Deuteronomy 24:9 Remember Miriam

“There is, however, a far more common ailment among us—and that is pride from the bottom looking up. It is manifest in so many ways, such as fault finding, gossiping, backbiting, and murmuring, living beyond our means, envying, coveting, withholding gratitude and praise that might lift another, and being unforgiving and jealous.” ― Ezra Taft Benson

What have you complained about in the last 24 hours? Has God heard your complaints, and do you think he would be pleased by your exact sentiments? Do you know that God hates murmuring and complaints, and Israelites were killed for it Philippians 2 14 Do everything without murmuring or questioning [the providence of God], 15 so that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish in the midst of a [morally] crooked and [spiritually] perverted generation, among whom you are seen as bright lights [beacons shining out clearly] in the world [of darkness], 16 holding out and offering to everyone the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to rejoice greatly because I did not run [my race] in vain nor labor without result. 

A good outright example is found in Numbers 12: Miriam and Aaron are having a private conversation where they speak against Moses and the Lord hears them.

Now [a]Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the [b]Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had married a Cushite woman)and they said, “Has the Lord really spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken also through us?” And the Lord heard it.

Our first encounter with Miriam Moses’s eldest sister is during his infancy Exodus 2 …Then she put the child in it and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile. 4And his sister [Miriam] stood some distance away to find out what would happen to him…  And she took pity on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.” Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call a [c]wet-nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go ahead.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother. She stands out as smart, brave and a courageous girl. Her character plays a crucial role in preserving baby Moses’s life. Later her and Aaron help Moses (the chosen burden bearer) to guide the Israelites out of bondage [Egypt]. Miriam is also noted through scripture to be a prophetess and worship leader Exodus 15:20 Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron [and Moses], took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her with timbrels and dancing

However, Numbers 12 presents a different scene, all along the siblings seem to be working as a team. But we see an open complaint, a murmur from Miriam and Aaron against Moses. God who hears everything, has heard them. Judgement is called Suddenly the Lord said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, “Come out, you three, to the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle).” And the three of them came out. And penalty pronounced. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Miriam and Aaron, and He departed. 10 But when the cloud had withdrawn from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow. And Aaron turned and looked at Miriam, and behold, she was leprous.

On seeing the state of their sister, Aaron as the priest (escaped punishment due to the authority of the office he held) intercedes on her behalf to Moses.[ Exodus 28:3 Tell all the skilled and talented people whom I have endowed with a spirit of wisdom, that they are to make Aaron’s garments to sanctify him and set him apart to serve as a priest for Me]. In return Moses petitions the Lord to heal her, God rich in mercy heeds to his request and grants however, she has to suffer the consequence 14 But the Lord said to Moses, “If her father had but [d]spit in her face, would she not bear her shame for seven days? Let her be shut up outside the camp for seven days, and afterward she may return.15 So Miriam was shut up outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on until Miriam was brought in again [and declared ceremonially clean from her leprosy].

Miriam’s open rebellion towards Moses by suggesting that he was unequivocally tainted by having a Cushite wife and therefore not worthy or was their equal in the office of God. She presumed herself and Aaron to be equally righteous to Moses, yet God rebukes this perception by explain the difference in their calling. “Being such a supreme prophet, standing head and shoulders above others, he was not to be judged by the same yardstick and the same parameters as any other individual—even another prophet as great as Miriam or Aaron.”

And He said,

“Hear now My words:
If there is a prophet among you,
I the Lord will make Myself known to him in a vision
And I will speak to him in a dream.

“But it is not so with My servant Moses;
He is entrusted and faithful in all My house.

“With him I speak mouth to mouth [directly],
Clearly and openly and not in riddles;
And he beholds the form of the Lord.
Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?”

Now, despite what seem to be a great connection through teamwork (siblings called for a great purpose Micah 6:4 And I sent before you Moses [to lead you], Aaron [the high priest], and Miriam [the prophetess].). A big sister with loving, caring and leadership qualities Miriam’s life was a determined objective of increasing family unity and harmony”. Her critical spirit stands out in her words of gossip and slander. She had witnessed the hand of God and his mighty works through Moses first hand from the time he was a baby, out of Egypt to their point of wilderness. Yet one moment of misgiving she and Aaron makes a statement of pride which seem rather to question God’s instrument of choice. Why was she punished so severely? To teach us that God does not dispense one-size-fits-all justice. Every individual is judged uniquely according to his or her abilities and potential.” Miriam appears to have had an attitude adjustment after the leprosy and she never questioned Moses or His authority. In fact, next we hear of her is in Numbers 20:1 Then the Israelites, the whole congregation, came into the Wilderness of Zin in the first month [in the fortieth year after leaving Egypt]. And the people lived in Kadesh. Miriam died there and was buried there.

How can we apply Miriam’s scenario in our lives as children of God; who are to establish the purposes for which He intended for us, and that we are victorious in our daily walk with Christ.

  1. Quit murmuring and be content.

A mouth that pours out complaints will always be drinking from a fountain of a bitter heart, hence a person who complains and murmur will never give God any glory. From a bitter heart one can develop rebellion against God without necessarily being conscious of it. Therefore, be content in you circumstance. Be it small or big victories, let your eyes be fixed on Christ and not what others have. Rejoice and count all as blessings for the trials we pass through in life build us in Christ.

Hebrews 13  Let your character [your moral essence, your inner nature] be free from the love of money [shun greed—be financially ethical], being content with what you have; for He has said, “I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!” So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently say, “The Lord is my Helper [in time of need], I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?”

Philippians 4 11 Not that I speak from [any personal] need, for I have learned to be content [and self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy] regardless of my circumstances. 12 I know how to get along and live humbly [in difficult times], and I also know how to enjoy abundance and live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret [of facing life], whether well-fed or going hungry, whether having an abundance or being in need. 13 I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.] 

  • Murmuring eliminates Gratitude

A bitter heart with no contentment will never be grateful even if God was to give them all their desires. When you are ungrateful, we are bound to give poor testimonies concerning our walk with Christ. We testify of His goodness with a ‘BUT’, a hesitation within us of how He should have worked it out. Our ingratitude dwindles the LOVE, HOPE and FAITH in us and in HIM, as our focus is inherited from a perspective of it should have been ‘this way Lord’.  Hence forgetting what God has done for you and eliminating trust in Him.

Jude 1 16 These people are [habitual] murmurers, griping and complaining, following after their own desires [controlled by passion]; they speak arrogantly, [pretending admiration and] flattering people to gain an advantage.

  • Murmuring ruins, a reputation

When we murmur and complain, its usually directed at someone. The devil is crafty for in that moment we tend to sneak in the words that are bound to tear them down. God hates it when we slander one another as it tramps on His Word “Love thy neighbor as you Love thy self”

James 5 Do not complain against one another, believers, so that you will not be judged [for it]. Look! The Judge is standing [b]right at the door. 10 As an example, brothers and sisters, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord [as His messengers and representatives]. 11 You know we call those blessed [happy, spiritually prosperous, favored by God] who were steadfast and endured [difficult circumstances]. You have heard of the patient endurance of Job and you have seen the Lord’s outcome [how He richly blessed Job]. The Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.

Leviticus 19 16 You shall not go around as a gossip among your people, and you are not to act against the life of your neighbor [with slander or false testimony]; I am the Lord.

Ephesians 4 with all humility [forsaking self-righteousness], and gentleness [maintaining self-control], with patience, bearing with one another [a]in [unselfish] love.

  • Murmuring is backed by the Spirit of pride

Where there is murmur there is a backing from the spirit of Pride, hence the fruits of it are jealousy, envy, strife and competition. Where there is pride there is no humility of the heart. And a prideful heart can not worship God. Satan is the pride in its definition therefore we are not able to fully submit to Gods ways and precepts. Why? cause we tend to exalt ourselves more than HIM.

Proverbs 16 18Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.19 It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly Than to divide the spoil with the proud (haughty, arrogant).

  • Murmuring causes death

A pride full heart will automatically rebel from God. This results to spiritual death which will eventually lead to physical death because the divine presence of God has departed from them. God does not wrestle with man to be seen or heard, he is gentle and we have the choice to be in HIM or do it our way. However, note that God’s presence brings protection, provision, and peace. Therefore, choose HIM and praise HIM for HIS goodness believing that ALL things work together for the good of those who love HIM, who have been called according to HIS purpose.

1 Corinthians 10 For I do not want you to be unaware, believers, that our fathers were all under the cloud [in which God’s presence went before them] and they all passed [miraculously and safely] through the [Red] Sea; And all [of them] were baptized into Moses [into his safekeeping as their leader] in the cloud and in the sea; and all [of them] ate the same [a]spiritual food; and all [of them] drank the same [b]spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not well-pleased with [c]most of them, for they were scattered along the ground in the wilderness [because their lack of self-control led to disobedience which led to death].

1Timothy 6: 12 Fight the good fight of the faith [in the conflict with evil]; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and [for which] you made the good confession [of faith] in the presence of many witnesses. 13 solemnly charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and [in the presence] of Christ Jesus, who made the good confession [in His testimony] before Pontius Pilate, 14 to keep all His precepts without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 

God and Naming

 “You are loved, my child, by a God who has your name written on His hand, by a God who knows your name, by a God who has a plan for you to bring glory to Me.”

If you told me a few years back that as believers we need to entrust God with naming our children, I would have been skeptic about the idea. Only in the Bible had I read that God named men who were born of a certain calling and purpose. Other than that, I had never witnessed or heard anyone attest to naming their child after receiving an inspiration by the Holy spirit. In my culture, children we were named after someone in the descent or those who were of Christian belief adhered to Biblical names as reflection of their faith. another way was cultural names such as the time or season a baby is born. For example, being the first girl from my family. I was named after my paternal grandmother.

However, with time the current generation have slowly opted out of this practice hence choosing ‘unique and sophisticated’ names. some we cannot even pronounce, or one shall need a borrowed accent for it sound correct. This reminds me of a close relative who recently named his son after a blockbuster character. Personally, I desired to name my child/ren after my late parents as I thought it was honourable and a way to keep their memories alive. Later, when I met my husband who was also in a similar circumstance (lost both parents), I thought what a perfect fit to blend the names from both sides depending on gender.

Fast forward am on the journey to becoming a mother and God speaks to me about naming the child. At first, I thought I was crazy keeping in mind as earlier stated that no one taught me this from my parents, relatives, peers, and friends. no one had ever witnessed to me neither did it ever come to my attention that God was still in the business of naming babies even in this age. God cancelled my initial plan of naming… He revealed to me that it is wise for the parents to seek His wisdom before naming their child if we genuinely believe he set as apart before we were born and called us by his Grace Galatians 1:15. A definite example, the calling of Jeremiah (exalted by God) “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified[a] you; I [b]ordained you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5. A name sets one apart, it is a mark of identity and hope through fulfilment of what a child will become thus it is important not to just pick any name…why?

  • New-borns adopt or are influenced by the spirits of people they are named after. They are innocent soul and pure spirits and naming them after someone they are bound to acquire their spirit which is eventually exhibited in their character. therefore, for every name, purpose to know the spirit behind the person.  
  • Names reflect the character and calling.
  • Also, names testify of the personal relationship with God.

God is intentional, He cares about the details. HE IS A PERSONAL God. From scripture we learn that names reveal our true purpose, nature, and intentions of God’s desired plans for those he named. Names are prophetic, a foreshadow of a specific calling and testament. He changed Abram’s name: What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations Genesis 17:5.

Jacob’s name: The man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have wrestled with God and with men, and you have won. That’s why your name will be Israel Genesis 32:28.

He Gave Solomon (Peace) a second name Jedidiah (Beloved of the Lord), a name of intimacy, a reflection of His grace Then David comforted his wife, Bathsheba, and went into her and lay with her, and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. And the Lord loved him and sent a message by Nathan the prophet. So, he called his name Jedidiah, because of the Lord Samuel 12:24-25.  The bible is full of many more examples.

The Holy spirit changed my perspective, I learnt that if you seek God over anything. He desires his perfect will through the process as well. I slowly got this revelation being dropped in my spirit daily and decided to pray on it.  I later approached my husband with the topic. Little did I know that God had already worked in his heart concerning the matter. He told me that he too had also pondered on the naming and he was sure (led by the Holy Spirit) that our child/ren should have their own identity and live in their purpose rather than attaching a name with someone’s identity. God is amazing how he speaks on both end of the line. I am privileged to say that God named our daughter, she is a true testament of loving Father who is ever present in our lives.

But now, thus says the Lord, who created you,

O Jacob, And He who formed you,

O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you;

I have called you by your name;

You are Mine.

Isaiah 43:1

‘A Fervent Prayer that Avails much’.

Adversity builds muscle. Adversity creates strength. Adversity, it turns out, is preparation for success.

And Hannah prayed and said:

“My heart rejoices in the Lord;
My [a]horn is exalted in the Lord.
[b]I smile at my enemies,
Because I rejoice in Your salvation.

“No one is holy like the Lord,
For there is none besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.

“Talk no more so very proudly;
Let no arrogance come from your mouth,
For the Lord is the God of knowledge;
And by Him actions are weighed.

“The bows of the mighty men are broken,
And those who stumbled are girded with strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
And the hungry have ceased to hunger.
Even the barren has borne seven,
And she who has many children has become feeble.

“The Lord kills and makes alive;
He brings down to the grave and brings up.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
He brings low and lifts up.
He raises the poor from the dust
And lifts the beggar from the ash heap,
To set them among princes
And make them inherit the throne of glory.

“For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,
And He has set the world upon them.
He will guard the feet of His saints,
But the wicked shall be silent in darkness.

“For by strength no man shall prevail.
10 The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken in pieces;
From heaven He will thunder against them.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth.

“He will give strength to His king,
And exalt the [c]horn of His anointed.”

1 Samuel 2: 1-10

LEsT I fORGet…ReMiND mE

Stand firm and be still, this too shall pass.

Life’s trials are not easy but in God’s will, each has a purpose. Warren Wiersbe

When we start a new path in our lives and we face challenges, mostly we tend to run back to that which is familiar/old. Hence the saying ‘Better the devil you know than the angel you don’t’. Because the familiar things even though we faced challenges while there, we learnt how to cope with the familiarity that came with those trials/toxicity. Hence, the devil deceives us that we are way comfortable in the mess we already know. In other words, we learnt to maneuver our ways in familiar territories of oppression and suppression. Whether mentally, physically or emotional. I bet, that’s why we stay where we are, afraid to start a fresh… always going back to that “devil” you and I know how to deal with. I remember coming to Britain, the first weeks were fine and full of excitement that comes with going abroad. However, winter happened! and the reality checked in. I felt like God had thrown me into the deep-end. The cold weather was driving me nuts (till now) plus I hate the fact that by three p.m it gets dark during this season. Adapting was hard, I could not make friends, the intensity of my postgraduate and pressure back home where financial assistance was needed. Lacking the understanding that I was starting a new life, in a different country. Therefore, I needed time before anyone could call me over any assistance. I did not picture my situation being as it was back then. As a result, I found myself complaining to God that I was not able to do it and I found myself thinking I am better off where I had been. God worked on me and through the Holy Spirit I saw how I had let my guard down leaving a gap for the enemy to play mind games with my circumstances. The enemy knows the mind, filling us with thoughts of doubts of how it’s not worth it. Displaying a perception to us how this is the exact opposite of what we prayed for. How our current possession of the promise currently is not the image of what you asked of the Lord. Through Exodus God reminded me of Israelites and how they complained to a point they told Moses they would rather be back in Egypt. Forgetting the suffering and crying for help from God that they once did. Yet God was faithful, sending Moses his servant. Through him, He performed great signs and wonders; depicting an evidence of a faithful and loving Father. A God who is self sufficient, willing to go extra length to deliver His children who were destitute in their suffering. Only for them to forget every single promise from God at their point of deliverance and to start complaining in the wilderness. He promised to be with them always …to give them provision… to protect them. Psalm 105:39-42 He spread a cloud for a covering; and fire to give light in the night. The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven. He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river. For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham his servant. However, they forgot! According to them, the challenges they faced on their way to the promise land caused them to question God. As a result, they began having doubt in His Word. This erased everything God had done to deliver them. Just because they faced trials on their way to promise Land. Their faith was clouded.

Next God used Noah’s story to remind me of a Heart that genuinely receives favor from God. Noah Built an Ark as per God’s instructions it was to withstand the water that would destroy the whole earth. How many of us see how Tsunamis leave a trail of destruction on their path? Well let’s imagine how much and how strong the water is, to be able to destroy the earth. Noah and his family must have faced serious times in that Ark. They must have been thrown about, as am sure it was not smooth sailing. Huh!! Lord this was not the plan, we did not build an ark to be thrown around in the waters …this is too much one can barely drink a glass of water before its shaken from your hand and don’t forget the smell of animals excreting everywhere. God this was not the plan according to what you said it sounded like we should have been merry and enjoying the cruise but this being thrown around is too much. Am assuming that this is what might have happened. However, the Bible does not say that. Rather shows a man who knew God who is self existent and full of wisdom and was in tune with His ways. To a point he got out of the Ark after 21 days of checking if the earth was habitable. I see a man of God even in his season of waiting, he did not ask or command God to please dry the world. For he was in hurry to get out maybe the Ark was smelling or he had done his part. No way instead the day he was absolute from the pigeon that it was good enough he still waited for seven days then got out and the first thing he did was to sacrifice to God in order to worship Him… Show Gratitude and reverence, His Great and Mighty ways wonders to perform. One thing I know is that he could not have done this by himself, for the spirit of God must have been poured in him. How many of us show this amount of patience when God gives us instructions concerning our deliverance from that place/job/addiction/financial hardships He wants us to be in. As a result, we see God establishing a covenant through Noah’s sacrifice made after obedience and patience. I am guilty of this lack of patience and obedience …fretting. Forgetting my stones of remembrance and allowing the enemy to play tricks on me so that I only see the challenges now and less of the evidence of what God has previously done to lead me where I am. There is a reason why God performs the signs and wonders, He wants us to remember and always know that He is God and there is none before Him…none compares to Him and none can stand against Him. He is and remains everlasting God. Dear, Lord I want to be like Noah knowing what you had told me will come to pass that these trials I face are making me grow for the very purpose you created me. I am not perfect Lord, forgive us for we are all struggling in different aspects of our lives help us lord. Lest we forget, remind us through your Word the evidence of your works over our lives. For we acknowledge the provisions and protection over our lives, you are Alpha and Omega and through your covenant established for us. Through your son Jesus Christ, lest we forget that you put all this plan in place for our benefit for the very purpose you set in us. For your Word say All things work together for good to them that love you. Therefore, we humble ourselves and seek you. In awe of your presence remember us Lord, we beseech you not to forget us. For you promised through your Word to the Israelites if my children who are called by my name …Lord may this promise find us in this last days as our souls’ hunger for you. Lest we forget… remind us!!!

“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong”. – Paul’s Vision and His Thorn

dON’t LOOk bACk!

‘If God brought you out of a situation, stay out’

Anything that does not give you peace yet brings confusion and turmoil is not of God. When the time comes for release, the up and go moment. That window of opportunity is open….arise on your feet and run! Run like before. Run for sanity, your freedom and your awakening. For the devil is hot on your heels, he is breathing fire and he is coming after you. So, I say run for your dear life and do not attempt to look back like Noah’s wife or murmur like the children of Israelites. Perfect your Race since a generation depends on it. Where there is God; there is Peace, justice then righteousnes and above all there is Unconditional love. A love that treats us and among others: how to be kind to each other, be compassionate, be meek in our attitudes and grant Grace where our understanding is limited by experiences. Confines of our religion and dictations of our norms and culture. Show mercy even when law and society demanded of punishment by death. Because He is the epitome of one true example of how far and how great; love is willing to go and stretch for a reconciliation, adoption justification, sanctification and acceptance. He loves us. His plan is perfect, and His ways are mighty. For when He said pack it all up and leave this place, it is finished… a chapter closed. A scene shot to perfection. He is an author with the best script and a director who knows His casts to the detail. He knows how it should look in the end. Master obedience in Him, trust His word and peg your hope on His Mighty résumé. He has a plan, a way out. He will divide seas before you, slain giants with a single shot, bring down walls for you and make your enemies flea just from a sound of trumpet. He brings those in favour for your destiny. They will be angels in human form, ask for discernment to be able to tell the difference. A God who institutes relationships whether man or woman in our favour. Don’t lose sight of Him, the time is imminent. So perfect your race because the devil will never want you to rest until you reach that summit.

He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.

Revelation 21:6-7

Be Spirit Led

There’s something about God giving you an instruction and He backs it with His Word.  Romans 8:14-16 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about … Continue reading Be Spirit Led

Be Spirit Led

There’s something about God giving you an instruction and He backs it with His Word. 

Romans 8:14-16 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “ Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

Leah: A Divinely favoured Woman

‘God loves the unloved’

Has anyone ever thought about Jacob’s first wife Leah? And would you ever imagine being in her situation? When I was growing up; I learnt about the love of story of Jacob and Rachel, while Leah was portrayed as a villain. From the beginning, scripture is intentional on how Rachel and Jacob met. This is realized in Genesis 29:10 “When Jacob saw Rachel daughter of his uncle Laban, and Laban’s sheep, he went over and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle’s sheep”. Scripture further differentiates the level of beauty between the sisters described in Genesis 29:16-17 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful. As we all know; when it comes marriage, though Jacob’s initial agreement was for Rachel. A deceptive pattern plays out in his life once again. Just as he deceived his father into getting Esau’s inheritance, his uncle tricks him into marrying his first daughter. By the time it’s dawn, it’s too late he has consummated the marriage with Leah and so he makes another agreement. Seven more years in exchange for Rachel hand. They say When a man truly loves a woman, he will do the impossible.

At this point, a serious rivalry between two sister manifests. Am certain Leah knowing her physical beauty was no match to her small sister’s…Her esteem must have been very low that when her father suggested that she takes her sister place she must have readily agreed. To grow up in household where people only see the beauty of one sister and not the other can be discouraging to the confidence of any little girl. Based on my own experience when we were growing up (my sister and I). There was a lot of comparison on our physical beauty. I was ‘labelled’ as a lesser beauty more of a “plain girl” while she received all the admiration on her beauty. Strangers and even family members would readily compliment my father on how his youngest daughter was Jaber. Now, imagine two young girls standing side by side. But only one receives compliments on her beauty while the other is left with questions in her mind such as what about me? Psychologically it affected my confidence level however, later in life I made peace with it as this was a chapter in my life that prepared me of what was to come. That though my sister’s beauty surpassed mine, God in His wisdom showed me that we were gifted differently. That our strengths were unmatched, and our attributes is what defined beauty. It was settled in my heart and after that my confidence was renewed. Well now they say I have bloomed pfft!!!

Looking back at Leah being eldest and growing up in the shadow of her younger sister’s beauty, could have reduced her to settle for anything without much thought of the consequences. Including her father’s devious plot which ruined his daughters’ happiness. I believe God ordained it for his divine plan, a household of two sister wives. Sharing a man whose heart and desire belongs to the youngest wife. Leah ‘trapped’ by customs and traditions which she had to obey. My assumption according to the story is that it was a tough marriage founded on duty and responsibility. There was no love, no desire and no affection Am sure they had sleeping arrangements and Jacob obliged out of duty, but his heart remained in Rachel’s tent. As a married woman, the worst thing that can ever happen to you is to know that though he is my husband I do not have his heart.

Nevertheless, this story is incredible because it depicts the nature of our loving Father, who is fair and just and just like that He balances the equation. Genesis 29:31 When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless. He opened Leah’s womb but shut Rachel’s, she had the love of Jacob while Leah had her children. You also learn a lot on how these handmade women of God named their children. Leah’s first to third born expresses an attempt to connect to Jacob. However, we see she gives up at her fourth child Genesis 29:35 “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.” She was tired of fighting or wanting to be noticed. It dawns on her that she could not wins Jacob’s heart no matter the number of children or even if they were male. His heart was not hers so, at the birth of Judah she returns praise to the Maker of all things and let’s go of the competition. Rachel has won!!! That is what we all think until her conversation with Jacob and you realize she was bitter in her heart, very angry and envious of her sister. Yet Jacob was hers, he loved her despite being childless. Leah seems never to capture her husband heart. In-fact, later God remembers Rachel and we see Jacob love for Joseph and Benjamin is an extension of her love for Rachel. The tribe of Judah from the womb of Leah unloved and not desired, births the ruler’s lineage. On which a divine kingdom is established, Leah was divinely blessed. A God who establishes a throne on someone Scripture describes of no beauty or attraction, that nothing in her appearance would make Jacob desire her. A genealogy establishing an everlasting royal kingdom, it was from Leah and Jacob. God loved Leah, His divine favour upon her though she was rejected by ‘carnal man’. He bestows on her an ultimate honour of birthing a royal and priestly tribe of Israel, a personification found in Christ hated and rejected.

The scepter will not depart from Judah,nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs[d] shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his. He will tether his donkey to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch. he will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes. His eyes will be darker than wine, his teeth whiter than milk.

Genesis 49:10-12

Rachel: a barren womb and a cold Heart

“There are four keys of which God has his hand, he entrusts neither with the angel nor seraphim; the clouds, the heart, the grave and the womb.”      

We rarely take note of how patterns of spiritual warfare can affect the lineage of a family tree. Many are the times we assume that since it affected a past family member then its normal when it occurs again. In this case, we learn a pattern trickling down Abraham’s genealogy. Third generation of infertility catches up with Jacob’s second wife who was Rachel. The first precedent is observed when Abraham and Sarah struggle for years to have a child. Despite his wife’s doubt, God who is gracious fulfils His affirmed vow to His faithful servant. At the appointed time, the promise manifested, and they had their son Isaac in old age. However, at some point before the birth of Isaac. Sarah weary of waiting, exercises her own ‘wisdom’ based on a sceptic heart. She tries to help God in speeding up the process. Hence, offering Abraham her servant Hagar. Genesis 16:1-2 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” At the end it is clear that man-made plans are never concrete as the results are birthed from a short-sighted perspective.  Ishmael is born, his existence later breeds rivalry between the two women. The next couple we see to battle the same fate are Rebecca and Isaac. Genesis 25:21 “Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. Jacob and Esau came after twenty years of waiting.

Later in line we meet a memorable love story between Rachel and Jacob. This story is unique because the element of true love is displayed leaving no doubt. Genesis 29:20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. Nonetheless, the plot takes an interesting twist; whereas after time had elapsed and Jacob went ahead to lay claim on his prospective wife. Just like he deceived his father in giving him Esau’s blessings, his father in law duped him and handed over Leah instead. Realizing that there is no way out, he willingly agreed to work for another 7 years in exchange for Rachels hand. The depth of Jacob’s love for Rachel is undeniably deeper and beyond human explanation. The bible further describes it as the love that grew greater after he made her his wife.

However, despite her outer beauty which ‘alludes to the shining of her countenance’. Rachel’s inner beauty comes into question when she faced with the struggle of infertility. She knows she is in position of power unlike her sister Leah she has Jacob’s heart. Genesis 29:31 When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless. Even though Leah could bear children, her marriage to Jacob was loveless. Roots of bitterness, strife and envy is buried inside Rachel’s heart which is directed towards her unloved sister. Her attitude seems perplexing, she has Jacobs heart and all the toiling Jacob is doing is because of her. While her sister on the other hand has nothing other than her children. Personally, this is a situation that would break any woman’s heart. To know for a fact that the father of your children has no affection towards you. Worst of all, is that he prefers another woman and, in this case, your own sister over you. It is the kind of rejection that bleeds one’s heart dry. God who is JUST sees all this and blesses Leah so that it can all balance. But Rachel’s mindset prevents her from having a happy life, she is desperate to be satisfied with becoming a mother. Jealousy and rivalry are bred between the sisters, this competition comes out evident through the naming of their children.

From a human perspective with all our fleshly desires, apart of me understand Rachel predicament. However, with more spiritual insight and wisdom allow me to say that Rachel was short-sighted, ungrateful and driven by human ambition of wanting all the glory. She lacked compassion; it was either all or nothing. My understanding is that both ladies had no option as they were bound by customs and tradition. Their father Laban had the power to exercise who gets married first, plus nowhere do we see any indication of Leah wanting Jacob. I doubt Leah or Rachel could overrule their father.

One thing stands out; Jealousy where an absence of contentment cripples the soul. Lack of satisfaction on Rachel’s part eventually mirrors the same pattern of conversation between Jacob’s grandparents Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 16:1-2). Genesis 30:1-3 When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!” 2 Jacob became angry with her and said, “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?” 3 Then she said, “Here is Bilhah, my servant. Sleep with her so that she can bear children for me and I too can build a family through her.” She was not just content with Jacob’s heart alone, she wanted desperately to rival her sister. This is revealed more on how she named the children of Jacob and her maid Bilhah. One can deduce that she was after her sister more than her husband. She painted a picture of how you can surpass me after all this… It’s a competition and I must win. From Rachel you realize physical beauty in nothing without a pure heart to accompany it. She never even loved her sister’s children. she was more concerned with what she lacked; her judgement clouded what she already had. Her spotlight was hers and hers alone. Instead she offers her maid so she can have her ‘own’ children. Eventually God remembers her, and she gives birth to her first son Joseph. But still, she lacks gratitude even before God who has been merciful to bless her. She instead names her son not with praise but with an entitled spirit ‘God will add her’. That was her expectation that God will fill her quiver with more arrows … Given her time of wait her first instinct should have been to dedicate her son to God but even at the point of delivery she still yearned to surpass her sister. We later see childbirth kills her at the birth of her second son Benjamin. I believe her approach towards her cup was half empty. Such a heart can never give thanks and praise to God. They are filled with pride for their reputation. The motive behind them asking for a blessing is to gloat towards others. They can have a whole world at their feet but will still be envious of the little their neighbour has. They have a spirit willing to die yet have what will glorify their reputation. Her physical beauty did not match her heart, which matters most.

When I look at Rachel am reminded of Hannah’s attitude while waiting. I see two ladies in similar situations however one with spiritual insights while the other is walking in flesh. The story of Leah verses Rachel is divinely ordained by a God who is most wise, holy and just. Eventually He brings out the good out of the evil. It is good to note that many of us strive for what we think will awe us just like Rachel’s heart. Thus, missed opportunity to rest in the contentment; misplaced worship hoping to find peace.

“Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child;
burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor;
because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,”
says the Lord. 2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide,
    do not hold back; lengthen your cords,strengthen your stakes.
For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.

Isaiah 54:1-3

“We knew God before you”

“The gospel is so simple that small children can understand it, and it is so profound that studies by the wisest theologians will never exhaust its riches.” ‘Charles Hodge

“You can’t know God more than us, we were saved before you, we experienced his miracles before you and we were then like you now.” Worst of all …”you cannot teach us about God because we have been where you are, and you will find yourself where we are now”. I can attest that I heard the above statements countless times over the past years. At some point, it seemed as though knowing God and having a relationship with Him was a contest. Consequently, salvation was more of a sprint and the angels kept scores. There is nothing as worse as timing a ‘lesser person’s’ walk of faith and as a result this made me shy from testifying my experiences. Caught up in my feelings, one time a revelation came to me; the road to intimacy with Christ our Lord Jesus is an individual’s journey. Hence, to those that are called, chosen and believe in Him, He is a personal saviour. Thus, He stamps on it by telling Peter and the rest in Luke 18:29-30 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.” I therefore believe that salvation is an intimate affair. Christ Jesus says “Come, Follow me.” To each of us, we have different trials, various needs, several difficulties and numerous struggles. Nonetheless, collectively we all meet at the cross. If salvation was based on who came first and so who is the greatest in the kingdom of God, then Grace and love would never apply. A child can be chosen by God as an instrument of choice for His purpose and not the parent who instructed him/her on the ways of the Lord. A congregant can display more faith than the preacher who stands on the pulpit every Sunday preaching to the congregation about the very same God. The scripture talks about Christians being like children. Matthew 18:3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. They are simplehearted and helpless. They trust their fathers for all the answers. So, whether you are a grown up or child, the kingdom of God has nothing to do with I knew Him first, thus I know Him better. I believe as it is in the scripture’s salvation is a gift Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; Everything that I have come to be or to possess is not because I was/still is a ‘good Christian girl’; who exercised the fundamentals and the doctrines bestowed upon her ever since she was young. It had nothing with teachings of Christian formula that justified the means/end or equated to God’s blessings. Everything that I had before, today and in future, is attributed to the Faith I possess under the covenant of Grace. God’s work within us is different; hence, our unique giftings which results from the fruits we bear. When the Holy spirit is at work the question is in do you believe Him and are you serving Him? Its never about who ‘came first’ in His kingdom. David reminds us to testify of God’s goodness in Psalm 71:15-24 My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long though I know not how to relate them all. I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone. Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvellous deeds. Even when I am old and grey, do not forsake me, my God till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come. Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens, you who have done great things. Who is like you, God? Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honour and comfort me once more. I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, Holy One of Israel. My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you I whom you have delivered. My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long, for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion. Paul further reminds us that if we are to boast about our salvation then Galatians 6:14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

So, to whoever believes that they know God better than others and that they have walked in the very same journey as others. Then, their faith dwindled and so will the rest of us. That’s okay. I am not at liberty to change minds or convince anyone, that’s the work of the Holy Spirit. I on the other hand will live a life exempted in Christ alone, I will testify and talk of his faithfulness.

The LORD protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and he saved me.

Psalm 116:6

Kari Jobe – Forever

Kari Jobe – Forever

If there are words for Him then I don’t have them.

See my brain has not yet reached the point where it could form a thought that could adequately describe the greatness of my God.

And my lungs have not yet developed the ability to release a breath with enough agility to breathe out the greatness of His Love.

And my voice, see my voice is so inhibited , restrained by human limits that it’s hard to even sing the praise up, you see, if there are words for Him, then I don’t have them.

My God, His Grace is remarkable, mercies are innumerable, strength is impenetrable, He is honorable, accountable, favorable.

He’s unsearchable yet knowable, indefinable, yet approachable, indescribable, yet personal

He is beyond comprehension, further than imagination, constant through generations, King of every nation, but if there are words for Him, then I don’t have them

You see my words are few to try and capture the ONE TRUE GOD, using my vocabulary will never do, but I use words as an expression, an expression of worship to a Savior, a Savior who is both worthy and deserving of my praise, so I use words.

My heart extols the Lord, blesses His Name forever. He has won my heart, captured my mind, and has bound them both together. He has defeated me in my rebellion, conquered me in my sin, He has welcomed me into His presence, completely invited me in. He has made Himself the object of my sight, flooding me with mercies in the morning, drowning me with Grace in the night, but if there are words for Him, then I don’t have them.

But what I do have is GOOD NEWS, for my God knew that manmade words would never do, for words are just tools that we use to point to the truth.

So He sent His Son Jesus Christ as THE WORD, LIVING PROOF, He is THE IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD, THE FIRST BORN OF ALL CREATION, FOR BY HIM ALL THINGS WERE CREATED, GIVING NOTHINGNESS, FORMATION.

AND BY HIS WORD HE SUSTAINS IN THE POWER OF HIS NAME. FOR HE IS BEFORE ALL THINGS AND ABOVE ALL THINGS HE REIGNS. HOLY IS HIS NAME!

SO PRAISE HIM FOR HIS LIFE! THE WAY HE PERSERVERED IN STRIFE. THE HUMBLE SON OF GOD BECOMING THE PERFECT SACRIFICE.

PRAISE HIM FOR HIS DEATH! THAT HE WILLINGLY STOOD IN OUR PLACE THAT HE LOVINGLY ENDURED THE GRAVE THAT HE BATTLED OUR ENEMY, AND ON THE THIRD DAY ROSE IN VICTORY.

HE IS EVEYTHING THAT WAS PROMISED.

PRAISE HIM AS THE RISEN KING.

LIFT YOUR VOICE AND SING, FOR ONE DAY HE WILL RETURN FOR US, AND WE WILL FINALLY BE UNITED WITH OUR SAVIOR FOR ENTERNITY! ETERNITY!

SO IT IS NOT JUST WORDS THAT I PROCLAIM, FOR MY WORDS POINT TO THE WORD, AND THE WORD HAS A NAME, HOPE HAS A NAME, JOY HAS A NAME, PEACE HAS A NAME, LOVE HAS A NAME, AND THAT NAME IS JESUS CHRIST!

PRAISE HIS NAME FOREVER!!!!!!!!”