Monday, December 11, 2017

A child is born 11: Rachel gives birth to Joseph

Then God remembered Rachel, and God heeded her and opened her womb. She conceived and bore a son, and said, ‘God has taken away my reproach’ and she named him Joseph, saying, ‘May the Lord add to me another son!’

At long last, Rachel’s dream comes true. She bears a son to Jacob. This son will turn out to be immensely significant in the story of the Jewish people. This is Joseph, who will one day be sold into slavery by his brothers. Joseph will end up in Egypt, where he will rise to be a powerful official of the Pharaoh. (Genesis 37-45)  Because of him, the whole family will eventually settle in Egypt, and will remain there for 400 years, before Moses leads them back to the Promised Land of Canaan.

But all this is in the future. All Rachel cares about is that, finally, her ‘reproach’ has been taken away. The stigma she suffered as a childless woman has gone.

·         The writer of Genesis says that God “remembered” Rachel and “heeded her”. How do you feel about this view of God? Have you ever felt that God had forgotten you, as Rachel seems to have done?

·         Think about children you have watched grow up. Could you have imagined when they were young what they might grow up to be and do?

·         Every person is a gift of God to the world. Give thanks for someone you are particularly glad was born, and give thanks too for the gift of your own life.

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