The promises of the Lord are promises that are pure....
You, O Lord, will protect us;
you will guard us from this generation forever (Psalm 6a, 7).
The brothers Jacob and Esau had struggled within the womb and continued to struggle afterwards. The sisters Rachel and Leah also have a rocky relationship. Jacob loves Rachel more than Leah. Leah has children, several sons, before Rachel has any.
Disputes within their family spread beyond sibling rivalries. Jacob thinks that his uncle Laban is not compensating him enough for his efforts so sets up a trick to get more of Laban's flocks (and not only more in number but better in quality). Laban's sons resent what they consider improper.
Jacob's view is that Laban had cheated him several times so God was setting things right. He told Leah and Rachel that God had instructed him to go back home. His wives didn't think that Laban had treated them fairly either.
How does a family maintain comity? Use family as a metaphor then reflect on how any group of people can overcome pride, selfishness, fear of inferiority, jealousy, etc.?
Here's a list of questions that I read in Wesley White's Wrestling Year A (and have reworded):
1. Have you ever done something that God wanted you to do then faced with people who were angry about what you just did?
2. What did you expect to happen? Did you think God would keep people from reacting badly to your words and actions?
3. How have you reacted to their bad reactions? Are you willing to move rather than to give in?
Prayer for today: God, give us the courage to speak about you, and to show you to the world through our actions. Within our church, give us the wisdom and will to carry out the mission without expression of any of the jealousy or fears of the extended family we read about in Genesis this week. Amen.