I skipped Monday School last week, but I don’t want to skip the important lessons that stood out to me in the last two weeks of the No Other Gods study my oldest daughter and I are doing.
The lessons come from the story of Rachel and Leah found in Genesis 29 through 31. Read the story for yourself. It’s a doozy!
When I read the story, I consistently feel more pain for Leah than Rachel. Jacob settled for Leah, but he loved Rachel. Never before had I realized the tremendous amount of pain they both lived with…some caused by others. Most caused by their own desires and what they did with them. Their desires for good things turned into obsessions, or idols.
Leah desired Jacob’s love. With each son Leah bore him, she hoped to capture the heart of her husband. Instead of praising God for the blessing of children, she used the blessings to try to get what she wanted. Her attempts to make Jacob love her only made her more hopeless.
Rachel desired children. She told Jacob, “Give me children, or I will die!” Jacob’s love wasn’t enough. Rachel gave her servant to Jacob to have children through her. She tried to fix and control her situation.
The rest of the story shows us the ongoing feud between Leah and Rachel. Two women desperate for what they didn’t have, blind to what they did. They wanted good things, but refused to trust God with their desires.
Regardless of how detestable or presentable our false gods are, they edge God out to the perimeters of our hearts. And this is the great tragedy: missing God in our lives because we haven’t left Him any room.Kelly Minter from No Other Gods
Last week, the author of the study took us to the desert. The Israelites made their way to the edge of the Promised Land through a stretch of fiery sand. God provided them with water and food from heaven, but they craved meat. Read Numbers 11. It’s another doozy.
God gave them what they asked for. He gave them meat until they were sickened by it.
They craved what they didn’t have, and despised what they had. Their heads filled with distorted memories about Egypt, and hearts grew discontent with God’s provision. They left no room for God.
The author quotes a prayer from A.W. Tozer that I quote in part here. May we be brave enough to ask it and really mean it. Oh God, help us mean it.
Father, I want to know Thee…..please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou mayest enter and dwell there without a rival.A.W. Tozer