"I hold on to You for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post..." Psalm 63

Saturday, August 6, 2011

To God Alone...

I was reading something interesting this morning, and thought I'd process through it here....hoping not to offend anyone, but there are no guarantees.

I'm slowly reading through the book of Genesis, and doing a little "research" along the way on some things I've never really stopped to process through before.

This morning I was reading Genesis 35, the death of Jacob's wife, Rachel, 
while giving birth to her second son, Benjamin.  Rachel was Jacob's favorite wife. 
 {He got duped into marrying her sister, Leah, because she was the oldest sister and was unmarried at the time that Jacob THOUGHT he was marrying Rachel.  A switch was pulled, and Jacob found himself married to the sister of the woman he loved...creepy.  So he worked for 7 more years for Rachel's father in exchange for her hand in marriage.  Though he cared for Leah and her children, Rachel was his favorite...
and the mother of his favorite son, Joseph}

So, Rachel dies and Jacob {now called Israel} sets up a pillar over her tomb near Bethlehem.  Some say there are 13 stones placed over her tomb-one placed there by each of Jacob's sons.
I've read this before, but this time, this phrase caught my attention:

"...and to this day that pillar marks Rachel's tomb..."

Really?  There's a pillar marking her tomb STILL?  Or just at the time of the writing of Genesis?
So, I went to Google and started searching for Rachel's tomb.

And, in fact, there are countless entries on Rachel's tomb
"Kever Rochel"

Apparently, this is the 2nd holiest site in Judaism...which I found very interesting...
and honestly, somewhat confusing.
With all the wanderings and miracles of Jesus life and earthly death-
the 2nd holiest place belongs to Rachel?

I did a little virtual tour of Rachel's tomb...
which has since had a whole building built around it.
And I found it interesting that people will travel all over the world to enter the tomb so that they can 
pray to Rachel {who is deceased}.
They also receive letters from all over the world from those who cannot travel there.

The prayers are from women who are barren {like Rachel was for years}
They are prayers for healing.
Prayers from the lost and the troubled.

I mean no disrespect...
I love tradition and symbolism.
But, I wonder if anyone who visits "Kever Rochel" ever thinks about the fact that she is not really there.
I wonder if it would make a difference for them to know that Rachel served God.
And the God she served IS still there.

Rachel is deceased
God is alive.
And yet, the prayers bypass God...
and get "sent" to Rachel.

That troubles me.

And I can't help but wonder how God feels about it.
But, I think I already know...

"So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. 
There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most."
Hebrews 4:16

Jesus death gave us complete access to God.  Where there once was a veil of tradition and law that separated man from God- at the death of Jesus, we have open access to Him.  Any other route to Him is useless.  He invited us to come boldly to HIM...because it is HE who holds the power to hear and to answer.

While I GREATLY respect the lives of those who have gone on before me.  And desire to take part in the great heritage of women who have followed God...I know that they can no more answer my prayer than the next person.  They have gone on.  They reside in heaven with God...but they have not become God.

Only God has the power to 
hear
see
know
understand
heal
change

I recently visited a Muslim Mosque.
And, like this tomb of Rachel, I found it interesting how committed the followers are to their religion.
They speak of their faith with great excitement and passion.
But, like Rachel's tomb, there was something missing...

It was the One True God,
Father, Spirit, Son...in ONE 
the Maker of heaven and earth
the One who WAS
 and IS
 and forever WILL BE.

I fear how deceived we have become. 
I wonder what it will take for us to stop looking to other things, people and places to become our gods...and see GOD. 

"Before ME every knee will bow;
   by ME every tongue will swear.  They will say of ME, ‘In the LORD alone are deliverance and strength.’” All who have raged against Him will come to Him and be put to shame.  But all the descendants of Israel will find deliverance in the LORD and will make their boast in Him."
Isaiah 45



"To God alone be Glory"

2 comments:

Mrs.Rabe said...

Teri,

This is a wonderful post - full of grace and truth!

Thanks for your boldness!

Deanna

Just a little something from Judy said...

Very well written my friend! That last verse says it all. I know for certain, that someday we will truly understand it all. Until then, I have some of the same questions that you expressed.

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