Today's Manna

January 21, 2017
The Giver of Life
by Beau Moore
Scripture Reading: Genesis 30

The way God has chosen to interact with mankind will never cease to amaze me! There are many stories that I will not fully understand this side of heaven, and that is ok. Genesis 30 is one of those stories. In the previous chapter we learned about the love triangle created by Laban between his two daughters and son-in-law. Jacob agreed to work 7 years for Rachel's hand in marriage. He was tricked into marrying Leah first. He then agreed to work another 7 years to marry Rachel. I often wonder how he persevered for so long in such a situation.

The scriptures don't sugar coat the fact that Jacob loved Rachel, which created animosity in this ultimate "blended family." God used two wives and their maid servants to create a nation for Himself (one of those ways that God amazes me). Many people assume that the lines of Levi and Judah came from Rachel's womb, but on the contrary, they were born to Leah.

The thing that caught my attention today was the negotiation of the mandrakes. The mandrake has quite an interesting story. People throughout the ages have regarded this little hibiscus as a plant resembling a human which would scream as it was pulled from the ground, killing anyone who heard its scream. Folklore says that men would dig down around the root and tie a dog to it and then run away, sparing their own life, but successfully unearthing the plant. A plant regarded as this powerful must have also been rare. Some historians suggest this plant was used for medicinal purposes, even for helping a barren woman become pregnant.

Regardless, I am reminded today that God is the author and giver of life. How many times in history has someone been told they could not bear children only to become a mother later. God spoke directly to Jeremiah concerning His plan and purpose in his birth: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” (Jer 1:5) Job also reminds us that God is the giver of life in Job 33:4, "The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life."

Regardless of human error interwoven in this story, whether trickery, jealousy, or bigamy, God gave each one of these sons to Jacob for a reason and used them to birth a nation. God has given you and me life for a reason. Let us not waste it. Let's live our lives for the glory and honor of Jesus Christ.

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