Wednesday, September 18, 2013


One of the studies this fall that I am in the process of with other women is about Joseph.  Our week last week looked at the names of all of Jacob's children and their meanings.

Honestly what were these parents thinking?  I wonder the same thing when I hear some of the names children are given now days.  Do we realize  children have to walk with this the rest of their life?  Well, I guess Leah and Jacob didn't care too much.  After all, the first son was named Reuben, which means in Hebrew "the LORD has seen my misery."  The word teaches us that Leah actually named her sons which again shows such apathy on Jacob's part with anything connected to Leah. If Jacob cared surely he wouldn't have picked this name!   Anyway, I was so sad leaving the study last night after we discussed this family dynamic.  Life is tough enough without having to carry around a name that everyone knows that your name means "your mom was miserable when she had you!"

Names during this time were so very important and everyone knew what they meant.  Not only did this family already have terrible anger, jealousy, self-worth, bitterness, and so much more wrong now this young baby was dealt the name of Reuben = misery.  It's no wonder that Reuben later in life made such terrible choices!

Choices that from the outset this family had to know were not going to work out well.  Jacob lied and manipulated his own brother all to be manipulated by his uncle Laban who set up his own daughters for a life of heartache!  Daughter #1, #Also unwanted wife, Leah is able to pop out the children, but Daughter #2, also wife #2, Rachel is Jacob's true love, so heartache is happening and will continue to happen.  After all, it's all these children will know.  Imagine, sitting down for a family meal.  Do you think they ever were able to share a meal?  If they did was it peaceful?  Do you think they ever were able to laugh again after the father sent the other sister to her man's tent?  Broken hearts everywhere is all I am able to picture.  What about you?

Yet with all of these things happening Joseph made a choice to believe the stories that would have been shared with all the family about Abraham and the promises of God.  Yes, he was in the same family with all the misery, jealousy, hate and was at the center of a lot of it. Yet, he made a choice to believe God and His Promises!  Same family, but different choices.

Whatever your situation are you making the same choice to believe God's promises or will you believe the bad choices of other humans?  Will you continue the legacy of misery or hope?

Today, when you meet someone crossing your path don't assume you know their story.  Remember, you never know what might be behind even their name.  Instead, allow God's light to shine brightly through you and on to them!

Sweet blessings,

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