Posted by Murray Smith

Sunday message available at www.summerstrandunitedchurch.co.za

 

  1. Wedding Night Switch

Read Genesis 29:14-25

One wonders how this switch happened, as the bible does not give much detail. The bride wore a veil which was taken off in the darkness of the bridal chamber and the Hebrew for wedding feast basically means ‘drinking party’. Perhaps after seven years of hard labour, the festivities, and a keen sense of anticipation to be with his beloved Rachel, Jacob was not thinking too clearly. Put yourself in Leah’s shoes for a moment; when they woke up … “When morning came, there was Leah! (25) … The rest of the verse indicates Jacob felt betrayed, disappointed and angry by her presence.

Discussion

How do you think Leah felt at this stage in this “arranged” marriage?

We have all had those times in our lives when somebody says verbally or through their actions: “Oh no it’s just you!” or, “Oh no, not you!” Share about similar experiences from your past and how this made you feel?

 

  1. Leah’s Pain and Hope

Read Genesis 29: 26-30

In seven days you can have Rachel who was still the chosen one. Consider the kind of turmoil Leah must have been going through, knowing that her husband cannot wait for the honeymoon to be over, so that he can be united with his true love. Perhaps she had hoped that somehow during that week Jacob would fall in love with her the same way he had with Rachel. This was not to be and she must soon have realized she was destined to be trapped in a marriage competing for her husband’s affection with all the cards stacked against her. Her only hope seems to be in the babies brought into the world.

Discussion (Read Genesis 29:31-35)

What do you notice that is significant about the names she gives her sons? (use footnotes in bible)

Do you notice any similarities with what happened to Hagar (Sunday Message) when the Angel spoke to her in the desert?

Who would the offspring of Judah and Levi become?

Talk about some of the joy and pain of raising children? (or challenges/joys of singleness)

 

  1. Restored in His Presence

     Read John 20:10 – 18

Reflecting on the Sunday message, discuss together what the question, “Woman, why are you crying? enabled        Mary to do? (a similar question enabled Hagar and Elijah to do the same)

Talk about family challenges where you have experienced the Presence of the God who “sees” you?

How does the Presence of Jesus help transform our tears into worship? Spend time in prayer asking God to       restore your hope.