Ok, yet again, the story of Jacob and Rachel was revealed to me in a new way after reading it in Spanish. The main verse I was going off of on April 7, 2012 was Genesis 35:18. *You can find the original quoted text at the bottom!
Genesis 35:18, NIV: As she breathed her last—for she was dying—she named her son Ben-Oni (Ben-Oni means son of my affliction/trouble or sadness). But his father named him Benjamin (Benjamin means son of my right hand).
I LOVE this verse! The story of Jacob and Rachel is legendary, but this verse just shows unconditional love to the fullest.
Recap: After deceiving his twin brother, Esau, (at the advice of his well-meaning mother) into giving Jacob his birthright and then deceiving his father Isaac into bestowing the blessing due to his brother onto himself, Jacob was not in good standing with the guys and found himself (quite understandably so) on the run! Jacob fled to his Uncle Laban (his Mother’s brother). *Quick note here: deceit seems to “run” through this side of the family, as we will see.*
Upon arrival, Jacob sees Rachel and it’s the love at first sight cliche, and he immediately wants to marry her. So, he goes to Laban, Rachel’s father, and asks what he must do to have her hand in marriage. Laban then tells Jacob, [paraphrase] “You must work for me for 7 years, and then I will let you marry Rachel.” So, Jacob labored those seven years and when the time came to marry Rachel, he declared it felt like he only worked a day (maybe he spoke too soon 😉 ).
However, Laban tricked him (you reap what you sew, man!) and gave Jacob his eldest daughter, Leah, instead. Long story short, Jacob is forced to work another seven years in order to marry Rachel also. Throughout the years, Leah and Rachel despised one another and were very competitive. But, Rachel had fertility problems and was very jealous of Leah despite the fact that Jacob already reassured her that SHE, not Leah, was the apple of his eye. Again, long story short, Leah and Rachel both end up bearing Jacob children.
During her 2nd childbearing experience, Rachel was dying, and with her last breaths, she tried to name her son, Ben-Oni (son of my affliction, or son of my sadness), but Jacob steps in IMMEDIATELY and says, “No, that’s NOT who our son is… THIS son, My son, is: Benjamin, the son of my right hand,” effectively redeeming him. It’s beautiful.
What else can I say?! Instead of harboring an irrational anger toward the child (as many do in situations like this) for “killing” the mother…Jacob blesses him and calls him…the MOST important…even though he should have been the least in that culture. AMAZING!!
So, what do we get from this?! I.e…what’s the application to our lives? Well, God ALWAYS sees us for who He made us to be and not just our circumstances, behaviors, or actions. No Matter what ANYBODY, and I mean ANYBODY; your parents, family, friends, frenemies, or genuine enemies choose to Name you, or call you… God has a Different Name for YOU!— You are a Daughter / Son of THE King … the most High God! — Live that way Everyday!
Don’t believe the lies the World is telling you about your worth or your value. Only God has a right to Name you and He has called you: Chosen One! It’s you baby! You are the son / daughter of His right hand…you just have to choose to live it according to His purpose for your life and choose only to listen to His still small voice! You have to believe what He is saying above ALL the other noise!
My prayer is that I live like I belong to Him EVERY single Day (I was bought and paid for, at a pretty high price, ya know?) and that He gives me the grace to speak life over those He entrusts me with. Amen!
Be Blessed and Encouraged Friends!! Spanish NVI Version, which inspired this post:
Génesis 35:18 : No obstante, ella se estaba muriendo, y en sus últimos suspiros alcanzó a llamar a su hijo Benoní (*En Hebreo, Benoní significa hijo de mi afflición o hijo de mi tristeza), pero Jacob, su padre, le puso por *nombre Benjamín (*En Hebreo, Benjamín significa hijo de mi mano derecha).