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She Steals Her Father's Household Idols
Rachel actions indicates that during this moment of great strife and uncertainty, she leaned towards her own understanding, instead of leaning on a "God" that she knew hardly nothing about. (Bible Study Online Article Covers : Genesis 31:19)
In the last article we'd discovered that the business relationship between Laban and Jacob had begun to go sour. And the reason why, dealt with the fact that during the past six years, Jacob had become very prosperous with his flock, while Laban's flocks had stayed stagnate.
And because of this, Laban and his sons had became very envious of Jacob.
Notice how the Sacred Record points out, what Laban's sons had spoken between themselves, when it came to their displeasure of Jacob and his new established wealth:
"Now Jacob heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying, 'Jacob has taken away all that was our father’s, and from what was our father’s he has acquired all this wealth.'" -- (Genesis 31:1)
But when it came to Laban, he wouldn't say much. But his attitude and actions towards Jacob had sent a clear signal? For they'd showed, that he was no longer happy with the current business arrangement, that he had with Jacob.
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Jacob Knew That Things Were Different?
Understand that Laban's attitude change was so drastic, that Jacob would begin to take notice, when it came to the jealous behavior of his in-laws. And because of their behavior change, Jacob had become deeply concerned, and so therefore, he decided to bring the matter up before his two wives Rachel and Leah:
"I see that your father's attitude towards me is not what it was before, but the God of my father has been with me. You know that I've worked for your father with all of my strength, yet your father has cheated me by changing my wages often. However, God has not allowed him to harm me. If he said, 'The speckled ones will be your wages,' then all the flocks gave birth to speckled young; and if he said, 'The streaked ones will be your wages,' then all the flocks bore streaked young. So God has taken away your father's livestock and has given them to me." -- Genesis 31:5-9
Now after hearing all that Jacob had to say, the two women would find themselves in agreement with their husband. For they too, had taken notice of their father's behavior, not just towards Jacob, but towards them as well. And it would be for these reasons, that they'd decided it was time for them to leave their father's household and head out to Canaan -- which was Jacob's homeland.
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Rachel Steals Her Father's Idols?
Now if you don't mind, I would like to briefly touch on the crucial event that takes place, while Jacob and his family were packing their things and readying themselves for their journey. Know that this event, deals with Rachel stealing her father's "household gods" while he was away shearing his sheep. Now personally I find this interesting, being that Rachel's husband (Jacob) believed in, and had a close relationship with the Most High.
And this is why I find myself wondering: "Why would you still your father's "household gods" -- when you know about, and you're already serving the One True God?" Now I'm asking the question, because normally when this account his preached and taught, Rachel gets ridiculed for stealing her father's idols. But upon closer review, something should really be considered, before we decide to cast judgment upon Rachel?
First off, we have to understand that at this point from within the Sacred Record -- God was only personally communicating with one person, and that person was Jacob. Now, the things that Rachel and Leah knew, when it came to the Master Creator -- would come from the limited information, that their husband had personally shared with them.
Also consider the fact, that Rachel and Leah didn't know God in a personal way like Jacob did, so they still had the tendency to lean to their own understanding -- for that's all they knew. Also keep in mind, that Rachel had acted on her own when she took her father's "household idols." For Jacob didn't know of Rachel's intended plans, or actions.
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Now let's take a look at something else... Depending on the translation you're reading, you'll find that some Bible translations refer to the mentioned "teraphim" or "idols" as: images, manifest objects, statues, talismans or Penates (Roman deities known as "the inner ones"). Now keep in mind, that the word "teraphim" is also associated with having a meaning that refers to "disgraceful things."
The "teraphim" are also believed to be little small statues, that were made in the shape of men. Now these statues, would be worshiped as some type of "subordinate god" -- in which the worshiper thought that these statues would provide protection for their family. Now keep in mind, that when it came to the fallout between Jacob and Rachel's father and brothers, it shouldn't surprise us, that Rachel took these "household idols" thinking that they would protect them in some kind of way when it came to her father.
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Now I also want to point out, that it's also presumed, that the worshiper would look to these "household idols" as being some type of oracle? Know that these "oracular practices" that the worshiper would indulge in, would consist with one consulting with the "teraphim" when it came to future events. Now this would also explain another reason, as to why Rachel would take the idols? And with her beliefs and teachings, when it came to the "teraphim" -- she could have believed that by taking them, would have perhaps, prevented her father from consulting with the idols, when it came to him trying to find out about their whereabouts.
Nonetheless, Rachel actions indicates, that during this moment of great strife and uncertainty, she leaned towards her own understanding, instead of leaning on a "God" that she knew hardly nothing about. Keep in mind, that she hadn't at this point in her life, developed the faith and trust that's needed, when it came to leaning on the Most High God. But to her credit, how could she? For she didn't know God personally like her husband did.
In the next Bible Study Online Article:
In the next article we will take a look at the one mistake that Jacob made during his twenty year ordeal with Laban. Know that Jacob trusted and had faith and he knew God. But could his mistake have been that he limited his faith and didn't trust God all the way?
May God blessings be upon you, and thank you for your support
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