Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Looking up, don't look down - Give God Praise!

Genesis 29

When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless.  Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.” She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon. Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” So he was named Levi. She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children

I couldn't help feeling Leah should have named her first son Judah. as I read through the above passage.

Judah means praise
Reuben means see, a son!
Simeon means heard.
Levi means attached.

Actually, initially I thought why not Simeon at first but as I read through I concluded that it should have been Judah.

Why did I decide on Judah?

In her first son, Leah was saying - ah ha, I have a son, now Jacob will love me, see Rachel I beat you to it. Her focus was on the gift and not on the giver.

Prayer and Praise are means by which we converse with God - we are looking upwards but when we focus on the gift we are looking downwards; and the Lord is not there, that's not where He lives, its not His post code.

In the case above, Leah was conversing with Rachel through her gift, also hoping that Jacob would notice, her conversation was not with God.

God had seen her distress and helped her, but she did not respond to Him; her first response was to those around her.

Psalm 22 tell us that God dwells within the praises of His people, it is so much more beautiful and powerful when our dealings on the issues of life are with God, not man.

God is not in that outward showy striving stuff, it's not how He rolls. God will display you, He will celebrate you but He will not bless your human pride or show off. He's not in there brother - that's all on you, you are as they say are on your own.

And this applies to us all...

It is no wonder that when God was going to spare one of the tribes of Israel when He tore the kingdom from Solomon. He spared Judah, for in Jerusalem of Judah He had chosen to place the banner of His name. He choose the place of Praise & Worship, it was no coincidence.

1 Kings 11:

13 Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen

32 But for the sake of my servant David and the city of Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, he will have one tribe

As the brothers are a type, a foreshadow, it is important that we look at their lives and glean wisdom from it...

Selah - pause & think about it

Marinate it people!

Next time you are tempted to respond to those around you in that fashion or focus on the gift you've been given, look upwards! There is power there, there is strength there but not downwards.