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!”
Jacob became angry with her and said, “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?”
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.”
So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife. Jacob slept with her, and she became pregnant and bore him a son. Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me; he has listened to my plea and given me a son.” Because of this she named him Dan.
Rachel’s servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Then Rachel said, “I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won.” So she named him Naphtali.
– Genesis 30:1-8
“Have you ever won the battle, only to lose the war? Rachel and Leah, two sisters married to the same man, engaged in a perpetual competition that neither one could truly win. Their complicated relationship detailed in Genesis 29-35 is an appropriate picture of today’s political landscape: two major parties vying for power over control of one government, yet battling in such as way that no one really wins in the end.
“The mid-term election season is heating up again. Before you put up the yard signs and post your political fireballs on social media, take a moment and consider your unbelieving neighbors and friends. Ask yourself if your communications are creating opportunities to share your hope in Jesus Christ and bring about healing – or merely drawing battle lines for ongoing disagreement and hurt.”
– Presidential Prayer Team Devotion
My Wife Update: As of 1:00am this morning, my wife is at a skilled care facility for physical and occupational therapy – probably for two weeks. She still has A-Fib and is on two new medicines as a result until her A-Fib is resolved.
The other night, I finished a novel by one of my favorite authors. At one point in reading the book, I was reminded of something that C. S. Lewis said. He talked about reviewing someone’s writing and thinking that a bit of writing was good, but as you read it further, you determined that you had given the author an undeserved compliment.
My problem wasn’t in the plot line of the book. That was great. A young boy has unusual experiences in his teens. After graduating college, goes to war (WWII). Meets the love of his life. Comes home from war. Builds a fortune. Gets tangled with people with more money who seek to destroy him. Survives, but is victorious, only in a limited fashion. This book was written to not have a sequel, I think.
My problem was that as I read the dialogue about halfway through the book, the dialogue sounded just like his primary hard-boiled detective, one of his series characters. It was as if the author could write about only one type of character, a man struggling to do the right thing in the world and struggling with his own personal problems, oppressed by those with money and influence, and only has his deep-rooted distaste for the way society works to keep him going.
That formula can keep an author writing best sellers for an entire career, but when you see the formula, you lose faith in such heroes. Sometimes it is best to not look behind the curtain.
In the Scripture above, we see two sisters fighting. Then in the devotional quote, we see how these fights have no winners and our current political turmoil is a fight with no winners. I feel that the constitution is not broken. Some politicians want to scrap it for a living constitution that changes as times change. They just want to become despots with no checks and balances to curb their agenda. We should be wary of such notions. We cannot trust people.
Just like the author that used formulaic dialogue, we cannot trust politicians with too much power. That is the beauty of our constitution. It is cumbersome and slow on purpose – to keep us from making changes too quickly.
I may be part of the presidential prayer team, but I am far from political. I think I had a political candidate sign on my lawn once – a guy I had gone to school with and who sat next to me in a community choir. We knew each other on a personal level. I joined the team to pray that the president make wise decisions. The president is a single person in charge of a team of people, yet a single person with a lot of power. As Proverbs says, the advice needs to be from wise advisors, and the president must rely on God to make wise decisions.
Could it be that the fractures in the country’s foundation is that we trust the government and people in power instead of God? Each election is our chance for hope, yet Hope is available every day. We have divided into at least two camps. Those in all other camps are idiots and must be silenced at all cost. I have said this before. I served in the military to protect the rights of those idiots to say idiotic things. Serving those who agree with your views is self-serving, not serving country or others. And serving the rights of people who disagree with you is not very easy, just simply necessary.
But where am I going with this?
If we cannot trust a favorite author, who can we trust? If we cannot trust our government, who can you trust? If we cannot trust our leaders, who can we trust?
We can trust God. He is who He says He is – to borrow a line from Beth Moore. God loves us. He is always there. He knows what is best. And, oddly enough, He does not seem to follow a formula. Our Army hero in my recent novel is not just like the police detective. Since we are different, God treats us differently. We all end up more like Jesus, if we cooperate with God’s guidance, but we all start from our starting point – not some common point that we must find before God can help us.
An author, the government, and politicians cannot make that claim. They force you into their mold. One size fits all to them. It must fit, because they are not God.
Trust in God. He has the power to fix things and the love to ensure that all things work out for the good.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.