i have been looking at relationships in the bible...it's a topic that i am curious about...so there could be more devo thoughts on this subject in the future, but today will focus on some relationships in genesis.
these are 6 well-known pairs of people--at least they should be well-known if you have buzzed through this book at all. i'll highlight the couple and then share its male perspective on a segment of their relationship.
adam and eve: "at last!" gen 2:23
abraham and sarah: "they will spare my life and treat me well because of you." gen 12:13
isaac and rebekah: "he loved her deeply, and she was a special comfort to him." gen 24:67
jacob and leah: "God saw that leah was unloved." gen 29:31
jacob and rachel: "his love for her was so strong that [7 years] seemed to him but a few days." gen 29:20
judah and tamar: "she is more righteous than i am." gen 38:26
here are some things i noticed: there is a lot of love here; aside from jacob and leah (the wife he was tricked into marrying) and judah and tamar (his widowed daughter-in-law), these men love their women. but what else? a lot of sin. every single couple makes terrible decisions. briefly:
adam and eve: pretty famous fall of mankind--heard of it?
abraham and sarah: he called her his sister twice so he wouldn't get killed; she laughed at God's promise; neither of them is noted for their hospitality toward hagar (abe's first baby mama).
isaac and rebekah: he pulled the 'my wife is my sister' stunt like his father; she helped jacob deceive isaac to gain esau's blessing.
jacob and leah: the big trickster got played by his father-in-law to marry her; she used sex and having kids as weapons; he didn't love her.
jacob and rachel: she pimped jacob out for some of leah's mandrakes; she lied to her father about his household idols.
judah and tamar: what a story--read it if you have time (genesis 38)! he withheld his third son from her after his first two died; she dressed as a prostitute to trick him into sleeping with her so she'd get pregnant.
genesis is like soap opera central!!
but more than the love and sin within the relationships, the biggest thing i noticed is that God cared deeply about each person.
a) each of these people (except rachel) made it into matthew or luke's geneology of Christ.
b) God had a plan and purpose for each of them all along.
God is all about showing up and redeeming life:
adam and eve: he came looking for them!
abraham and sarah: he followed through on his promises despite impatience, deceit, and disbelief.
isaac and rebekah: rebekah had a small vision and simply wanted isaac to bless jacob. God had a big vision and wanted to bless a nation.
jacob and leah: God saw leah was unloved and blessed her with children. the lineage of Christ comes through her, not rachel.
jacob and rachel: although rachel isn't in the lineage of Christ, her son saved the small nation of israel AND got a whole musical written about him (go go go, joe!).
judah and tamar: anyone else think it's ironic that when his daughter-in-law tricked judah into sleeping with and impregnating her, he called tamar righteous? that awkward one night stand put her on the big time list straight to Christ, though. that's some almighty orchestration.
so here are some things i believe are true about relationships:
1) every single one has sin in it.
- you can see your nakedness and hide (adam and eve) OR
- you can call the sin what it is, deal with the consequences, and then make an honorable decision (judah and tamar)
2) God sees all the details of the relationship. and he happens to care about them!
3) God has purpose in each relationship.
4) God can redeem each relationship.
i happen to find all those things pretty hopeful. how about you?
which of these genesis couples do you relate with most closely? why?