I have been told time and time again that the bible is a very dangerous book to read if you are not in the right spirit, i.e. pray FIRST then read. Well sometimes (a lot of times) I can be a lazy Christian, and I’ll just pick up the bible and casually read through some selected verses. If anything, God’s spirit (in my eyes) reside in the gospel! You can pick up those four books at any time of the day, month, year and the words will speak directly to your spirit. All other books need serious prayer!
Where am I getting at? Well I just decided (yet again) to read the selected readings [Genesis 29:15-28] for this week after cooking Sunday lunch. Now I want to throw the bible outside and set it on fire. I know that sounds really dramatic in a heathen kinda way but that’s how mad I got in the moment! Straight after reading it, all I could think was ‘how am I not an atheist?’ I literally rolled my eyes so hard I hurt my brain. It’s so frustratingly frustrating I could just spit!
Here’s the infuriating passage:
Genesis 29:15-28 New King James Version (NKJV)
Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel
15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what should your wages be?” 16 Now Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah’s eyes were delicate, but Rachel was beautiful of form and appearance.
18 Now Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, “I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.”
19 And Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.
21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in to her.” 22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place and made a feast. 23 Now it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter and brought her to Jacob; and he went in to her. 24 And Laban gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah as a maid. 25 So it came to pass in the morning, that behold, it was Leah. 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?”
26 And Laban said, “It must not be done so in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. 27 Fulfill her week, and we will give you this one also for the service which you will serve with me still another seven years.”
28 Then Jacob did so and fulfilled her week. So he gave him his daughter Rachel as wife also.
Laban and Jacob are filthy pigs. That’s right I said it. FILTHY PIGS! Laban treats his daughters like commodities or bargaining tools. AND JACOB! This so called great man of the bible! He has children to BOTH sisters as well as both of their servant girls! And the bible commentators say the point of this passage is Jacobs ‘great love’ for Rachel, saying “Can you imagine loving God with such intensity?” I CALL BULLSHIT! Jacob not only ‘loved’ Rachel, but ALSO her own sister Leah AND their two servant girls. So Rachel wasn’t enough (although it may have been initially), he had to have 3 other women…what the heck kinda message is that! Some may argue that Jacob sacrificed 14 years of his life to get Rachel. I CALL BULLSHIT AGAIN! The first 7 years yes maybe. But he gets married to Leah (and he can’t blame anyone else but himself for being too damned drunk to tell that it was Leah and not Rachel that he ‘went into’…love my ass, could not for the life of him tell the difference between the sisters….he then goes on and blames their father for the deception…boy are you blind?!), and they do what married people do (read sex and baby making). How selfish is Jacob that at this point he would not let Rachel move on with her life, but rather continued to hold her father to that deal they had made so that he could finally get what he wanted. This is not love. This is selfishness. And Rachel would have had to wait 7 years for this twat, and after all that waiting, she would get a man married to her own sister who would also impregnate their servant girls!!!! And what of Leah, who has been treated like trash in all this. Used as a trick by her own father to trap Jacob to further years of servitude. Not wanted by Jacob. Not that her opinion or what she wants matters…right? I can get carried away with the details of the story….but the story is not the point here.
Yes yes we have to take into context the culture and the time this was written, but the fact that these kinds of stories made it into the bible is the leading cause (in my opinion) not only of the blatant disregard for the rights of the female gender but also of atheism.
So I sit and brew at the filth of these disgusting old jewish males, and I’m asking God ‘what is the point of this waste-of-space passage…why do I thousands of years later still have to read this rubbish?’
And we all know that if you ask God something, particularly about His Word, He will answer. In my case, instantly. So I’m sitting here and brewing and cussing and messaging my friends with my mad ramblings and just down right pissed and questioning God over and over again. I could just picture myself, while in the heat of it all, standing in front of God and screaming and going on and on and on, and being so loud and angry and loud! Then when I realised what I was doing, I gave myself a minute to breathe and listen. And in that minute of quiet He answered. His voice was so quiet, but I heard it (you can hear God speaking to you if you take the time to just be still and listen). What did he say? One word. Jesus.
And that was it. Everything fell into place in an instant. Just like that I knew why those infuriating stories in the old testament are there in the first place. When we read these stories of these sinful, disgusting old men (the only thing they got right was believing in God, otherwise they are just as despicable like most of the criminals lounging in our jails), we/I realised that life without Jesus [and the gospel] is just so damned hopeless and downright ridiculous. We can put Jesus up against all these other characters in the bible and just truly appreciate how truly wonderful and amazing and AWESOME he really is!
The gospel is the bibles saving grace!
The whole point of the old testament (again in my eyes) is that it prepares us for the new testament and for Jesus. We can only truly appreciate mans great need for Jesus by showing us just how utterly hopeless we are without Him. The old testament makes us/me appreciate how difficult it must have been to be a believer in those days. How God, as frustrating as He must have found the whole bang lot of mankind at the time, never gave up…He persistently pursued man even in their sin. Even when His Spirit was not [residing] on earth to continuously provide council, there were some, such as Jacob, who still found it in themselves to seek God despite their sinful nature. I for one, being a modern day lazy Christian, can see how hard it must have been to be a believer at the time. To constantly have to offer daily sacrifices at their temples to atone for sin, whereas now all we have to do is pray..in the comforts of our homes. I know believers then would have killed to be able to live in our time, where the Holy Spirit is here, freely available to all who ask.
Realising how flawed and disappointing these men are makes this all so relate-able for the rest of us. They were imperfect, like us, yet God loved them and blessed them and used them in big big ways, just as He loves us and blesses us and He can use us if we allow Him to. And that’s the thing…we don’t need to live a perfect life for God to love and entrust us with His will. We WILL NEVER be perfect, and He doesn’t expect us to. He loves us despite us! There’s no hole too deep that he wouldn’t reach in and rescue us from ourselves.
I wrote a post: The Incestuous Murderous Whoring Thieving Drunks of the Bible, where I touch on the Old Testament and why I think God used the incestuous, murderous, whoring, thieving drunks to do His work…..and he loved them! You want to see scandal…look at the bible!