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Praise Him



 

Posted by Priscilla Carr, October 17

In our Touching Hearts gatherings, we’re exploring the lives of various women in the Bible using the book Faithful as a guide for the study. Last week, Martha Wilson and I co-taught on Leah and explored how rejection and disappointment can alter our outlook, cause us to seek refuge in a person or thing that isn’t God’s best for us, or cause us to withdraw from meaningful, life-giving relationships. Can you relate? Let’s review Leah’s life and longings.


Leah was the older sister of Rachel and the daughter of Laban. Jacob, son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham, left Isaac and his mother Rebekah and traveled to find a wife from Abraham’s relatives...and to escape from his brother Esau, who wanted to kill him. Jacob (and their mother, Rebekah) had deceived Esau and his father Isaac into giving him the privileges of the firstborn (he was not the firstborn) even though the Lord had already promised Rebekah that “the older will serve the younger” (Gen. 25:22-23 CSB) and so Esau was more than a little upset about the deception and wanted to murder Jacob. When Jacob saw Rachel after an arduous journey to get to his relatives, he was told that she was of his grandfather’s family. He must have felt extreme relief and hope.


As soon as Jacob saw his uncle Laban’s daughter, Rachel, with his sheep, he went up and rolled the stone from the opening and watered the sheep. Then, Jacob kissed Rachel and wept loudly. He told Rachel that he was her father’s relative, Rebekah’s son. She ran and told her father (Gen. 29:10-12).


Rachel told her father Laban.


Many of us know the story. Jacob fell in love with Rachel and agreed with Laban that he’d work for him for 7 years in order to marry Rachel. After 7 years, Laban deceived Jacob and gave him Leah to wed instead of Rachel. Jacob then agreed to work for Laban for an additional 7 years, and he became husband to both Leah and Rachel. But Jacob “loved Rachel more than Leah” (Gen. 29:30).


When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, He… (Gen. 29:31).


Leah was unloved by Jacob. It wasn’t her imagination, and she wasn’t deceived into thinking she was unloved; it was real, and it was played out in their daily lives. Can you imagine what it feels like to know that the only reason you’re married is because your father tricked your husband into marrying you? Can you imagine the rejection Leah must have felt? And to know that your younger sister has captured the heart of your mutual husband? Wouldn’t you hope that giving him what the culture deemed important, sons, would win his devotion? That was Leah’s goal also…at first. But, Leah came to realize that although her husband didn’t love her, God did. Her focus changed from seeing her husband as the solution to her longing to be loved to praising the God who saw her and who had made her fruitful (Gen. 29:35).


We all have rejection and disappointment stories.

Maybe you have childhood memories of rejection (i.e. bullying, molestation, always being the last one picked, not being asked to the prom…) that have caused you, like me, to distrust and believe that you’re unworthy or less than. Or maybe adult memories or current situations (i.e. divorce and abandonment by a spouse, rejection by a son, daughter, father, or mother, disappointment that God allowed loved ones to die early or in horrific ways…) have you questioning God’s love for you. Aren’t you encouraged by Leah’s story? Isn’t it grand to know that God sees you and He desires fruitfulness and only the best for you? He is faithful and able to take our heartbreaks, our disappointing & difficult circumstances, and use them for His glory and for our good (Romans 8:28). If we allow it, He can take the rejection that we’ve faced, the false beliefs & conclusions that we’ve adopted, and fill us with the truth of our identity in Christ so that we can reflect His light and life to those so desperately looking for hope!


Jesus was betrayed and rejected even by those closest to Him (John 18). So, He can relate to us in our rejection. He knows what it feels like. Even though all of us deserve to be rejected by Him because of our sin, He did the opposite and gave Himself and became Emmanuel (God with us). He did this so that we could have a relationship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.


He sees us, He knows us, He wants us, and He loves us.

He is what each of us really desires. He is the fulfillment of the longing that we so often try to get fulfilled in others or material things. In the Faithful book (p. 85), Ruth Chou Simons describes it this way:“Leah recognized in that moment what believers like you and me would only come to know centuries later: God Himself, through Jesus, His Son, is the Good we’re really after.”


And although rejection and disappointment are inevitable pages or maybe even chapters in our stories, we can refocus and say as Leah did, "this time I will praise the Lord” (Gen. 29:35).


Praise Him, praise Him.

Praise Him, praise Him.

Jesus blessed Savior

He’s worthy to be praised.


From the rising of the sun

Until the going down of the same,

He is worthy, Jesus is worthy,

He’s worthy to be praised.


Praise Him, praise Him.

Praise Him, praise Him.

Jesus, blessed Savior

He’s worthy to be praised.

(from “Praise Him” by Carol Cymbala)


Faithful, 2021, published by David C. Cook, 4050 Lee Cook Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80918



Priscilla Carr was born in NYC, but has lived in metro Atlanta since 1979. She is a Navy veteran trained in electronics which God used for a 30-year career at the FAA. She uses her training to provide audio support to Touching Hearts Ministries, and is the Editor and Producer of “A Burst of Hope” podcast. She began her adult new life in Jesus in 1990 right before leaving the Navy, and today she exudes her love for Jesus. She is the proud mama to two rambunctious fur kids, Gracie (Lab) and Faith (Pit-mix). Priscilla was encouraged by elementary teachers to write. She took creative writing courses in High School and college, but in the mid-eighties, she stopped writing. The desire to write has been recently reawakened, and she is thriving in her new writing adventure.




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게스트
2023년 11월 02일

What a beautiful blog, Priscilla. God has gifted you in so many ways. You are a blessing.


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