Sermon - Rachel’s StoryDecember 2nd, 2012 — davegroberts
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Reading Genesis 29v14-30
Now that may be to some a long passage, but it helps set up the story of Rachel. Sounds like a modern day soap opera like Holby City, Eastenders or Coronation Street doesn't it? Rachel had a fairly complicated family structure as we have seen, so lets try to unravel it!
Rachel's sister Rebekah was Jacob's mother. Rebekah trained Jacob to scheme in order to gain his father's blessing and promised him that she would take the results of the deceitful act upon herself. Rachel became Jacob's wife, but only after Laban had tricked him into marrying Leah, the older daughter first. We can wonder if Rachel encouraged Jacob in his trickery, or if she was influenced by him to think first of herself at the expense of others. Whether his mother and/or his wife influenced Jacob, or indeed if he influenced them, both Rebekah and Rachel serve as examples of the outcome of sinful deceit and discontent.
Introducing Rachel's personal details
So, who was Rachel?
- Born in Aramea (Syria)
- Daughter of Laban
- Second wife of Jacob, her first cousin.
- Mother of Joseph & Benjamin.
- Ancestress of three tribes of Israel- Benjamin, Ephraim & Manasseh (Sons of Joseph).
- Possessed great beauty (Genesis 29:17)
- Devious (Genesis 31:19, 34-35)
- Not single-minded in devotion to God.
- Probably did not put away her idols until shortly before she died.
- Her sorrow is depicted by Jeremiah (Jeremiah. 31), to signify the sorrow of Israel's people at the exile of Israel to Assyria and Babylon.
Now let us look at some of the main people involved in the life of Rachel: her father, sister, husband and children.
1. Her Father
2. Her Sister
3. Her Husband
4, Her Children
The Story continues
Perhaps there are 3 kinds of people here tonight.
Firstly, if you are a Christian here tonight, how and in what way are you like Rachel? As you go through your day, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you ways in which you may well be deceitful, vengeful, dwelling on the past bitterly or engaged in constant self-pity. Are you like Rachel, headed downhill on a course of dissatisfaction that may end in dishonesty and deceit, or in disappointment and despair? Accept God's love. Believe that in every trial He desires us to draw closer to Him, so that we can be energized by Him and realize that He alone and only He is enough. Ask for forgiveness for dwelling on the past and any inappropriate behaviour where those things were involved. God is faithful and just and will forgive if you go to Him with a penitent heart. Then no long dwell on those things, for they are in the past, are forgotten and not to be remembered any more. So forgetting what is past, go into the future with a new outlook of service to God and others. That way your life will be a living prayer and a living witness to others about the great God you serve, love and worship.
Secondly, you may be a Christian but you are the victim of somebody else's deceit and dishonesty - then forgive them before God and as far as it is possible, ask that person for forgiveness. Bitterness, envy and pride can eat away and cause much misery, sin and depression.
Finally, if it happens that you are not a Christian here tonight, then please do see one of the leaders or myself and we would be glad to tell you how you can be free from a life of dissatisfaction, deceit and dishonesty - both as the victim and perpetrator of such things. Know that Jesus Christ is above deceit, never dissatisfies and is never dishonest - His word is true and He seeks you, to be in a relationship with you, where His love is always serving, always humble and always satisfies. As I said, come and see one of us after if that is you..