Feb 23, 2014
Genesis 35:16-29 They set out from Bethel. When they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth, and her labor was difficult. During her difficult labor, the midwife said to her, "Don't be afraid, for you have another son." With her last breath - for she was dying - she named him Ben-oni, but his father called him Benjamin. So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem ). Jacob set up a marker on her grave; it is the marker at Rachel's grave to this day. Israel set out again and pitched his tent beyond the Tower of Eder. While Israel was living in that region, Reuben went in and slept with his father's concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard about it. Jacob had 12 sons: Leah's sons were Reuben (Jacob's firstborn), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. Rachel's sons were Joseph and Benjamin. The sons of Rachel's slave Bilhah were Dan and Naphtali. The sons of Leah's slave Zilpah were Gad and Asher. These are the sons of Jacob, who were born to him in Paddan-aram. Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre in Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron ), where Abraham and Isaac had stayed. Isaac lived 180 years. He took his last breath and died, and was gathered to his people, old and full of days. His sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
Big Idea - God's Gospel calling does not mean we will not experience hardship.
1. The loss of Rachel caused Jacob sorrow.
Genesis 48:7 When I was returning from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died along the way, some distance from Ephrath in the land of Canaan. I buried her there along the way to Ephrath," (that is, Bethlehem).
2. Ruben lost the trust of Jacob because of his sin.
Genesis 49:3-4 Reuben, you are my firstborn, my strength and the firstfruits of my virility, excelling in prominence, excelling in power. Turbulent as water, you will no longer excel, because you got into your father's bed and you defiled it - he got into my bed. 1 Chronicles 5:1-2 These were the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel. He was the firstborn, but his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph son of Israel, because Reuben defiled his father's bed. He is not listed in the genealogy according to birthright. Although Judah became strong among his brothers and a ruler came from him, the birthright was given to Joseph.
3. The loss of Isaac was hard on Jacob at the very least.
God's comfort in hardship is beyond anything we can receive from people.
Hosea 14:8 Ephraim, why should I have anything more to do with idols? It is I who answer and watch over him. I am like a flourishing pine tree; your fruit comes from Me.
Do you want the comfort and affirmation of our feelings over the truth of God?
Seek God first when we are hurting. (First, not only)
Don't try to fix a person's hurt, but hurt with them.
Note: all scripture references are in HCSB