Vayetze - November 28, 2020

Torah Portion:
Vayetze - November 28, 2020

Torah: Genesis 28:10-32:3
Haftarah: Hosea 12:13-14:10
Summary:
—Jacob dreams of a ladder to heaven and God gives him a promise.
—Jacob arrives at Haran and falls in love with Rachel.
—Jacob makes a deal for Rachel as his wife, but Laban switches Rachel for Leah; he weds both.
—Leah has sons, but Rachel is barren.
—Rachel compensates by giving her servant to Jacob to get a child, and Leah brings her servant to him to compete.
—Joseph is born.
—Jacob strikes a bad deal with Laban but uses a God-given technique to his advantage.
—Jacob takes his family away, but Laban catches up with them.

Devotional by Janet Cothrell:
Blinded Hearts
“So Jacob worked for Rachel seven years, but in his eyes it was like a few days because of his love for her. Then Jacob said to Laban, ‘Give me my wife, for my days are completed, so I may go to her.’ So Laban gathered all the men of the place and he prepared a feast. When it was evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to him. And he went in to her.” Genesis 29:20-23 (TLV)

Some may see this bridal switch as some sort of Divine retribution for Jacob’s deception of his father, but I disagree. God isn’t frivolous or whimsical when he dispenses His justice. It is more likely that both the father and son were being blinded by their desires rather than being discerning of Adonai’s will.  

In Jacob’s case, the bride that God had picked out for him may very well have been Leah! She was dependent on and grateful to Him for her children (see Genesis 29:31-35). Her sister Rachel didn’t exhibit the same kind of devotion; instead of appealing to Adonai about her barrenness, she complained to her husband (Genesis 30:1-2). Rachel also took her father Laban’s idols when they left his home because she thought they could be petitioned to harm her husband (Genesis 31:30-35).  

Even though Jacob had desire for Rachel, it was Leah God chose to bless with bearing her husband sons who would become half the tribes of Israel (including the royal and priestly tribes). God had truly granted her a great legacy!

When we allow our desires to supersede God’s plans for us, chaos ensues. Jacob (and Isaac) both allowed considerable heartache and confusion to rule their families, and the result was an emotionally and spiritually unhealthy mess. Even though God may have redeemed their choices, we can know that His plans for us are plans of peace and stability. When we drown out His voice by allowing our desires to rule us, we can expect the opposite.

Father,
Help us to stay on the path that You have planned for us. Show us how to keep our desires in check and to stay on Your path. We know that even if we fail in this, You will never leave us or forsake us. If we have strayed, bring us back into Your perfect will for our lives. Help us to always see past our desires and listen to Your voice.  
In Yeshua’s name, amen!
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21 Days of Fasting & Prayer — Episode 1: Nothing Can Separate You From God's Love, Not Even A Mask21 Days of Fasting & Prayer — Episode 2: Be Ready No Matter What!21 Days of Fasting & Prayer — Episode 3: We Will Rise21 Days of Fasting & Prayer — Episode 4: Don’t Follow Your Gut!21 Days of Fasting & Prayer — Episode 5: Bringing It All Into Focus21 Days of Fasting & Prayer — Episode 6: Prayer Works!Will Restoration Ever Meet Again?!21 Days of Fasting & Prayer — Episode 7: What It’s Like to Hear God’s Voice21 Days of Fasting & Prayer — Episode 8: The Shema & the V'ahavtah21 Days of Fasting & Prayer — Episode 9: Repentance Purifies Us21 Days of Fasting & Prayer — Episode 10: The New Normal, Part 121 Days of Fasting & Prayer — Episode 11: The New Normal, Pt. 221 Days of Fasting & Prayer — Episode 12: Unity in a Pandemic???21 Days of Fasting & Prayer — Episode 13: Punk'd, Pt. 121 Days of Fasting & Prayer — Episode 14: Punk'd, Pt. 221 Days of Fasting & Prayer — Episode 15: Now I Get It (Hindsight is 20/20)21 Days of Fasting & Prayer — Episode 16: Leading During a Pandemic21 Days of Fasting & Prayer — Episode 17: Keeping Your Balance (COVID-19 Edition)21 Days of Fasting & Prayer — Episode 18: Authentic Humility (In Quarantine)21 Days of Fasting & Prayer — Episode 19: Learning to Radically Trust GodWhen Will Our Shabbat Gatherings Start Again?21 Days of Fasting & Prayer — Episode 20: What is Intercession?21 Days of Fasting & Prayer — Episode 21: The Next Steps

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