Sister Tension

It was no secret that her husband did not love her. Leah’s father had tricked him into the marriage. Her beautiful, sexy sister was the one he had wanted since he first laid eyes on her. A week after the deception, he got Rachel too but only with her father’s condition that Jacob work for him another seven years.

She had hoped she would win Jacob’s love in the womb war. She thought she had when it was she and not her sister who presented him with his first son. Wrong. That didn’t make her husband love her. It did make Rachel furiously jealous then and every time she gave Jacob a son. She gave him six to Rachel’s zero. Still, Jacob did not love her.

Finally, after her last child was born—a girl—her sister’s belly swelled. Rachel gave birth to a boy, naming him Joseph. And what do you think? Jacob loved Rachel’s kid more than he did all seven of hers combined.

Throughout the years, being desperate for her husband’s love had kept her at odds with Rachel. But today she would step over the hurt and worry and stand with her sister. Today they would be in sync when they responded to their husband’s proposal. He wanted them to pick up and move to a people and land the sisters did not know.

“Then Rachel and Leah answered and said to him, ‘Is there any portion or inheritance left to us in our father’s house? Are we not regarded by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and he has indeed devoured our money. All the wealth that God has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children. Now then, whatever God has said to you, do’” (Genesis 31:14-16 ESV).

There comes a time to set aside differences.

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Reversals

He was good enough for them when they were growing up together. But when property and money counted, his half-brothers thrust him out of the family. Zero inheritance.

What had he done wrong? That one thing: He had been born of a prostitute.

And how was that his fault? He didn’t ask to be born. He had had nothing to do with the conditions that brought about his birth.

Nevertheless, the day came when he was again good enough for them. Actually, more than good enough. All because of what he had become in the interim.

Driven from his homeland and forced to fend for himself, he had weathered into a seasoned warrior. Now the outcast was the one person everybody back in Gilead wanted. So the tribal leaders made the trip to Tob and met with Jephthah.

In dire straits, they begged him to come back and command his homeland’s army. War was at their doorstep.

Jephthah, determined not to be discarded a second time, gave the distressed delegation his terms. If he defeated the invaders, they would make him the ruling head of his native country.

No problem. “The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, ‘The Lord is witness between us; surely we will do as you have said’” (Judges 11:10 NASB).

As had happened to Gideon in the past and would happen to Samson in the future, “the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah” (Judges 11:29 NASB). Energized with supernatural strength, Jephthah was victorious on the battlefield.

And thus it came about that “Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead” (Judges 12:7 NASB).

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.
(Psalm 139:13-16 MSG)

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Toot!

“Sometimes,” my mother told me, “you have to toot your own horn.” This, I feel, is one of those times.

The reason: Amazon refused to publish a review of Secrets Revisited.

The backstory: My daughter gifted a girlfriend with a copy of Secrets Revisited. After reading it, she passed it to her husband. He submitted a review to Amazon, which Amazon rejected.

The review: “I began reading this book at the beginning of the morning. I didn’t stop until I had read the last page. My heart hung on every word as Mrs. Simon began peeling the onion of her heart. By the time she got to the inside layers, this book revealed itself as a powerful story of unbounded Faith and redemption! I found myself wanting to weep, but, in a strange way, God didn’t want me to weep.  Instead, he wanted me to focus on the lessons laid out to all: don’t let your circumstances define you or those around you. Thank you for writing such a raw, powerful work.”

The disclaimer: I have never met my daughter’s friend or her husband.

Toot!

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