Yesterday afternoon I haaaaad to spend 3 hours holding my new grand baby. ( I know, it's tough being Memere). I suppose I should have put her down in her bassinette but I just couldn't do it. There's no more peaceful feeling in the world than holding a sleeping baby in your arms. She's 6 weeks old now and starting to smile on purpose. As I rocked her all I felt was contentment and joy.
That's the complete opposite of what I felt reading this past week's passage. Jacob deeply loved Rachel. He worked 14 years for Laban just to be able to keep her as his wife. The issue is that he couldn't keep Rachel alone. He had to accept her sister Leah or the deal was off. I wasn't there at the time but I don't imagine Jacob suffered in silence.
I don't believe Jacob intentionally set out to hurt Leah. Perhaps in time he did grow to admire and appreciate her but she would only ever be second best in his heart. Jacob knew it, Leah knew it and more importantly God knew it. He allowed her to conceive and to give her husband what Rachel couldn't -a son.
This should have been a time of celebration but how does Leah see it? She names her son Reuben, which roughly translates as "he has seen my misery". How would you like to go through eternity being known as a source of misery? Was anyone thinking this first born son would be a source of joy?
Wrong. Leah was wrong six times in total. Genesis 30:20 tells us that " this time my husband will treat me with honor because I have borne him six sons". This time? Oh how sad. She was wrong about that and she was wrong about thinking that it was OK to let her servant roll a few times in her husband's hay.
So many repeated bad choices. So much heartbreak and sorrow. And so many children caught in the crossfire. Proverbs 17:22 says "a cheerful heart is good medicine but a crushed spirit dries up the bones". I'll bet there were tents full of crushed spirits. The thing is, it's not a child's job to bring joy into a household. A baby should be a mirror that reflects the joy that already exists there. The shoulders of a seven pound infant aren't strong enough to carry that kind of weight.
Thankfully, in one household very precious to me, Baby Aurora doesn't have to. She's very much loved and wanted and her birth came with no big expectations. Hopefully each of you can say the same about the little ones in your life.
Love, as always, Renée
Now in to this week's lesson
Read Exodus 1: 15-2:10 along with Hebrews 11:23-28
Memory verse Hebrews 11:23 " By faith Moses' parents hid him for 3 months after he was born, because they saw that he was no ordinary child, and they e not afraid of the king's edict "
1. Describe the political atmosphere leading up to the time of Moses' birth.
2. What was the Pharoah's first plan to limit the Hebrew population?
3. How did that strategy play out?
4. What do you think it was about Moses that led his parents to believe he was special?
5. We're all about focusing on Moses' mother in this study. How does Hebrews show that she wasn't alone in her efforts to protect her son?
6. Do you think it was by choice or by chance that Moses was sent adrift in time to interrupt Pharoah's daughter's riverside stroll? Explain your answer.
7. Besides life itself, what else does Pharoah's daughter have to offer Moses?
8. How did we benefit from the privilege of Moses being adopted into Pharoah's household?
For personal growth: What is your experience with adoption and how do you feel about it? Have you or someone close to you ever faced a crisis pregnancy? What factors made that a crisis? Was it the timing of it, your marital or financial status? Wrong time or wrong man? Did you or she already have children and just couldn't handle one more? What in this world would ever cause you to surrender a child months after it was born? Have you or anyone you've known taken in an adopted child? What prompted this act of generosity? How has that gone so far? Any regrets? In any of this, was God a part of the planning and decisions? How might things have gone differently if He was?
For the good of the group
Which adopted child is closest to you and how did they benefit in being adopted?