also appears to be foreshadowing the kingdom of God, where he will prepare a place for us to dwell.
Leah & Rachel
What incredible sorrow Leah must have felt when her father has to trick Jacob into marrying her. I understand why she was competing against her beautiful younger sister when nobody wanted her, it didn’t make it good, but I can understand it. God gave Leah some comfort by the birth of her 4 sons. But the rejection she felt must have been terrible, with the birth of her first three sons she expects her husband to finally love her. But at last, when Judah is born she stops hoping for Jacob’s change of heart and names Judah to praise God, the one who truly loves her. And it is through Leah and Judah that God will choose to bear the Christ, the Savior of the world. It just shows us again how the awful circumstances of life can be turned to glory by the God who sees.
Jacob & Laban
Since Jacob deceived Esau it seems like he got what he deserved with Laban, someone deceiving him. Even though Jacob thought he was being so clever putting stripes in front of the sheep, I think I have to attribute the gain in Jacob’s flock to God’s providential care rather than the brilliance of Jacob.
I am reminded by all the readings in Genesis so far, that God provided help not because any of us are so great, but because He loves us as a father loves his children and desires the best for them.
When Esau marries two Hittite women Isaac and Rebekah are both upset, but I wonder if it’s also the reason Rebekah wanted to deceive Isaac into giving Jacob the blessing normally given to the first-born son. Isaac still wanted to give the blessing to Esau, who appears to be his favorite son, while Rebekah seems to favor Jacob.
The favoritism shown by many of the parents in Genesis must have caused the normal sibling jealousy to explode even worse. Esau marries another wife, this time from Abraham’s offspring, seemingly to gain favor from Mom and Dad. How sad for this 3rd wife if that is truly the case.
This story saddens me to read. The behavior of all involved does not reflect well upon them. The struggle between these two brothers reminds me of Able and Cain, only in this case Jacob got away with the help of his mother.
Isaac comforted after Sarah’s death
The last verse in the chapter tells us that Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death by marrying Rebekah. I don’t know if that was a main reason for Isaac marrying at this time, but it was a nice blessing.
The Servants Prayer
A couple of things about the servant’s prayer stand out to me: the first is that the servant asked for guidance, but more specifically that he asked God to answer his prayer a certain way so that he would know the right answer when he saw it. I think it is often difficult to know if something is an answer to prayer or not when we make very general prayers. The second thing I noticed is that he prayed for the right woman to be one who would not only give him a drink of water when he asked, but would also take the time to water his camels as well. This demonstrated a giving nature to Rebekah as well as a willingness to work, after all bringing bucket after bucket up from the well to water camels, who can drink a lot of water, would have been a physically demanding task. I think it shows the wisdom of the servant to know what kind of godly qualities to look for , and the godly character of Rebekah.