Tuesday, January 17, 2012

120117 - Genesis 30 - unspoken requests

S: And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray thee, of thy son's mandrakes. (Ge 30:14).
And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the hazel and chesnut tree; and pilled white strakes in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods. And he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink. And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle ringstraked, speckled, and spotted. And Jacob did separate the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the ringstraked, and all the brown in the flock of Laban; and he put his own flocks by themselves, and put them not unto Laban's cattle. And it came to pass, whensoever the stronger cattle did conceive, that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods. But when the cattle were feeble, he put them not in: so the feebler were Laban's, and the stronger Jacob's. (Ge 30:37-42).
O: Again, the story shows evidence of Rachel's and Jacob's superstition. We don't know what the word translated, "mandrakes" means, but it seems as if something found growing in a field was presumed to be a fertility drug or at least an aphrodisiac. Jacob seems to think causing the sheep to see patterns as they breed would cause them to produce similarly-patterned offspring.
A: What is far more interesting is that God honors their (apparently) unspoken requests. He blesses them in spite of the self-centered way they go about seeking blessings. And I have to admit that He does the same for me. I don't pray for what I should pray for. I pray for things maybe I SHOULDN'T pray for - yet He blesses me with what I need in spite of my prayer habits.. and in spite of my often unrealized assumption that my own cleverness is responsible for my blessings.
P: Father, you are so good to me. Thank your blessing me in the way that you do and for your kindness in the face of my selfishness.

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