Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Am I in the Place of God?

She said to Jacob, "Give me children or I shall die!" -Genesis 30:1b

So do you think Rachel was being overly dramatic?

We all know Jonah wanted to die from anger. Kind of childish, really. Been there, done that.

But Rachel. Was she planning on dying from shame? From frustration? From unfulfilled desire (hope deferred...Proverbs 13:12)? From envy of her rival(s)? All of the above?

Jacob's answer was dead on: "Am I in the place of God?"

Expressed in anger at her unreasonable expectations, maybe. Or sarcasm (the default setting, I'm afraid, for some of us). But you know, the more I ponder the situation, I wonder if a rebuke was intended. A theologically correct rebuke.

Who gives life anyway?

Could it be that Rachel was guilty of idolatry? Isn't that what happens when we pin our expectations, our hopes, our dreams on the creature and not the Creator?

Remember Hannah? In almost the exact same situation, did she rag on her poor, bewildered husband who was doing his best to comfort her? Or did she take her request to the One who could do something about it? 

Sisters in Christ, what are you dying from? Is there a lesson in the conclusions to these two stories. God was glorified, oh yes, and His purpose accomplished.

But in one family, there was disrespect, envy, hatred and heartache. In the other, there was a Christian mom's fondest hope fulfilled: a godly son, dedicated to the Lord.

Brothers, we don't get off the hook so easily. There's more to being a man than tromping through the house in muddy boots, scratching ourselves and spitting on the floor.

Sometimes you gotta be a man and say what needs saying. I admit that Jacob's reply might have gone down easier spoken in a gentle tone and a tender expression than with a growl and a scowl.

Still some things need to be said.

 Choose your words wisely.

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