WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 3, 2020
TOPIC: GOD WILL GIVE YOU AN ADVANTAGE
BY T. O. BANSO
“When the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren” (Genesis 29:31 New King James Version).
Jacob was an accidental polygamist! He was tricked to marry someone he had no intention of marrying. He served his uncle, Laban, for seven years to marry Rachel, but Laban deceived him. He brought Leah to him on the evening of the wedding. Jacob didn’t know until the following morning.
Jacob must have been furious. “And he said to Laban, ‘What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I served you? Why then have you deceived me?’ And Laban said, ‘It must not be done so in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. Fulfill her week, and we will give you this one also for the service which you will serve with me still another seven years” (Genesis 29:25-7 New King James Version).
Laban was just being dishonest. If he knew that he couldn’t give away the younger sister ahead of the older sister, he should have told Jacob. If an uncle could act deceitfully like this, it tells a lot about his character. Jacob found himself in a situation that after seven days of honeymoon, he married Rachel, and served for another seven years. Whereas he served in advance and married Leah, he married Rachel and served after!
Considering the circumstance of how Jacob married Leah, it should not be surprising that the Bible says Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah (verse 30). Nevertheless, Leah’s case would have been more pathetic if God had not come to her rescue and given her the advantage of bearing children ahead of her younger sister.
Genesis 29:31 says, “When the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren” (New King James Version). Only God knows what Jacob would have done to go Leah if she had been the one barren.
If it were today, he could have divorced her, sent her away, or abandoned her and move away with fruitful Rachel when he eventually left Laban. But God advantaged Leah. She gave her children and established her as a mother in Jacob’s home, though Jacob still didn’t love her as a wife. All efforts byLeah to win Jacob’s love, giving birth to seven children, failed (Genesis29:32-35; 30:17-21). Jacob preferred Rachel above her (Genesis 33:1-2).
Genesis 29:17 says Leah’s eyes were delicate, but Rachel was beautiful of form and appearance. The exact meaning of “eyes were delicate” is not clear and has been given different interpretations. It could be an unfavourable description of Leah compared to the positive description of Rachel.
Nevertheless, God is the God of the beautiful and the God of those considered ugly! The beautiful one, Rachel, was envious of the one with the delicate eyes, Leah, because she had children (Genesis 30:1). Leah, who was unloved, had seven children while Rachel, who was Jacob’s love and was barren for years had only two children. She died while giving birth to her second child.
It is significant that the descendants of Leah include Judah. Jesus the Messiah was born of the tribe of Judah (Genesis 29:35). The unloved woman gave birth to Judah, an ancestor of Jesus Christ.
Your supposed disadvantage is not the end of the road for you in life. God will give you an advantage. He can make a way where there seems to be no way. Isaiah 43:19 says, “Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (New King James Version).
From the account of the choice of a king from the children of Jesse, one can deduce that David, the youngest son, might have been unloved. Why? He was not invited to the meeting where one of Jesse’s children was to be anointed a king. Rather, he was left to take care of the sheep.
Not until God rejected all the children of Jesse present did Jesse send for him. Perhaps Jesse never considered him a likely candidate for kingship. Since the Bible says nothing of David’s mother, one doesn’t know whether he was born by a different mother.
We don’t know if the treatment meted out to him was a reflection of the relationship between his mother and father. Even the way Eliab, His eldest brother, later spoke to him harshly at the battlefield before he killed Goliath suggested that David was not loved.
1 Samuel 17:28 says, “Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, ‘Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle’” (New King James Version). Did you see how he despised his work? He called the sheep he was hazarding his life over “those few sheep.”
Rewind to Jesse’s sitting room.“And Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Are all the young men here?’ Then he said, ‘There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.’ And Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.’ So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking” (1 Samuel 16:11-12a New King James Version).
Samuel kept everybody standing until the disadvantaged man that God has chosen arrived. Isn’t it noteworthy that God rejected the sons who were invited and invited the son who was neglected?
When David finally arrived, the LORD said to Samuel, “‘Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!’” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers, and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward.
It is possible you are disadvantaged as regards certain issues, God will give you an advantage. Maybe you have been rejected or disqualified because you don’t have powerful connections or you lack some requirements, look unto God. He is in the business of protecting the interests of the weak, the vulnerable, the disadvantaged. God will give an advantage.
When He advantaged Leah, He opened her womb so that she would have something to hold on to in her marriage to a man who didn’t love her. When He gave an advantage to the poor and the barren, He changed their story. Psalm 113:7-9 says, “He raises the poor out of the dust, and lifts the needy out of the ash heap, that He may seat him with princes — with the princes of His people. He grants the barren woman a home, like a joyful mother of children” (New King James Version).
In the same home that Hannah was barren and was taunted or mocked by her rival, Peninnah, God gave her an advantage. Hear her prayer thereafter: “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… 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” (1 Samuel 2:4-8 New King James Version).
My prayer for you is that wherever you may have been disadvantaged or may be disadvantaged, God will give you an advantage. Where men have excluded you, God will include you. Where the enemy has deleted your name, God will restore it. God, Himself will be your Help. He will send you help from above.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: O LORD, give me an advantage where I am disadvantaged. Work my disadvantage to my advantage. Put an end to disfavour in my life; let my life attract favour.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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