reload The Race by Maurice McCracken

Monday, June 15, 2009

May he add...

posted by Little Mo | Permalink | 0 comments
I kind of love it and kind of hate it when the Bible comes back to bite you.

A few weeks ago we looked at the tragic and farcical story of Jacob's two wives in Genesis in house group. It was tragic and yet great to see that fighting for the approval of someone, basing your worth on it, even someone whose approval you should actually have (your husband!) always leads to disappointment. It will never be good enough.

In fact, desperation for that approval on Leah and Rachel's part leads to all sorts of sin and mess: including getting their husband (who already had two wives = not ideal) to sleep with their maidservants.

Eventually God does listen to Rachel and gives her the son she has always wanted to prove she can be as good a wife as Leah.

And how does she respond? Well, she does give praise to God, but only because this child "takes away HER disgrace." Makes her look good in other words. And then? She calls him Joseph. "May he add." The moment of thanks ddn't long, and quickly became "I want more of that respect from others." God give me more of this lack of disgrace.

At the time I could apply that readily to all the silly people I know seeking the approval of others. "It will never satisfy" I tutted. "We should happy with God's approval, guaranteed in Christ" I preached.

And then, recently I was in a situation where I was desperate for others approval. And, in God's kindness I mostly got it. Very nearly. Almost totally. And all I can think about is the small bit I didn't get. "Praise God for his kindness" I thought "but why didn't he add the rest?"

People's approval, even where it is morally deserved, is not an idol worth chasing. It will never get you what you want, it may lead you down all sorts of dark alleys and you will always want more added to it. I say you - I mean I.

When you let it sink in, the Bible has teeth. It bites. Even a long time after you have turned the page.