Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Rachel weeping, continued
The last time that we studied, we looked at the three times that Rachel was mentioned as "weeping" in the Bible -- the first beside the road home, in hard labor to deliver her son, Benjamin. The second was mentioned in Jeremiah, when the last of the tribes of Judah were taken into captivity. The third and final time was in Matthew: he quotes Jeremiah's words when telling about the slaughter of the baby boys in Bethlehem (and Jesus' escape with his parents into Egypt). Rachel is crying. She is grieving, mourning bitterly over the loss of her children.
Rachel represents every woman who has ever suffered for her loved ones. Rachel's story touches the heart of every mother who has lost a child before or at birth, or buried a child in the prime of youth. She represents the moms who lie awake at night wondering where their wayward children are at that moment. But she also stands for all of the women who have experienced loss -- not just mothers. The sisters who have grieved over a child in the family who has died young; the aunts and sisters who have seen divorce and death tear a family apart; the women who agonize over family members and friends who have turned away from our Father. All of these things hurt. They hurt very badly. As do job losses, health problems, and aging.
Let's face it. There is a lot of pain in this life. So much weeping. Is there hope for us? Was there hope for Rachel?
I'd like for you to bear with me as I cut and paste the entire 31st chapter of Jeremiah below. Please, please take the time to read it. We are going to study this today, tomorrow, and Friday.
I know that was a long passage, but there is so much there for us!
The Lord speaks to all of us Rachels in this passage. He offers us at least ten forms of comfort! So, when God tells us to dry our tears, He is not just patting our heads and saying, "There, there, it's going to be alright." He is promising to MAKE things alright!
Hang on tight -- the next two days are going to have a lot packed into them . . . I think these verses will speak to our hearts.