Insights from Genesis 29-Exodus 16

Genesis 29. Leah. God saw that she was unloved. Sometimes God sees an injustice and steps in to even things out a bit. Leah births Reuben. In naming him as she did, she acknowledges that God saw her affliction, but she thinks a son will make Jacob love her. Leah births Simeon. First God saw he affliction, now He has also heard (the meaning of Simeon). She must have been crying out to God. For the third son, she leaves God out of it. Leah is just as desperate, but has given up on love. Now she’s ready to settle for less – attachment. Leah names her fourth son Judah, which means praise. She’s given up on Jacob. She can’t obtain his love, she can’t get attachment, so she hits bottom, gives up and praises God. God is enough. Lesson learned.

Genesis 29. Jacob hated Leah. He wanted Rachel, thought he had married Rachel, thought he had slept with Rachel, but woke up to find Leah. He was angry at Leah for taking Rachel’s place and deceiving him. He was angry at himself for not noticing all night he was with another woman, so he took it out on Leah. Jacob may have never forgiven Leah or himself. He punished her by hating her.

Genesis 45:5 Joseph is truly releasing his brothers. He is telling them to forgive themselves. God is telling us to forgive ourselves. If we have confessed and asked for forgiveness and repented, we have no reason to be grieved; to give ourselves any more pain over it; no reason to be angry with ourselves.

Exodus 3:12 When Moses objects to God’s calling, God replies, “Certainly I will be with you” and gives him a sign. Moses will know for sure that God has sent him when he completes the task and returns to the starting point where he met God. And so it is for us today. God gives us something big to do (or little), but the absolute final confirmation doesn’t come until we complete our assigned task. We shouldn’t give up when we aren’t given assurances at every step along the way. We have His promises at the beginning and will have His sign at the end. And we shouldn’t be seeking signs in between – we should just keep working by faith. In between we can expect doubt and difficulties, but we can also expect God’s help.

Exodus 4:19 God tells Moses to go back to Egypt, for all the men who were seeking your life are dead. In Matthew 2:20, God tells to Joseph to return to Israel, for those who sought the Child’s life are dead.

Exodus 5:23 This is a pattern that continues today. Whenever God sets out to deliver us, our flesh fights, Satan fights, those who profit from our bondage fight. The people fought the judges, the prophets, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, not to mention God.

Exodus 16:4 The Israelites were hungry and complained to Moses and Aaron, so God rained bread from heaven – the opposite of what they expected. The expected bread from the plants on the earth, not in the dew from the sky. The people were to gather daily portions each day until the Sabbath – no stocking up until the Sabbath. God was testing them to see whether or not they would follow His instructions.

Be careful about complaining – it may lead to a test. God may meet our needs in unexpected ways and we should be open to them. Instead of looking for the usual, look up for the unusual. Go out and gather what you need for the day. Go out and gather early in the morning every morning. Manna was bread from heaven and Jesus compared the Word to the bread of life and heaven. God tests us to see whether or not we will walk in His instructions. He wants us to feed on His word early every morning and all the day long. He tests us to see if we will walk (continually move forward) in His instruction.

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