Let God distract you (#BibleJournaling)

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In my devotions this year I’m reading through the Bible. A few days ago I came to Exodus 3 and noticed something I’d never seen before. It’s Moses, letting God distract him and God responding when He sees Moses’ receptivity. Here it is in Exodus 3:2-4 (emphases added):

And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”

So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!”

And he said, “Here I am.”

A few quotes from my study Bible helped nail down the concept for me.

“God comes to Moses through the commonplace which becomes special and holy when touched by God” J. Tollett New Spirit-Filled Life Bible p. 79.

and

“Stay alert to see God working. It often comes in ways we do not expect” – Leslyn Musch, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible p. 130.

 

Ex 3_2-4

Bible journal for Exodus 3:2-4 (Photo © 2018 by V. Nesdoly)

Today I want to be alert to God working in my commonplace, and to be open to His distractions.

Materials used: Pigma micron pen and colored pencils.

Leah

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Rachel & Leah - James Tissot

“Rachel and Leah” by James Tissot

Leah

“…bury me with my fathers…. There they buried Abraham and Sarah…Isaac and Rebekah…and there I buried Leah” – Jacob in Genesis 49:29-31

The morning after Jacob lay with me
even my weak eyes saw his anger.
When I give him a son
he will love me.

Even my weak eyes saw his joy
at the births of Reuben and Simeon
will he finally love me
after Levi, Judah?

At the births of Reuben and Simeon.
Rachel brooded.
After Levi, Judah
she fumed and schemed.

Rachel brooded
bargained for my son’s mandrakes.*
She fumed and schemed
at Zebulun—my sixth!

The bargained-for mandrakes
have produced a son at last.
Zebulun, my sixth
followed by Joseph, Rachel’s first.

Have produced a second son—her last.
She died birthing Benjamin
who followed Joseph, Rachel’s first.
Still Jacob doesn’t love me.

Though she died birthing Benjamin
and I gave him six sons
still Jacob doesn’t love me
though forever now Jacob lies with me.

– Violet Nesdoly – January 2013

*******************

This bittersweet love poem is from a new project I’ve begun: writing poems about the women in the Bible.

You may know the story of Leah. She was the oldest daughter of Laban and sister of Rachel. Rachel was beautiful and Jacob, son of Isaac and Rebekah, fell in love with her, then  worked seven years to earn the right to marry her. But on the wedding night, the girls’ father (Laban) switched Leah (who is described as having “weak eyes”) for Rachel, telling his disappointed son-in-law the next morning that it wasn’t customary to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one was married. A week later Laban gave Rachel to Jacob as a second wife on the condition Jacob would serve him another seven years. The jealousy and friction in that home are well documented in Genesis.

The voice in the poem is Leah’s from beyond the grave. And maybe she’s wrong. Maybe Jacob did come to love her, seeing that he chose to be buried near to her and not Rachel.

This poem is based loosely on Adele Kenny’s prompt about the old becoming new again. I chose the pantoum form because it literally circles back to the beginning.

(*Mandrakes were thought to be an aphrodisiac. In the story, Leah’s oldest son brought them to his mother, but Rachel persuaded Leah to give them to her in exchange for a night with Jacob.)

poetry+friday+button+-+fulllThis poem is part of Poetry Friday, hosted today by the wonderful Linda at Teacherdance.

Michal: A Novel by Jill Eileen Smith (review)

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Michal: A Novel by Jill Eileen SmithMichael: A Novel (Wives of King David) by Jill Eileen Smith is a fictional retelling of the story of King David’s first wife Michal—the daughter of Saul. Smith follows Michal from the time she is a teenager cowering under the rages of her demonically possessed father, to middle age when her scorn at David’s exuberant dance causes her to fall from the king’s favor. (Though this latter may sound like a spoiler it really isn’t because Smith follows the biblical account where the events of Michal’s life are written plainly for anyone to read.)

I found the book an interesting story. Through it I experienced the confusion and strife of King Saul’s home. I felt the conflicting emotions of a young woman who weds the man she loves, only to have him driven away by her father who is possessed by jealousy over David’s popularity with the people. When she and David are reunited, she faces issues like being part of a harem and belonging to a former king’s family. Though her personal ambition, together with the strong, determined personality Smith has given her make her a somewhat unsympathetic character, it seems a realistic interpretation of one of the Bible’s fascinating females.

I appreciate the respect with which Smith handles the biblical account. In an author’s note at the end of the book she says, “I have done my best to stay true to Scripture throughout the novel.” In that vein she begins each major division of the story with Bible quotes that foundation the events within the section. Of course her telling adds many details, but I never felt that they were inconsistent with or contradicted the Bible account.

If you’re a fan of biblical fiction, you won’t want to miss Michal.

Extras from the author’s website:

Title: Michal: A Novel (The Wives of King David)
Author: Jill Eileen Smith
Publisher: Revell, March, 2009, available in hardcover, paperback & Kindle editions, 383 pages.
ASIN: B001U88ZSK