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Disrespecting Your Parents May Send You To Hell

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Disrespecting Your Parents May Send You To Hell

 

My mother and I were talking one Monday morning. Our total conversation wasn’t one that I can remember now. I was twenty-one and home for a couple of days. Mom was seated at the table doing the family bills and I was standing with my back touching the kitchen door jamb talking to her. Out of nowhere my father suddenly appeared and got in my face. In the sternest voice he had ever used in talking to me, he said to me, “If you won’t respect her as your mother, respect her as my wife!” His eyes were stern and had fire in them. I couldn’t think of one thing I’d said that could be considered disrespectful, but he had.

 

All I could say was, “Yes sir!” To this day I have no clue what I’d said that triggered that moment. Or even if he had correctly heard our conversation. It doesn’t matter. Although I have no memory of ever disrespecting my mother or my father… it was a lesson never to be forgotten. I cried, and apologized, neither knowing then nor now what words were said that were disrespectful.

 

It’s scary to realize that God pays attention to how you treat your Mom and Dad. He may use your parental honor, or lack thereof, as a gauge for how long He even chooses to let you live. Showing your parents honor is a biblical command and requirement.

 

Treating Your Parents With Respect And Honor May Give You A Longer Life

Exo. 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Eph. 6:2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)

 

Jesus Said To Let Them Die And Go To Hell

(“Let them die the death.” That means temporal and eternal death.)

 

Moses Said To Kill A Child That Cursed Their Parents

Exodus 21:17 And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.

 

Jesus Repeated What Moses Said

Matt. 15:4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.

Mar. 7:10  For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:

If the disrespectful child was worthy of being stoned to death… then no one should ever expect to see that person in heaven. If God thinks they should be removed from the earth, then surely heaven would not be an option for them.

 

Curseth:

Strongs G2551

From a compound of G2556 nad G3056; to revile: – curse, speak evil of.

 

John Gill:

“And he that curseth father or mother, let him die the death; temporal and eternal: and which is a positive command of God, made as a fence for the former; and is to be understood, not only of giving abusive language to parents, but of slighting, as the Hebrew word signifies, and neglecting them, taking no notice of them, when needy and in distress, to supply their wants.”

 

Ham’s Actions Caused His Son To Live With A Curse

Don’t make your children suffer and be cursed because of your disrespect for your parents.

 

Absalom

Died a horrible death

 

Esau

He brought grief of mind to his parents by his choice of a wife. He refused their advice. God even hated him. Gen 26:35

 

Showing Respect By Obeying Your Parents Pleases God

Col. 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.

 

Showing Disrespect Brings Judgment

Pro 30:17 The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.

 

If You Show Disrespect To Your Parents, God Will Put Your Lights Out.

Prov. 20:20 Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.

 

Did You Know?

If you are disrespectful with your words to anyone, including your parents, that the Apostle Paul said that no one is to even go to McDonald’s or eat with you, lest your bad spirit get off on them. Because you are a railer.

1Co 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

 

Railer – Webster

(n.) One who rails; one who scoffs, insults, censures, or reproaches with opprobrious language.

(“Opprobrious: expressing scorn or criticism, abusive, vituperative, derogatory, disparaging, denigratory, pejorative, deprecatory, insulting, offensive, defamatory, vitriolic, libelous, venomous;”)

 

The Prodigal Son Showed Disrespect To His Father

*By leaving as he did.

*By living as he lived.

*By squandering his inheritance and birthright.

 

However, the story has a most beautiful ending because the prodigal was willing to humble himself, repent and make amends. The merciful father was quick to forgive and restore his son back into the family.

Gentle Reader…

Do you need to humble yourself and apologize to your mom or dad? Do it today. You really need to, you know. Please don’t wait! Please!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 18, 2018 at 5:44 pm

Posted in Family, Mother

The Cracker Barrel New Year’s Sermon

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The Cracker Barrel New Year’s Sermon

 

 

Near the Savannah, Georgia exit 102 on I-95, sits a Cracker Barrel next to our motel. The chalk-written New Year’s message is plain for all to see. It says:

 

“Cheers to New Beginnings and Old Traditions”

 

May this New Year be a time for all of us to start afresh. Regardless of past failures or yesterday’s disappointments.

We need to leave our paradigm of failure-thinking and begin again. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve had to begin again. What you have been through was neither your final chapter nor your epitaph.

 

Proverbs 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again:

 

It’s not abnormal for good people to make mistakes and have to start over or begin again. Even Paul said he died daily. He started over every day.

 

 New Beginnings:

 

 Has your Bible reading been almost nonexistent lately?

Begin again.

 

How about your prayer life? Been busy? Hard to get to pre-service prayer for some reason or another?

Begin again.

 

Got out of the habit of responding during the worship service?

Begin again.

 

Has there been an absence of you saying amen to the preaching lately?

Begin again.

 

You haven’t taught a Home Bible Study in a long time?

Begin again.

 

How long since you made it to midweek service?

Begin again.

 

How about your tithes? If you’ve quit giving tithes and offerings…

Begin again.

 

Have you resigned or quit participating in your church?

Begin again.

 

Have you stopped kissing your spouse good morning, good night, and good-bye?

Begin again.

 

Been awhile since you said, “I love you” to your spouse?

Begin again.

 

Been awhile since you said I love you to your parents?

Begin again.

 

Been awhile since you said, “I am proud of you,” and “I love you,” to your children?

 Begin again.

 

Have you stopped saying, “I love you” to your in-laws?

Begin again.

 

 

Begin again In God. Recover yourself.

 

2 Tim. 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

2 Tim. 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

 

 

Traditions

 

Traditions make homes and churches special. When our large family gets together, there are always certain meals everyone can count on.  You just know that there will be gumbo one day and enchiladas and tacos on another. And the morning we all have to leave, there’s s special breakfast restaurant we go to. It’s our custom. It’s just how it is in our family.

Churches have customs and traditions too. It’s a huge disappointment to go back to your ‘home’ church and find out how different it is or that they have changed.

 

Hold fast to the old Apostolic Pentecostal Traditions.

When backsliders and those who have had to move away, come back to visit… Let them that see your church is still holding on to the old-time ways!

 

And, as Cracker Barrel would say if it was preaching this sermon,

“Cheers to New Beginnings and Old Traditions!”

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

December 30, 2017 at 7:57 pm

Don’t Forget To Feed That Calf

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“Don’t Forget To Feed That Calf”

 

The farmer looked closely at his cows and little calves. He felt blessed this year to have some good ones to choose from. He finally settled on the one he thought would be the best.  Pointing his finger at one, he yelled loud enough to be heard above the lowing cattle. He gave a command to his hired hand that would forever change the daily operation of his farm.

“Put that one in the main stall. Keep it separate from the others. And, feed it extra good feed every day. Do you hear me?”

“Yes sir,” came the reply as the man took a rope, then looped the calf’s little neck and began leading it toward the barn.

Every day after that the farmer went by the stall to check on his chosen calf. This calf would fare better than any of the others he had ever raised. He would fatten this one up on purpose. The amount of grain and hay given to it would be much more than the others received. Its stall was separate because the farmer knew if the other calves got in there, they would eat up all the feed.

Work on the farm started when the sun came up. The chickens were fed, and their eggs gathered. The donkeys were fed too. The cows got milked and were able to eat during the process. Nursing calves nudged their mothers seeking more milk. Even the dog was near his bowl waiting for his daily portion. The rooster officially started the morning’s business by announcing it was time to begin the day.

The smell of breakfast oozed from the kitchen into the rest of the house and yard. Everyone seemed busy doing something, but then one by one they washed up came inside and sat down to eat. The farmer prayed and gave thanks over the food, and then he, his son and the workers begin to eat and make small table talk. About the time they were finishing up, the farmer gave out his daily work orders to the crew. He finished by pointing to one of his men and said, “And, don’t forget to feed that calf.”

The man nodded and they all arose to finish the rest of their chores. In a couple of hours, the farmer went to the calf’s stall to check on things again. Yes, the calf had been fed and fed extra. The feed box still had grain in it. Several bats of hay lay on the ground as a backup supply. The little calf sure looked like it was thriving on the new diet.

The farmer leaned on the wooden gate and looked at the calf. His mind went back to the image of his baby boy carrying all his belongings and walking down the road away from the house not even looking back. Tears moistened his cheeks and ran down past his chin. His baby boy was gone! Oh, how he missed him! He had looked down the road every day hoping for a glimpse of him.

But something in his father’s gut told him that there would be a day when his boy would come back home. He didn’t know when, but he believed he eventually would. He knew his son would be very ashamed of what he had done when he did come home. He would never hold it over his son’s head and say, “I told you so!” Absolutely not! When he did return home, the father had no plans of going back to business as usual. No sir. He would do everything he could to let his boy know that he was loved and forgiven. He would throw a great big party for him. A party with lots of music, dancing, steaks, some barbecue, and festivities. Yes sir, he would make this calf get fat. Real fat.

  • This calf was dedicated to his son’s home-coming.
  • This calf represented the substance of things hoped for.
  • This calf was just waiting for the son’s day of restoration.
  • This calf was the party calf!

He wiped the tears from his face and turned around slowly, catching the eyes of some of his men, and said loudly for all of them to hear…

 

“Don’t Forget To Feed That Calf.”

 

 

___________________________________________________________________

Luke 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

Luke 15:21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 

Luke 15:22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 

Luke 15:23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

Luke 15:24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 14, 2017 at 3:08 pm

I Watched An Angel Grow Up!

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I Watched An Angel Grow Up!

 

 

It’s true! I actually watched an Angel grow up! She will deny that she is an angel, but I know angels when I see one. The first time I ever saw her was on May 2, (a few years ago). She was very tiny and I was the first man to ever hold her, kiss her baby forehead, and tell her I loved her. She didn’t respond much at the time, but I wanted her to get used to hearing the words… “I Love You” Because, Angels love with their ears and wise men know that.

She wrapped her baby hands around my finger and when she did that, she wrapped my heart around her little finger. We decided to name our little Angel, Marisa June Ballestero.

I was most honored of all men to watch her grow, play, sing, express joy, and have fun. She was so sweet and affectionate with her Mom and I. Even though we knew she was really an Angel, she even took on the human role of Daddy’s girl!

I watched her grow up. I watched her fall in love. I watched her marry and raise a family. I watched her blossom into a beautiful Angel who is drop-dead gorgeous , talented, loving, and more astounding to me than any Wonder Woman!

One of life’s greatest honors is for me to say, that I watched an angel grow up in my own home. Her birth certificate says that she is the daughter of Marcia and Martyn Ballestero. But her Mom and I know who she really is. She is actually an Angel, a real Angel sent from above!

S0, today is the day I get to say Happy Birthday to my Angel, Marisa June Ballestero Hartzell!

I Will Always Love You!

 

Your Old Dad 

(Life President Of The Marisa Hartzell Fan Club)

 

I Held An Angel In My Arms

 

 

I Watched Her Grow Up

 

 

I Watched Her Choose Friends

 

 

I Watched Her Fall In Love

 

 

I Watched Her Have Fun

 

I Watched Her Raise A Family

 

I Was Happy When She Made Another Little Angel That Looked Just Like Her

 

 

Happy Birthday Marisa!

XOXOXO

 

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 2, 2017 at 8:07 am

Posted in Family, Life, Love, Uncategorized

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The Alaska Cruise Of Your Dreams

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Travel planning can be overwhelming and time-consuming, especially for overseas travel, and especially if you are traveling with kids and grandparents. But if you don’t know how to plan a trip, sit down, relax and have a glass of Oddbins because this guide is for you. In this post I’m sharing the best travel websites on how to plan a vacation when booking flights, hotels, tours, and attractions. Plus our best travel tips on how to access your money, buying travel insurance, travel packing tips, finding places to eat, getting visas and immunizations, and so much more! Whether you are traveling alone or planning a family vacation, you deserve to go away and create priceless memories without too much stress in the trip planning process.

Enjoy going on escorted trips from usa to any destination. Also down below are our best vacation planning tips and the steps I would take to plan your dream trip. Call it our vacation checklist if you will. Don’t know what to consider when planning a trip? Hopefully, this guide will save you some time, money, and your sanity!


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Join Us On The Alaska Cruise Of Your Dreams!

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                       (Locate The F&F Link In this Area On The Website)

Click On Any Photo For More Information

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Written by Martyn Ballestero

February 14, 2017 at 12:51 pm

Posted in Family, Friends

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The Heartache Caused By Your Own Family

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The Heartache Caused By Your Own Family
The Apostle James made this powerful statement:

3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

If this knowledge brings the greatest joy… then the opposite is also true. There is no greater pain, when your family does not walk in truth.

Jesus looked at the people around Him in the Synagogue. Their curiosity had caused them to leave their homes and their daily duties to come and listen Him. He searched the crowd seeing many familiar faces, but not the ones He had hoped to see. None of His brothers were present.

Some of these people He had known from His youth. The Synagogue of Nazareth was full. His skeptical hearers wrinkled their brows as He spoke. In their minds they disqualified most of what He taught.

They had known Him all of His life. He was the carpenter’s son. He had not been taught at the feet of any learned scholars. Who did he think He was expounding these deep spiritual sayings? He was just an ordinary carpenter.

This was Nazareth. The four hundred or so inhabitants here knew each other well. There weren’t many secrets in this small town. Their personal opinions of His upbringing caused them to disqualify what He said. The sound of His voice echoed meaninglessly in their ears. There would be no hero’s welcome here today for Him.

Pain filled the heart of the Lord, as He perceived their unbelief. Yet, He felt even more pain when He realized who wasn’t there. His own family wasn’t there. It wasn’t an accident. His own brothers were boycotting Him.

John 7:5 For neither did his brethren believe in him.

More pain than we can ever know hid behind the next words of the Lord. Jesus focused His attention back toward those in the Synagogue as He said:

(Matt. 13:57-58)… “A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

It was bad enough that the neighbors and friends He had known all of His life, rejected Him. But to not have the support of one’s own family cut very deep. The lack of faith in the village that day placed a limit on His ability to help any of them. He grieved.

Not much is known about the residents of Nazareth, except that nothing spectacular had ever came from their town before. They seemed to be known only for their skepticism and unbelief.

But some from Nazareth finally did believe and it is almost hidden from the casual reader. It’s mentioned concerning those who gathered in the upper room after Jesus was resurrected.

Acts 1:13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.

Acts 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

His brethren actually came to the upper room! Everyone in the upper room was filled with the Holy Ghost! The brothers of Jesus finally found enough faith to believe and receive the glorious Gift of the Holy Ghost! That was a miracle!

Most believers have some family members who are not in church. Remember that even some of the family of Jesus didn’t believe … for a while. But the Last chapter of their story finds them right smack in the middle of the upper room experience.

Do you have family that doesn’t live for God? Never stop praying for your family! Never stop believing for your family! What happened in the family of Jesus can happen in your family too!

Believe God for a Miracle for your Family!

 

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 30, 2016 at 9:56 am

Posted in Believe, Family

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My Name Is Leah

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My Name Is Leah

My name is Leah and I am the oldest daughter of Laban. My sister, Rachel, is younger than I and everyone says she is very beautiful. She was the village favorite. (Gen 29:17) When visitors first meet us, they seem to be smitten by her beauty and repulsed when they look at me. I’m not beautiful and I’ve had to live with that all my life.

The lives of our whole family changed however, when Jacob arrived in our village. He looked travel worn and he was penniless. My father told us that his family was originally from our village and was well respected.

I saw immediately that Jacob was smitten by the looks of Rachel. I had expected that. Everyone noticed how he looked in her direction and tried to catch her eye if he could. He immediately asked my dad for a job and worked tending to our cattle.

I was crushed when I realized he wanted to marry my sister. I cried sometimes when I could be alone. It seemed like romance was for everyone but me. Jacob bargained with dad to work seven years for Rachel to be his bride. Jacob courted her and I tried to mind my own business and stay out of their way. They were so much in love. Love for me was always a one-way street. No one loved me back.

The wedding was a big celebration! All our relatives and the whole village came. My father sat Rachel and me down for a very private talk prior to the wedding. He informed Rachel that he had a plan. He said that adhering to the village custom of marrying off the oldest daughter first was a custom to be honored, and that rightly I should be the bride. (Gen 29:26) Dad said that he didn’t think Jacob would leave anyway and that he felt he would hang around long enough to marry the both of us. Rachel was crestfallen. I was surprised and happy. We were all unsure of Jacob’s reaction to me when he found out the truth, but planned to go ahead with the switch.

We pulled it off too. At the wedding, I was ecstatic and scared at the same time and afraid to look at Rachel because I felt her disappointment. It was evident to me that my sister truly began to hate and despise me. I stole her man. Although she was beautiful, she was bitter, and envious. I felt the full force of her hatred. Our bond of sisterhood stood on rocky ground.

The next morning Jacob woke up and looked at my face for the first time in the light of day. I cannot describe the shock and utter disappointment in his eyes. Maybe it was more akin to disgust. I can never fully explain the feeling of being married to a man who doesn’t love you. All you can think about is him and all he can think about is another woman.

Jacob made a covenant with my father to work seven more years for Rachel. He intended to marry us both.

I named my children according to the conditions of my marital status at the times of their births.

 

Rueben

I named my first son, Reuben. His name means, “Behold a son. The Lord has seen (in Hebrew ra’ah) my affliction” and “now my husband will love me (ye’ehabani)”(Genesis 29:32). I praised God for showing me this favor. I could hold my head up in the village. All would know that I had given my husband a son. I was now considered a worthy wife. It was as though God had seen that I was unloved and He opened my womb.

Rachel showed her true self again. I thought surely now Jacob will love me. But no, it didn’t change a thing. Rachel’s love toward me seemed to be gone. Jacob saved all his sweet words for her. They were lost in each other’s worlds.

All I did was cook, clean, take care of the baby and look after my husbands needs. I certainly never felt loved or cherished. I was only there for the needs of the man. My own needs were not to be considered. Ever.

 

Simeon

When my second child was born, it was a boy. I named him, Simeon because “the Lord heard (shama) that I was unloved”(Genesis 29:33). It was no secret that my husband didn’t love me. I guess my only purpose was to provide him with sons.

God knew my sorrow and tried to comfort me. I cried much and kept to myself. There was little benefit for me to make myself available to Jacob in social settings. I was not his trophy wife. I was treated as a second-class wife. He would not walk me around the village and show me off. I felt like a second-class wife because I wasn’t beautiful. Jacob was evidently too foolish to see beyond the face. I stayed in the tent and cared for the babies.

 

Levi

In the process of time I realized I was to have another child. My third baby was also a boy. I named him Levi thinking “this time my husband will become attached (yillaweh) to me”(Genesis 29:34).

All I ever wanted was for him to love me and to show it by saying something sweet or doing something nice. It never happened.

I knew that feeling sorry for myself was not doing me any good. I started thinking and realized that God had been gracious to me through it all. Was my world perfect? No. Not that I could see or feel, yet I believed God was good. He had blessed me and given me sons. I may not have the beauty of my sister, but I made up my mind to be a good wife and a good mother of our children and to be beautiful on the inside.

I learned to turn my face toward Jehovah and thank Him for what I did have instead of focusing on what I didn’t.

 

Judah

My fourth son’s name had nothing to do with my relationship with my husband. I named him Judah because I had made up my mind, “this time I will praise (odeh) the Lord”(Genesis 29:35).

After I had our four children, Jacob’s next two sons were born to Rachel’s maid Bilhah. She had given her handmaid to Jacob out of desperation. I felt sorry for her, so I then gave Jacob my own maid, Zilpah, as a concubine. Zilpah gave him two sons, Gad and Asher.

 

Issachar

One time, during a harvest, Reuben brought me some mandrakes. Rachel wanted them and said that if I gave them to her she would let me have her night to sleep with Jacob in exchange. After that, my fifth son was born. I named him Issachar. It means, “He will bring a reward.” (Genesis 30:14-18)

As a mother I can tell that although Jacob is kind to my children, he doesn’t dote on them. It makes my heart hurt. Maybe when he looks on them, they remind him of me. If he can’t love me, then my prayer is that he would love our sons.

 

The Stolen Idols

The relationship between my husband and my father turned really sour. Jacob told me that the last time he looked at my dad, he could tell that things between them had drastically changed by the expression on his face, (Gen 31:2) and that the Lord had spoken to him and told him we must leave here immediately.

When Rachel heard the news, and knowing that father just left with the sheep, she went into his tent and stole his gods. We left in the middle of the night and we were gone three days before my dad found out. But when he found out he was very angry and chased hard after us. It took him almost week to finally catch up.

He hollered and yelled loud at Jacob accusing him of everything he could think of. He wanted to know why we had left and when he found out that it was because we didn’t trust him and that he was dishonest, he really got mad.

Jacob told dad, “Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times.” (Gen 31:41)

Dad said we had stolen his gods. Jacob didn’t know that Rachel had hidden them in her tent. He gave dad permission to search everyone’s tent and all their possessions and look for his gods. He never found them because his little pet, the baby of the family was sly. Rachel sat on a pile of carpets that hid the idols and told Dad she couldn’t get up because she was “after the manner of women.” She just batted her big brown eyes at him and he smiled back and never made her move.

The idols were not found, so my father and my husband piled up a heap of stones and made a covenant of friendship, and then he kissed us girls and the grandchildren a final goodbye and departed, leaving us to live in peace.

 

The Coming Of Esau

Jacob shared many stories about his boyhood. Evidently, he and his brother, Esau were total opposites. He told us about his father becoming old and going blind. Custom was that the oldest son inherited two thirds of the father’s goods and the rest of the children equally divided up the remaining third.

Jacob said that one day he caught Esau at a weak moment and bartered with him for his birthright. The problem was in getting the birthright blessing from the father. His father doted on Esau because of his prowess as a hunter and outdoorsman. But, Jacob was his mother’s pet. When it was time to receive the blessing, she helped him deceive his father and obtain the birthright blessing prayer.

He had to leave home immediately because when Esau found out that his birthright had been stolen, Esau wanted to kill Jacob. Now, word just arrived after all these years that Esau was indeed coming for him with a mighty army of soldiers threatening to kill him.

Jacob said that we were all to cross over the ford Jabbok and wait while he stayed there to pray. He fervently prayed and an Angel came and began to wrestle with him. They wrestled all night long. Finally the Angel begged to be let go but Jacob said that he wouldn’t let him go until he got a blessing from him.

The angel said that he was changing his name. He would now be called, Israel, because he would now have power with God and with men. (Gen. 32:28)

The Angel smote Jacob on the thigh to break his hold. It forever affected how he walked from then on. He limped for the rest of his life.

In the morning when we arose, we saw Jacob hurriedly limping towards us. He said that Esau was coming and there would no doubt be bloodshed. He divided up the children putting the animals, the servants and their children first.

He then put my children and me next, because we too were more expendable. But, he kept Rachel and her son at the back with him. He may lose the rest of us but he wanted to keep her alive. It was very plain where I stood with him even after all these years. (Gen 33:2)

When Esau came and confronted us, Jacob humbled himself and sent him large gifts. Before long the two ran towards each other, fell on each other’s necks and kissed. I took my children toward Esau and we bowed down before him in respect. All ended peaceable. We were certainly relieved and after the meeting and we all gave thanks unto God.

 

Zebulun

My next son, I named Zebulun. He was to be my last boy. His name means to dwell. He was Jacob’s tenth son and my sixth. I later had a daughter, whom I named Dinah, before Rachel gave birth to her first child.

 

Joseph

When Rachel gave birth to her little Joseph, Jacob was beside himself with joy. He showed that baby more attention than he ever had to all of the others. The children could all tell that Joseph was his favorite.

All we heard around the tent from Jacob was news about Joseph. He doted on him. The other children watched wistfully knowing that they were not loved like that. He made special clothes for him and gave him gifts that were better than he gave to my sons.

Rachel seemed to feel like nothing was wrong with Jacob giving so much attention to her son and very little to his other ten sons.

 

The Trip To Bethel

Jacob said that God had told him that we were all to return to the Bethel. Jacob said that we were to wash and be clean, change our clothes, and put away our idols. So, all of our family and our servants did as he asked. We knew the worship of our gods required the wearing of earrings, so we gave them to Jacob along with our gods. (Gen 35:1-4; Hosea 2:13) He took what we gave him and buried all of it under the big oak tree in Shechem.

We traveled on to Bethel, the place where God first met with our husband. The first thing Jacob did was to build an altar and offer up a sacrifice of repentance. God accepted his prayers and blessed him. It was there that his mother’s nurse, Deborah, died. She was buried at Bethel. Jacob grieved hard because she was his last living connection with his mother and father.

 

Benjamin

When we left Bethel, Rachel went into labor. She died giving birth to her second son. It was so tragic. We were in shock. Before she died, Rachel named her son Benoni (“son of my mourning”), but Jacob called him Benjamin. (Gen. 35:18)

Rachel had passionately said, Give me children, or else I die; and now that she had children, she died!

Jacob made no attempt to bury Rachel with his family like I thought he would do since he loved her so much. He just buried her beside the highway and placed a marker on her lonely grave. If he would bury his favorite wife beside the road at the first available spot, where would he bury me? Would I too be given a roadside burial?

After Rachel died, Jacob replaced her bed, which was beside his, with her handmaiden Bilhah’s bed. It so infuriated my son Rueben that he overturned Bilhah’s bed and rebuked his father. Jacob never forgot that moment and mentioned it on the day he pronounced blessings and prayers upon his sons. (Gen. 49:3-4)

 

Epilogue

Leah’s outward appearance may have been unattractive to others, but God was attracted to her because of her inward beauty. He chose her. It was Leah, not Rachel, who bore Judah, and it was through his bloodline that the Savior was born.

After Rachel’s death, Leah carried on as the wife of Jacob, and the mother of his many children, living in Canaan. The Bible does not say when she died, but Leah is buried in the family burial tomb of Machpelah, beside her husband Jacob with Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah. (Genesis 49:29-31). Leah was loved too late. Her real beauty unnoticed most of her life. Yet, in her death and burial she was shown great honor and respect.

 

The Life Lesson Of Leah

Sometimes in life we wake up to the very thing we don’t want. Life doesn’t always give you a Rachel. Although you find it difficult to love the “Ugly Leah Situation” that is forever connected to you, it just may wind up being your greatest life blessing. Surprisingly, you may find yourself saying the words, “I love you” to the very thing you once hated.

The Leah in your life never changed, you did. Her beauty wasn’t on the outside, so no one took the time to see what God could see all along. Leah was beautiful where it counted the most. She was beautiful on the inside. Don’t hate your “Leah”; she is God’s gift to you. Do not despise the ugly thing in life that you suddenly have to wake up to. Your “Leah” may be a bad Doctor’s Report, a Financial Disaster, a Broken Marriage, a Physical Disability or even Heartache. Embrace it. It just may be a gift from God to you!

 

Written by Martyn Ballestero

July 8, 2016 at 11:15 am