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What Is Your “Rachel?” (Part I.)

imagesWE ARE GOING TO DO ONE MORE TWO PART LOVE STORY — ANOTHER LOVE STORY THAT REALLY POINTS TO JESUS.

THEN I HAVE A NEW EXCITING ADVENTURE FOR MID-SEPTEMBER WHICH I’LL BE TELLING YOU ABOUT.

I HAVE A DEEP GROUP OF WOMEN HERE, AND GOD IS WORKING IN YOUR LIVES. I PRAY SOME WILL JOIN YOU FOR THIS, BUT ALSO WHEN WE BEGIN THE NEW ADVENTURE. THIS LOVE STORY CAN TEACH YOU SO MUCH. I’M PRAYING FOR YOU.

JACOB ADORING RACHEL

What do you think you need to be happy? What is your “Rachel?”

Our hearts, John Calvin said, are “idol-making factories.” Instead of worshiping the One who is beautiful beyond description, who will never leave us or forsake us, who laid down His life to rescue us, we worship the things He made, thinking they will fulfill us. We don’t really believe He can fulfill us.

But for those rare individuals who learn that He alone is worthy of worship and pour their hearts into Him, they also find they become thankful for the people and things He has made, giving them grace for their weaknesses, and not expecting them to be everything to them.

Let’s start with Jacob. We know he’s on the run after cheating his brother and father. What I’d like you to do first is find evidence that he was absolutely obsessed with Rachel. (Remember, we can be exactly the same way, seeing someone as being like a god or a goddess, making them what only God can be.)

Read all of Genesis 29 as an overview, asking God to quicken you.

1. Read Genesis 29:7-11 and find any evidence you can of the beginnings of his obsession.

2. In Genesis 29:18-27, How does Jacob “give away” his hand to Laban the cheat? How do you see Jacob’s heart for Rachel?

3. Have you ever been obsessed with someone like this — a lover, friend, or child? How did God show you that that person could not hold that kind of worship?

4. Falling in love and marrying is a gift from God — but no man or woman can ever be what only God can be. But if our heart is right with God, if we are adoring Him, then we can likewise be thankful and contented with a spouse (or friend, or child) who is a sinner and give him or her grace. One of the truths we can learn from the parallel that the Bible makes between marriage and our relationship with the Lord is to adore the Lord — the kind of adoration that happens when you first fall in love with a man, or even, if I may be so bold, the kind of adoration that might happen in the marriage bed — where you adore every part of a person, as you see in The Song of Songs.

SPEND SOME TIME ADORING THE LORD. USE MUSIC, PSALMS SUCH AS PSALMS 96 THROUGH 1OO. USE SONG OF SONGS 2:8-17 — AND SING OR TELL HIM WHY HE IS SO BEAUTIFUL TO YOU. GIVE THIS TO HIM. WERE YOU ‘QUICKENED’ TO ADORE DURING THIS TIME? CAN YOU SHARE SOMETHING ABOUT IT?

Jacob thought if he had Rachel, life would be complete. Tim Keller says that Jacob dreamed of apocalyptic sex with Rachel. If only he could have Rachel…

Leah thought if she had Jacob’s love, her life would be complete. If only she could have Jacob’s love…

Rachel thought if she had Jacob’s children, her life would be complete. If only she could have Jacob’s children…

Our hearts are idol-making factories.

5. What contrast is made between Leah and Rachel in Genesis 29:17. How can you tell that the writer wasn’t just saying that Leah didn’t see too well?

6. In a world that worships physical beauty, why might not having it be a gift?

7. Can you see the beauty in individuals who are not physically beautiful? If so, share. If not, pray.

8. Read Isaiah 53:2-3. What do you learn about the Lord here and His physical beauty?

This is when Jesus was on the cross. Spend some time in Isaiah 53 worshiping Him, asking Him to change your heart to worship Him, to care about the things He cares about, instead of the things the world cares about.

9. There is so much more about Rachel and Leah and our idol-making factories. We’ll look at that next week. But for now, let me ask you: “What is your Rachel?” What do you tend to worship instead of the Lord? Ask the Lord to help you with this — to be thankful, yet not a worshiper of this “Rachel?” I’d also love some testimonies here.

10. What did you learn that is impacting you and why?

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78 comments

  1. Apocalyptic sex…I had to go back and read that again to make sure I got it right! Too funny!!

  2. 1. Read Genesis 29:7-11 and find any evidence you can of the beginnings of his obsession.

    In v.8 Jacob is told by the shepherds that all the flocks cannot be watered until everyone brings their cattle and sheep to the well and the stone is rolled away by (my estimation) those in charge. Well, (no pun intended) as soon as Rachel arrives, Jacob breaks all the rules and rolls the stone away from the well so she can water her father’s sheep ahead of everyone else. He kissed her and then he introduced himself as a relative.

    2.In Genesis 29:18-27, how does Jacob “give away” his hand to Laban the cheat?

    Somewhere between the lines in vv.12-17, Jacob must have asked his uncle for a job and began considering how he could ask for Rachel’s hand in marriage. Laban agrees to give Jacob a job and they discuss wages. Jacob gives Laban free labor for seven years just so he can marry (possess) Rachel.

    How do you see Jacob’s heart for Rachel?

    I’ve been wondering if, when Jacob (since he was mama’s boy) first saw Rachel, she reminded him of his mother Rebekah. One look, he was hooked and wanted what he saw. He needed a woman to take care of him now that he no longer had his mother to tend to him.

    3. Have you ever been obsessed with someone like this-a lover, friend, or child?

    I did not know it at the time but when I first saw my ex I became ‘obsessed’ with him. He walked through the front door of the convenience store I was working and as soon as I saw him I liked what I saw. The funny thing is he never looked up or spoke as he was paying for his coffee but I was scoping him out. Not long after that I quit my job there (because the lottery had been passed and I didn’t want to sell lottery tickets) and went to work at a dance shoe company. Guess who also worked there? My new obsession. Every time he came on my side of the building to sharpen his tools I watched him. When I was promoted to supervisor and began walking around each department I found out later he began scoping me out. We were two people obsessed with one another and as we all know it proved to be a dangerous combination. This particular study seems tailor made for me.

    How did God show you that the person could not hold that kind of worship?

    It was back in Jan 2008 when I participated in Midday Connections online study of Dee’s Woman of Moderation study that I first heard of relational idolatry. Over a period of several months God showed me that I had made my husband and my marriage my idols. As I’ve shared before there came a point when I turned from my idols and asked the Living God for help with my difficult circumstances. There was also a time I didn’t like sharing a friend with another friend. I would really get jealous if they talked to one another even if I was included in the coversation. I thank God for putting me on the path of repentance in that area. I was a real mess two and half years ago.

    1. I like what you said, Tammy, about turning from your idols to the LIVING GOD for help. How I need to hear that and remember that every single day!

  3. 1. Read Genesis 29:7-11 and find any evidence you can of the beginnings of his obsession.

    He watered her flock, kissed her and wept in her presence.

    2. In Genesis 29:187, How does Jacob “give away” his hand to Laban the cheat? How do you see Jacob’s heart for Rachel?

    Jacob asks to marry Rachel before Leah, which was against tradition. He also is willing to work for Laban for seven more years to obtain marriage to Rachel. Verse 20 says that the seven years he worked felt like only a few days because of his love.

    3. Have you ever been obsessed with someone like this — a lover, friend, or child? How did God show you that that person could not hold that kind of worship?

    I have obsessed on relationships, personal success and my own plans and put them before God. 🙁 He showed me that they are poor substitutes by the growing discontent in my heart during those times. Nothing was ever enough, because all is nothing without God.

  4. 1. Read Genesis 29:7-11 and find any evidence you can of the beginnings of his obsession.

    Back in verse 2, it says that the stone on the mouth of the well was large. In verse 8 it says “they” roll the stone from the mouth of the well. So I’m guessing it was a job for more than one person because of the size and weight of the stone.
    But when Jacob lays eyes on Rachel, in verse 10, Jacob rolled the stone from the well. Perhaps he was eager to impress Rachel with his manly strength?! And then he waters her flock for her. He is eager to be a gentleman.
    He then kisses her and weeps.

    2. In Genesis 29:18-27, how does Jacob “give away” his hand to Laban the cheat? How do you see Jacob’s heart for Rachel?

    Laban is an opportunist and takes advantage of Jacob. He sees Jacob’s eagerness and willingness to do anything for the hand of Rachel in marriage; he says that he will work 7 years for Laban for the “wages” of Rachel.
    Interesting that in verse 26, Laban informs Jacob that it is not the practice there to marry off the younger before the first born daughter. Seems he could have let Jacob know that at the outset! I think Laban knew Jacob would not walk away, that he would stay and do whatever Laban required of him to get Rachel.

    I see Jacob’s heart for Rachel in verse 18, “Now Jacob loved Rachel”, and his willingness to serve Laban for 7 years.
    In verse 20 it says that those 7 years seemed but a few days to Jacob, because of his love for Rachel.
    Even after being deceived, he is willing to fulfill his duty to Leah and serve yet another 7 years for Rachel.

    3. Have you ever been obsessed with someone like this – a lover, friend, or child? How did God show you that that person could not hold that kind of worship?

    Yes, I have. Many years ago, my husband and I became friends with another couple. Our marriage was difficult, and this friend, this other man, seemed to me everything my husband was not. In my mind, he was the kind of man I should have married. I never, ever, made my feelings known, but I lived for all the times we got together with them. There were times I felt I was in love with him.
    I then went through a very difficult time which was a very dark time for me. I was sick, physically, and mentally very, very depressed. Spiritually I felt desperate. It was just an awful, bleak time. I can remember wishing I would just die. One night, my husband had taken my two children on a camping trip, and I was home alone. I was praying to God, and I asked Him “Why can’t I just be happy like I was a year ago at this time?”
    And I believe I heard from God. Not an audible voice, but immediately a question came into my mind and it was “And what were you so happy about?” And I realized that the source of my happiness over the past year was this other man, and I felt confronted by my sin and God showed me that it was spiritual adultery, too (or idolatry).
    Here I was, alone, not feeling well, and who was there to help me? Only God. I saw that only God could be with me and help me. But I had replaced God with this other man, making him the source of all my affections and happiness, and it was all a big lie.
    That night I repented. I truly believe, looking back, that God allowed me to fall apart to get my attention and that He loved me enough to show me my sin and keep my from going further down the wrong path. A few weeks after that, the friendship with that other couple just kind of fizzled out. Nothing happened, but we just kind of went our own ways. I believe God brought that about. Because for a while, I was dumb enough to believe that now that I knew my sin, I could still handle the friendship. God knew better!

    1. Susan I appreciate you sharing your experience. I went through the same thing except in my case everyone could see I was acting inappropriately and no one confronted me. God handled me in his own way and like you I thought I could handle the situation. I had to have another wake up call from God and that time I got the point.

    2. Susan, Thanks for this testimony and for bringing God glory with it! I admire your vulnerability and I am sure God is pleased with how you lifted him up here.

  5. 4. Falling in love and marrying is a gift from God – but no man or woman can ever be what only God can be. But if our heart is right with God, if we are adoring Him, then we can likewise be thankful and contented with a spouse (or friend, or child) who is a sinner and give him or her grace.

    This is alot of wisdom to take in – how I can live with my husband and my children and other relatives and friends, and give them grace, which I can only do if I am not expecting them to be gods to me. It seems I have to learn this over and over again, that I must take my needs to the one and only true God, because when I expect others to do for me what only He can do, I end up angered, frustrated, disappointed, hurt, and often push away the very people I am to love.

    I never thought of adoring the Lord in the same way as the adoration one has when you are first falling in love with a man. Looking forward to using these thoughts and the Psalms to spend some time in adoration of Jesus.

  6. Wheyn Joseph first saw Rachel he was probably enchanted by her beauty. He was also homesick, he had to flee from Esau, his brother, and he was obviously much attached to his mother. He cried because he was so deeply moved. Rachel must have seemed like a lovely reminder of his home. She easily became the object of his adoration.

    Laban saw how taken Joseph was with his daughter Rachel when he asked for her hand in marriage when what Laban had offered him was simply to pay for his work. When Laban saw this he knew he could manipulate Joseph through his love for Rachel.If seven years seemed like a brief time to him than he must have been obsessed with her.

    There are times in my life when I was obsessed with my husband, my children, and myself. But you really have no one but God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit who dwells within you. No one can carry the heavy burden of being someones obsession except God because He is always going to be there and He loves us so deeply and wants what is right for us.

  7. Sorry, I kept calling Jacob ‘Joseph’. I taught this in Sunday School last fall and had the exact same problem. I promise I know the difference.

  8. 1. Read Genesis 29:7-11 and find any evidence you can of the beginnings of his obsession.

    * In verse 6 Jacob saw Rachel for the first time as she was coming with Laban’s sheep, and in verse 7 it seems Jacob is in a hurry for them to water the sheep and leave. Perhaps so he can be alone with Rachel. That was a bit selfish of him revealing the start of his obsession with her. When one is obsessed they will put people out and do anything to get the object of their desire. Why is he so hard pressed to go after Rachel? He obviously hasn’t dealt with the sin of deceiving his father and brother which stemmed from an obsession to obtain the birth right. Upon his first encounter with Rachel his heart is still in a deceptive state with God not being the center of his affections. I think he has found that the ‘birth right’ didn’t fulfill him because he is on the run now and so he has moved on to Rachel.

    *Verse 9 Susan made a great observation.. instead of several people moving the stone Jacob did by himself. This shows his obsession for her again, he was willing to do anything to get the one of his affections.

    1. Rebecca – That’s what jumped out at me this time, too – that he wanted to the other men to leave.

      The other thing that struck me was that not only did he move the stone by himself, but HE watered her sheep. He did her job. Can’t you just hear him? “Oh, no, let me do that for you. You just sit there.” And can you imagine Rachel would have been flattered for a man to offer that. Except that when someone does that to you all the time, you begin to feel incompetent and feel like you need that other person and can’t do anything without them. So the one obsessed can trap the other person in a way.

      1. very good observation–“the tender trap”

      2. Susan, YES!!! I can hear him trying to impress and woo her albeit a bit deceptively.. I totally missed this the last time I studied this passage.

  9. 2. In Genesis 29:18-27, How does Jacob “give away” his hand to Laban the cheat? How do you see Jacob’s heart for Rachel?

    * Perhaps Jacob was so obsessed with her he wasn’t thinking, he was being foolish not wise. He didn’t think about their marrying customs or even think to ask when he made the deal with Laban. He was willing to work for 7 years without asking any questions or finding out any information from Laban. This revealed that he was willing to do anything for her, even if Laban cheated him by giving him Leah he knew Jacob would continue to work for him in order to get Rachel.

    * He loved her.. I wonder since he didn’t know her if he ‘really’ loved her or if it was for her looks? When scripture talks about Jacob loving her I don’t know the original word in that context. Is it Phileo or Eros or Agape? I am not sure because the focus seems to be on her beauty. Of course after they get married it is shown throughout scripture that he loves her more than Leah.

    1. Good Morning Everyone.
      The Hebrew word used in Genesis 29:18 for loved is ahab/aheb (wish I could do the accent marks). it means to have affection for sexually or otherwise. So to answer Rebecca’s question I would say Jacob’s love was an erotic love.
      I was reading the bios of Leah and Rachel in Lockyer’s All the Women of the Bible last night. What a contrast of two sisters. All I’m going to say right now about what I read is Leah got a greater blessing.

      1. Tammy, Thanks! That helps. 🙂

      2. Tammy, you always come through with such good background information!

  10. Tammy, I totally agree with you about Leah. Life was difficult for her but she came to submission to the Lord and that is THE blessing. Rachel died in bitterness. All this can be seen in the names they chose for their sons.

    1. Read Genesis 29:7-11 and find any evidence you can of the beginnings of his obsession. I agree with what has already been said about the fact that Jacob overstepped his bounds in his excitement when he rolled the stone away from the well. If it normally took several men to move it he must have had some adrenaline pumping. Verse 10 stands out to me because not only does it mention Jacob’s first sight of Rachel but also her father’s sheep. I think at this point he was also coveting Laban’s wealth. There might have been some dollar signs in those stars in his eyes. All of his scheming to obtain Esau’s birthright left him alone on the road with only what he could carry. Not seeing that he carried the birthright to a nation beloved of God, he saw sheep and coveted. I think there is a lesson here for me.

    2. In Genesis 29:18-27, How does Jacob “give away” his hand to Laban the cheat? How do you see Jacob’s heart for Rachel? Jacob let his heart lead him without stopping to think about the deal he was making or the character of the one he was dealing with. He did not stop to negotiate but seems to have blurted out the first thing that came to his mind. He needed a job and he wanted Rachel. His heart for Rachel is seen in how fast the time of waiting and working went by. It is also seen in his disappointment in the morning when he finds Leah. It seems ironic that he did not know this until daylight. Whatever fault was found in her was unnoticed because of his love but not at all acceptable in one that he did not love. Might that be the fault in obsession. It seems like it must be a fine line between love and obsession. I guess that might be where we are going.

  11. 5. What contrast is made between Leah and Rachel in Genesis 29:17?

    The contrast is made between their looks.

    How can you tell that the writer wasn’t just saying that Leah didn’t see too well?

    I see the key to the bias of the writer to be the words ‘well favoured’ (KJV term) Moses seems to be saying “Leah, yeah she looks okay, but her sister Rachel is quite a beauty to behold”.

  12. 4. I like to spend time with God at night before I go to sleep because it’s dark and peaceful without any distractions. Last night, with this study on my mind, I really enjoyed just adoring Who He Is… He is more entrancing and beautiful than any worldly. I could really feel His presence with me in a special way.

    5. Since Leah’s weak eyes were compared to Rachel’s physical beauty, I assume the writer meant Leah wasn’t as good looking as her sister Rachel.

    6. In a world that worships physical beauty, why might not having it be a gift?

    Some people do not see past physical beauty, so those without it may be taken more seriously or seen for who they are on the inside.

    7. Can you see the beauty in individuals who are not physically beautiful? If so, share. If not, pray.

    Yes, especially in Christians where the Lord shines through their physical state. When someone loves God, it shows. Their beauty can come from an expression of compassion in their eyes, the way a smile lights up a room or tenderness in their voices, so many ways.

    8. Read Isaiah 53:2-3. What do you learn about the Lord here and His physical beauty?

    “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”

    We also read that he was a man of sorrows, from whom people hid their faces, despised and rejected.

    This is when Jesus was on the cross. Spend some time in Isaiah 53 worshiping Him, asking Him to change your heart to worship Him, to care about the things He cares about, instead of the things the world cares about.

    9. There is so much more about Rachel and Leah and our idol-making factories. We’ll look at that next week. But for now, let me ask you: “What is your Rachel?” What do you tend to worship instead of the Lord? Ask the Lord to help you with this — to be thankful, yet not a worshiper of this “Rachel?” I’d also love some testimonies here.

    As I wrote in an earlier answer, my Rachel has been my own ideas of how life should be and what I have accomplished or can accomplished. In short, it’s been human strength, not God’s will. I see this changing (more slowly than I would like) but I still battle it. I am so glad that God is patient with me. I take special encouragement from the passages in Hosea we discussed… God doesn’t desire to get back at me when I slip but to win me back with His love. Wow!

    10. What did you learn that is impacting you and why?

    How much God loves me and how high above all our Rachels He will always be is what will stay with me from this week.

    1. Your sharing about your time with the Lord at night was really beautiful, Tracy.

  13. I experienced a ‘kiss’ from the Lord this morning. I wanted to share it and I think it may even go with question 4. I like to spend time with the Lord early in the morning when everyone is asleep. The problem is I have such difficulty staying awake. I like to start with an attribute of the Lord and praise Him just for that. Now remember, I am very sleepy. I get out my list and decide I want to remember that He is sovereign and I pick Matthew 10:29-31. As I am looking it up I envision the Lord coming to me in excitement that He had something to show me. He took both of my hands to lead me to see something wonderful sort of like the picture of Jacob but different in that He was simply loving me and delighted to show me something. I read: Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. But even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Don’t be afraid therefore, you are worth more than many sparrows.

    I am very blessed by everyone’s honesty in sharing and answering the questions. I will have to come back to #3 because I have to go to bed now. I have very early days at work for the next 2 days. Then plan to visit my sister for the weekend. Love you all.

  14. 5. Leah had weak eyes but Rachel was lovely in form and beautiful certainly implies that Jacob was only looking at the outside and not concerned with the character of either sister.

    6. A person who is physically beautiful might wonder if people really love them because of who they are rather than what they look like. Also sometimes beauty can trick the one who possesses it. If you are so beautiful on the outside you might feel you do not need to develop other qualities and beauty of form and feature can really be quite fleeting. As you age you might than discover that all you ever had was a beautiful face and body covering a vast emptiness within.

    7.Yes, I can see beauty in those whose physical appearance might not be viewed by others as beautiful. I especially have had clients who were anything but physically beautiful but after awhile their inner beauty makes them really beautiful to me. Also I think most of us see the people we love as beautiful even though they might not be viewed by the world as beautiful.Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.

  15. 3. Have you ever been obsessed with someone like this — a lover, friend, or child? How did God show you that that person could not hold that kind of worship?

    * I am really appreciating everyone’s answers so far! I have a sweet little 6 year old on my lap right now at 4:55 a.m. who had a bad dream, so I won’t have as much time as I type this morning. It’s kind of hard to type. 🙂

    * For me it is my husband. Putting him on a pedestal as spiritual leader which started the first time we were officially dating which was 13-14 years ago. I think it was being obsessed with the idea that he was going to be the perfect spiritual leader so I think I idolized that part of him.

    After we married we entered a season where he was working to provide and couldn’t be available at church to serve or think about going on a missions trip, which was a huge dissapointment to me. The last church we went to was strong in missions and I longed to go with our whole family.

    We are still in that working season but back then I went through a time of anger and it effected my affections for Jesus.

    I did the typical ‘ignore’ treatment. :0) I really deceived myself thinking that by not showing Jesus my affections like I had before that somehow he would tell me He was wrong and I was right and rescue me. That is when my desert time started. I am sorry, but I have to laugh because that is so ridiculous, man my heart can really deceive me.

    Rescue didn’t come the way I wanted it to. Jesus didn’t fix our situation because it was me He was whispering to during this never ending trial. He did rescue me but in a much, much better way.

    I ended up putting Jesus back on the throne, but prior to this God took me through several studies as he began the process of rescuing me from myself. Dee’s study online here has catapulted my heart even closer to Jesus as I am going a step deeper into adoration of Him.. real adoration. I am more in love with Jesus and deeply closer to Him than I was when I came to know Him and He had me on fire. I want to stay in this place or go deeper.

    God is helping me put my husband in the right place and as a result my husband is being shown more grace than before. This is taking time though and while I know I won’t ‘arrive’ I pray my love story with Jesus will only grow deeper.

    I really want to be this person Dee mentioned: “But for those rare individuals who learn that He alone is worthy of worship and pour their hearts into Him, they also find they become thankful for the people and things He has made, giving them grace for their weaknesses, and not expecting them to be everything to them.”

  16. This is what I tried to edit in but ran out of time:

    I have to include this, that I do know that my heart is deceptive and that this idol maker can easily go back to making idols if I don’t have my armor on.. it is always at the back door knocking I don’t want to open that door again, but I know it can happen.

  17. 6. In a world that worships physical beauty, why might not having it be a gift?

    A person who is not physically beautiful may avoid the pit of self-obsession. The less attractive person, in the long run, is more blessed because the inner talents and qualities have been developed and most likely, she has learned to be considerate of others and is so secure she doesn’t care what others think about her visage. On the other hand, a self-obsessed person is only concerned with projecting a perfected image and isolates herself from authentic relationships.

  18. My answer to question 4 has propelled me to new heights. I chose to read Song of Solomon 2:8-17 yesterday morning and as soon as I began reading the scripture out loud the tears started to flow because I realized Jesus was speaking directly to me. Later in the day I received a Facebook message from Chris Fabry site inviting me (and everyone) to spend the next forty days praying and meditating Phillippians 2:1-11. God’s timing is breathtaking.

    I have something I just have to share with everyone. I was reading Daniel chapter 1 this morning and noticed that he, Hananiah aka Shadrach, Mishael aka Mehsach, and Azariah aka Abednego are all from the tribe of JUDAH-LEAH’S BOY. As we like to say here on the blog from time to time: “HOW COOL IS THAT?” :0)

    1. Now that is pretty cool! Wow! 🙂

  19. 3. I was in love with a young man when I was in high school. When I remember my feelings I know it was an obsession. He turned out to be somewhat abusive and I finally came to the place where I had had enough. He had longish hair and a beard and I know that part of the attraction was that his looks were similar to pictures of Jesus which finally makes sense to me. I had been saved as a child but had not continued to walk with the Lord in middle and high school. He might have looked like Jesus but did not stand in very well.

    After I was married I was flattered by a man that I worked with. I had been sort of entertaining myself with this until one day I rejected him in my mind. I don’t remember what my thoughts were but I had made a decision. What happened after I will never forget. It was like the sun came out deliciously warm on a cold and dreary day and I knew the Lord’s pleasure. From then on I saw that man in a totally different way and I have never since been tempted in this way.

    The last thing I have to say in this category is in relation to the church. Pastors take an awful amount of heat. When God really uses them and they preach sermons that thrill us and speak directly to our hearts we can get spoiled by that. I did. It is a piece of the Lord presented to us every Sunday and even though I tried to be very careful to remember that the Holy Spirit is who I was seeing, I became very hurt, disillusioned and even angry when I saw that things were not as they should be. I and possibly others in the church had put our senior pastor and leadership on a pedestal and they were happy to occupy that place. Sinful on all of our counts but I should not be surprised because the church is no more perfect than people. I am sorry to say that I was guilty of spiritual pride over having a talented pastor and disillusioned when I found fault in him.

    1. Good sharing, Anne. Thank you, too, for your honesty here. I like how you described that you made a decision in your mind to reject this man. I have heard sermons on how the devil’s battlefield is our mind, and how often when thoughts take root, actions are soon to follow. You shot the arrow right back at him with that decision.

      Something that has always stuck with me since I heard Luci Swindoll say in a taped message that God is a God of reality. I had years ago retreated into fantasy to escape my perception of an unhappy marriage. Now I remind myself that He will meet me in the reality of my situation, but He will not meet me in a fantasy world.

      1. This is profound. God will not meet us in the world of fantasy. I tend to go there too.

        1. You are right, that is a profound statement. I am so glad that God is the God of reality because though reality is hard it is where we exist most of the time. Fantasy is tricky, it offers an escape but it can also be a trap.

  20. 7. I think it would be easier to count the people who are beautiful outside and in. They are rarer but I have known some. I knew a woman who’s son-in-law had been killed on 9-11. Her daughter had been pregnant with her second child at the time. She was not what you would call strikingly beautiful but what a heart she had and she was only a nominal Christian from what I could tell. She was a nurse I worked with in recovery. Sometimes patients can wake up very scared and she could comfort them like no one I had ever seen.

    I just thought of another nurse like that and she was abused as a child and a cutter. She has many problems and difficulties but I can see that beauty in her. Many women who have been through such things become hard and bitter but she does not seem to be that way. She is angry at God though.

    Gloria is beautiful inside though she has been crippled by arthritis over the years. I saw her today. She is going home tomorrow but the tumor has spread to her brain she told me today. Thank you all for praying for her. Please continue as you feel led. I would love prayer that I would be able to minister to her in the way that will bless her.

  21. Oops! Missed 5 and 6.

    5. I agree that Moses might not have been talking about Leah’s eyesight because he was not talking about Rachel’s eyes. I think something could be lost in the translation or that Leah may have truly had red, watery eyes and that was the thing people noticed. Her sight may have been poor causing her to squint all the time to see.

    6. In a world that worships physical beauty, why might not having it be a gift? When someone is beautiful on the outside many times everything comes to them easily. Because the world worships beauty and success, people in possession of these find the world at their doorstep. They tend not to have to undergo the trials that form character. While those trials can cause scars for life they also develop the heart. I was talking to a coworker today who told me about how her son who graduated high school last year was treated horribly because of a deformity of his ears. I lamented with her about how he had been hurt and fortunately had the presence of mind to ask if he had a tender heart and she said ‘Oh yes’ and continued to tell me about him. It cost her quite a bit as a single parent but she was able to get corrective surgery for him.

  22. 7. Yes, I see beauty in those who are not physically beautiful. I am thinking of Mary Frances, a retired children’s minister, who never married and took care of her mentally disabled sister until she had to put her in a home that could provide more care. Everytime I have seen her over the years she always has a smile and is very pleasant to be around. I didn’t know for a long time the responsibility she had in caring for her sister. She never saw her sister as a burden.

  23. 5. What contrast is made between Leah and Rachel in Genesis 29:17? How can you tell that the writer wasn’t just saying Leah couldn’t see too well?

    I looked up the passage in different translations, and it seems like saying Leah has a nice personality, but Rachel is gorgeous!

    6. In a world that worhips physical beauty, why might not having it be a gift?

    Because you wouldn’t be seen as an “object”. And I like Tammy’s thoughts about being able to avoid self-obsession.

    7. Can you see the beauty in individuals who are not physically beautiful? If so, share; if not, pray.

    Our pastor once did a sermon on 2 Corinthians 5:16, which says, “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.” He talked about how we often size each other up, as in looks, clothing, what kind of car someone drives, etc… But that is the world’s way of looking at people, not God’s way.
    I do think it is natural though to attribute good looking people with good qualities and to favor them, as when Samuel looked over the sons of Jesse and thought he knew which one God had chosen as the next king based on his appearance. But God told Samuel that He looks at the heart, not the outward appearance.
    I have found women who are walking very closely with the Lord to be very beautiful, regardless of what they look like on the outside.

    8. Read Isaiah 53:2-3. What do you learn about the Lord here and His physical beauty?

    He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him,
    nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.

    Jesus did not have a regal, kingly appearance. It was not His outward appearance that made sinners flock to Him; it was His love, acceptance of them, His offer of forgiveness that drew them.

  24. First of all, that picture of Mia and Sadie is so adorable!! I have felt like Sadie looks before when people scream at me too!!

    1. Evidence of the beginning of Jacob’s obsession. Even tho the custom was to water the sheep when all the flocks were there, Jacob, seeing Rachel, was immediatly obsessed with her and moved the stone himself and watered her sheep so she did not have to wait. Jacob said he rolled back the stone because Rachel was his cousin, but we all figured it out…he was trying to impress her!

    2. Jacob gave away his hand to Laban by agreeing to work for him for 7 years if he could have Rachel as his wife. He should of thought of the custom to marry the oldest first but he was too obsessed and was tricked by Laban and had to work for him another 7 years to marry Rachel.
    I see Jacob’s heart for Rachel by the way he was so “in lust” for her to the point of obsession.

    3. Yes, I was obsessed with my previous husband. When we fell in love, we were more “in lust” with each other than in love. I didn’t recognize it at the time, because I was like Jacob, obsessed with him. But now I know the difference. I’m married to my best friend now and love him from my heart. Lust is kinda like a sexual obsession. God showed me that my husband then could not hold that kind of worship when the marriage started falling apart. I was letting him be my everything instead of God. Lust doesn’t last…it fades away. Only God will last.

    4. I’m working on adoring the Lord with music and praying the psalms and the song of songs. I’m reading all of Dee’s and Kathy’s books on falling in love with Jesus and they are helping me alot.

    5. The contrast between Leah and Rachel is that Leah had lovely eyes but Rachel was shapely and beautiful. I got that from the Living Bible! { Genesis 29:17} They say that men are visual! This proves it!

    6. Physical beauty can deceive a person into thinking they love the other person when they actually may be in lust or obsessed with them. You can be blinded by beauty.

    7. I see the beauty in people that love the Lord that may not be physically beautiful but thrill my heart when they talk about their love for Jesus. God’s beauty in those people shine through and through!

    I just wondered if anyone noticed that Jacob reaped what he sowed. He was deceived by Laban just as he deceived Esau.
    Will finish later…getting late!

  25. Isaiah 53:2-5 are some of my favorite verses in the Bible and have been since I was a child. Jesus did not come here in a beautiful form where people would be impressed by his physical appearance. Lucifer is more apt to appear to be physically beautiful. I don’t know what Jesus looked like but I imagine it was like the ‘common man’ since He was very God of ‘very God’ and ‘very man’ of ‘very man’. I also think He had great compassion and grief in His eyes. Jesus came to reach your heart not for admiration in the eyes of men.

  26. Yes Judy I think His eyes held so much. That is a wonderful point.

  27. 5. What contrast is made between Leah and Rachel in Genesis 29:17. How can you tell that the writer wasn’t just saying that Leah didn’t see too well?

    *By what he said about Rachel as he was contrasting them: “17 And Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful of form and face.” So he means her form-body and her face.

    6. In a world that worships physical beauty, why might not having it be a gift?

    * I think this has already been answered well and I agree with the answers. I might add that when one is born without physical beauty it is “easier” to not idolize beauty or idolize themselves, but there is no guarantee that it isn’t easier. They could end up obsessing on the fact that they aren’t beautiful therefore doing the same thing someone who is beautiful would do, focusing or obsessing on outward appearance rather than the heart allowing it to make them depressed. Then it would be very easy to think that it defines who they are just like a beautiful person would do.

    7. Can you see the beauty in individuals who are not physically beautiful? If so, share. If not, pray.

    * I like the “If not, pray” statement in this question. 🙂

    * yes I can but because I grew up having a brother who was burned from head to toe when he was six years old, with burns that almost killed him and then afterward terribly disfigured him, I was taught from a very young age to look at the inside first and that outward appearance isn’t important. Of course, my mother helped reinforce that in us.

    I think it is also important to see the beauty in people with disabilities who may not be typical mentally as well. I have to admit I didn’t see the beauty in them a long time ago, I just thought they were not fully together like they were missing something and having a conversation was awkward so I just avoided it. Boy did God show me I was wrong.

    After having my son with his disability, God shed a whole new light on these people for me and as a result I totally enjoy talking with them and He enables me to see the beauty in them as I converse with them now. I don’t care if the conversation gets awkward. I am sure you all know many at your church or in your neighborhood, both adults and children, and they are beautiful people and love to have people treat them like they would anyone else. 🙂

  28. Hi all! 🙂 My life is such right now, where I can’t always get back to this Bible study – but you ladies are awesome – you bless my life! Thank you!

    “Our hearts are idol-making factories.”
    What a great description of our hearts sometimes – thank you Dee!

    7. Can you see the beauty in individuals who are not physically beautiful? If so, share. If not, pray. I have seen more “beauty” in the not so “physically” beautiful than I have ever seen in the “physically” beautiful. There are those who posess both and they are “beautiful people” but beauty runs far deeper than just physical beauty. When I was newly saved, I met a woman, not so physically attractive, but there was something so magnetic about her, that others were just drawn to her. I never met anyone who cared so much about others than she did. She would witness to others, find opportunities to share Christ, and really just go out of her way to share Christ. For me, at that time, it was like seeing a living, breathing Christ – God used her in a mighty way to show me who He was, to speak into my life – to inspire me – even years later. The light and love of Jesus in us / in others can make us so beautiful – when we reflect His beauty! I’ve met others too, whether they are Christians or not, I do not know, but I do know what made them beautiful was giving themselves away – a characteristic of God!

  29. 9. There is so much more about Rachel and Leah and our idol-making factories. We’ll look at that next week. But for now, let me ask you: “What is your Rachel?” What do you tend to worship instead of the Lord? Ask the Lord to help you with this — to be thankful, yet not a worshiper of this “Rachel?” I’d also love some testimonies here.

    10. What did you learn that is impacting you and why?

    It’s a rainy day here, so I come back and read all your great responses and I think to myself I sure have had “Rachel’s” in my life. Sometimes, my “Rachel’s” have been other people, sometimes, my Rachel has been my self, my own strength and abilities, this is what the Lord has showed me recently. I think I shared here a while back, how in January, I was diagnosed with cancer. The beginning of February, I had surgery, for the removal of a large mass. I had to be in the hospital for 8 days, then I came out for a week, went for a follow up appt, and had fluid on my lungs, so had to go back into the hospital and have tubes re-inserted in my lungs(painful -yuk!), then while I was in the hospital, I caught mersa (I’m not sure I am spelling that right! 🙁 ). So, I had to spend 10 days in the hospital, and come home and give myself an IV for 8 weeks, then start chemo and radiation. And what I am here to say is God is awesome!!! What I have learned through this whole thing and I was reminded of it here is that when it comes right down to it – God is all that you need! He is the friend that sticks closer than a brother. Friends and loved ones are wonderful and God uses them to be sure to show you His love and care for you, and they are wonderful and beautiful, but Jesus is the only one who can walk with you, every moment, every step of the way. Your friends and your loved ones though they want the very best for you – there are times when they must let go of your hand, but there is one who will never let go of your hand. He deserves our worship, our praise, our adoration! He is the lover of our soul! Our friends and our loved ones are beautiful gifts that He gives and so much more!!

    1. Wow, thank you for sharing that with us. I remember you telling us about your cancer. God has really drawn you close to him through your pain and sufferng.

    2. Fellowsojourner,

      Thanks so much for sharing that wonderful testimony! You made my night! 🙂

    3. What you have shared is so very beautiful, thank you for posting it.

    4. Thank you for sharing your story with us. It was a blessing.

    5. Fellowsojourner
      Thank you for sharing your journey and wisdom with us.

  30. Fellowsojourner, it is great to hear from you. I’m so sorry for all that you have been through but as Joyce said I’m very glad for the nearness of the Lord during this time. I pray for an uncomplicated road to recovery now. That infection is called MRSA and the letters stand for the name of the germ and the antibiotic it is resistant to.

    I have been thinking some more about #7. When I first read it I thought of a young man I knew with Down’s Syndrome. He was delightful and I remember wondering at the audacity of anyone deciding that a child with Down’s should be aborted. I have a soap box for this because I hear it all the time in my work. What kind of quality of life does so and so have. Or here is the worst I have experienced. A patient in the hospital that weighs 400lbs. treated like they were less than human b because we were 100% sure that they went out last week and put on 300lbs just to make life miserable for us. Somebody stop me…! Here is my best example: a woman that I received post op weighing 400lbs and crying in pain. It took me forever to get her comfortable but when I did she was one of the nicest patients Iv’e had. She did anything she could to help herself, thereby helping me, and she had a husband and family who loved her! OK I’ll get down now.

    Now I remember something else I was thinking about inner beauty. It does not coexist with pride. I cant think of one example of a proud person being beautiful.

    1. Anne, great point about pride.

    2. Anne, I remember my Doctor wanted to do a test when I was pregnant to see if my baby (Kendra) was going to be normal. I said, why do it, because I wouldn’t do anything about it if the baby wasn’t normal. I’m with you, I think it’s God’s decision if they have quality of life or not, not our’s.

        1. Joyce, I agree with what Dee said.

    1. Dee, I have seen Il Divo sing this before on video and it just gives me chills when they start singing again after the bagpipe player is done! I love it!

      1. Dee, That was incredible and the fact that they did it in that Colosseum gave me chills.

    2. Beautiful beyond belief

  31. Hey ladies, I am having lunch and reading everyone’s responses. You all are ministering to me right now. I am coming back in the morning a.m. to finish up. My week has been extremely busy but it is a good kind of busy. I am so thankful for God’s provisions, and for the beauty he is showing me through the three children I am watching for before and after school care. I have the privilege of watching a boy with special needs and I am loving it. 🙂

    Looking forward to tomorrow and to reading more of you all sharing what God is showing you.

  32. I answered #9 and lost it when I went to watch the video. Let me see if I can remember.

    The first think I think of in answer is comfort. I don’t like to be uncomfortable. I don’t like uncomfortable furniture and I want my food to be the best. If something in the fridge is a little past its prime I with throw it away in a heartbeat. I think this has lead to some of my worry about finances. I worry that God might not provide for me in the manner that I want. Just to say it sounds so selfish. For an example I think of cars. I love to drive. I had an old BMW for a while that was sweet. It was a straight drive and the engine made the most wonderful sound. When my father bought a new car he convinced me that I should buy his Escort. I am proud of myself in that I finally had learned to listen to my father. But the first time I drove the Escort I wanted to cry. Well that turned out to be the best car I’ve ever had. It was a station wagon and when gas was $4 a gallon I could go 300 miles on 10 or 11 gallons. That was the car that died a few months back. I can’t think of a time when anything that God has provided for me was not good. I doubt that He will buy me a Mercedes Benz but I am pretty sure it will be because I don’t need one.

    Just this last question has had a profound impact on me. It helped me put it together. God has all I need and He makes all things beautiful. People are created in His image and therefore beautiful even if I can’t see it.

    I spilled water on my laptop last night:o( so I have to leave it off for a few days and we are going out of town this weekend. We are going canoeing again and I won’t be so easily persuaded to stay off the rope swing this time. I hope everyone has a great weekend.

  33. 8. Read Isaiah 53:2-5. What do you learn about the Lord here and his physical beauty?

    Jesus, very likely,looked liked your average Jewish male of the day. We know from scripture he was in good physical shape because of the all the walking he did and being a carpenter I’m sure he was physically strong. No one would look at him and think he was the long awaited Messiah. The religious leaders knew there was something about him they didn’t like-especially when their followers started following Jesus-and they grew to despise him teaching in their vicinity.

    9. What is your “Rachel”? What do I tend to worship other than the Lord?

    I experienced something the other day that caused me to realize that my “Rachel” is myself. As I was rehearsing a conversation in my mind with a second party about a third party the question “Why do you want to do that?” popped in. When I stopped my conversation rehearsal and started thinking about the answer to the question, I realized I was wanting to make someone else look bad. I came to the realization that I have been ‘obsessed’ with having my own way and my obsessive thinking was leading me to worship me instead of the Lord. Sometimes I feel like I’m the poster child for the “this is what happens to you when you go your own way group’. Of course now that I’m on the right path, if I stray just a few steps, the Spirit is quick to speak and I’m getting quicker with my listening.

    10. What did you learn that is impacting you and why?

    Dee’s use of the word ‘obsessed’ this week has opened my eyes to the truth about myself. I want things to go the way I want them to go. She’s been taking us on a journey through ‘idol-worship land’ for quite a while now and it seems on each leg of the journey I have come face to face with what’s really deep in my heart. I began Beth Moore’s Daniel study Wd. nite and she made a statement (via DVD) that just floored me. I knew I was in the right study at the right time when she said “you have an enemy who wants to take you back from where you have come-the pit of despair”. It seemed the Lord was telling me ‘Tammy you still have alot of healing to experience. Keep your eyes fixed on Me and only Me.’
    I have people in my life who think I should be looking for a new relationship. After this week’s study I know I’m not ready for all that because my heart is still prone to idol worship. I need to learn how to love Jesus properly before I attempt to love someone else.
    I echo what Rebecca stated. I too want to be one of the rare ones who learn that the Lord alone is worthy of worship.

  34. As many of the others have said I am my own idol making factory. I have always been a controlling person though I have tried to deal with that quality, failed, and asked Jesus to deal with it.
    It takes very little for my mind to wonder off Jesus and on to myself. Since my husband’s death I have tried to ‘turn my eyes upon Jesus’ at all times. When I am focused on Jesus or someone else I feel calm. When I turn my eyes back on myself waves of grief sweep over me. Jesus is truly the only One who can give your life meaning.

  35. Dee – loved the video – thank you for sharing that! It was beautiful! Congradulations also Dee, on your 4 new little granddaughters – I love that picture of the 4 of them – they are so adorable! How fun Dee! 🙂

    Thank you all for your kind responses to me! You are the one’s who are a blessing!

    One song that always ministers to me is “He’s been faithful” by Damaris Carbaugh. The only video with this song by her is an old one, but the words and the song are beautiful. The link is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qd02cRXVHIII

    Hope it works, I’m not too computer savvy! 🙂

  36. I just tried to follow the link, it doesn’t work but if you type in Damaris Carbaugh in the search box, a couple of videos by her will come up, and one of them is “He’s been faithful”, it’s worth the extra effort, it’s a beautiful song!

    1. I found it and it is very beautiful. I don’t know how to get the youtube here either, but I love “All my tears” by Selah on there.

      1. Love it! Thanks Joyce!

  37. SPEND SOME TIME ADORING THE LORD. USE MUSIC, PSALMS SUCH AS PSALMS 96 THROUGH 1OO. USE SONG OF SONGS 2:8-17 — AND SING OR TELL HIM WHY HE IS SO BEAUTIFUL TO YOU. GIVE THIS TO HIM. WERE YOU ‘QUICKENED’ TO ADORE DURING THIS TIME? CAN YOU SHARE SOMETHING ABOUT IT?

    Not only is God jealous for me, cares for me tenderly talks to me he is also my valiant husband. He can melt mountains and the world will see him some day. Those who worship other gods will be put to shame: “All who worship images are put to shame, those who boast in idols—worship him, all you gods!” God isn’t passive, he is patient and long suffering. There is a huge difference between the two. Some day everyone will tremble at his feet. Even those who rejected the one and only true, loving and just God.

    God you are my perfect husband-perfect in how you love.

    You said: 10 Let those who love the LORD hate evil,
    for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
    and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. (That is why we hate evil and He puts it in us to hate it once we come to know Him. To him be the glory!)

    11 Light is shed upon the righteous
    and joy on the upright in heart.

    Thank you God for your Holy Spirit who quickens me every day about something some kind of evil and sometimes even the evil cloaked in what looks good. You even quicken me in regard to the direction my heart may take in replacing you with an idol. You cause me to be faithful Lord and some day you will deliver us totally from the hand of the wicked. You are my savior-you saved me from the punishment of my sins but you also saved me from the evil one and from giving myself to an idol. Thank you Lord that you also gave me new life and that you didn’t just save me and leave, but you drew me close and are still drawing me close. You are everything to me and your name is lifted high above the heavens and the Earth. All will tremble in your presence. This is too wonderful for me to understand-such a tender, loving intimate God yet a just God.

    This is what God has shown me just now. I have been concerned about some things going on in our country and Psalm 96 and 97 just reaffirmed what the Holy Spirit has been doing in my heart in this area of my life. I see Christians getting deceived. I will stop there and won’t get into it much further. God opened my eyes to some things a week ago that He wanted me to see and think about and it was a huge red flag He put in my spirit and a huge warning to me to remember that while intentions are good I need to use discernment and be wise in disseminating information I hear for HE is going to deal with all of this in His timing. I need to be responsible in a lot of ways in regard to being a good steward with my country, but I can’t put it up as an idol. I was really passionate about desiring to see justice and hating evil which is from God, but God is showing me some great things about trusting him with all of this.

    I hope this isn’t discouraging as you might have wanted to hear something deeper, but this is huge in my life as God has shown me how I have put this up as an idol in a lot of ways. There is balance here but nothing should ever capture my heart and my passions above my passion for Christ. I know it is when I am like Jacob and I become obsessed with it which is what I was doing, not realizing it until God showed me last week when an event happened and He opened my eyes.

  38. 8. Read Isaiah 53:2-3. What do you learn about the Lord here and His physical beauty?

    * Jesus had no physical beauty that would attract us to Him.

    9. There is so much more about Rachel and Leah and our idol-making factories. We’ll look at that next week. But for now, let me ask you: “What is your Rachel?” What do you tend to worship instead of the Lord? Ask the Lord to help you with this — to be thankful, yet not a worshiper of this “Rachel?” I’d also love some testimonies here.

    * I think God hit a home run with me this past week and my idol is what I mentioned above.. For example, there is a famous conservative talk show host I would listen to every day.. Nothing wrong with that, but I saw myself bumming out when I missed his show a day or two. Contrast that with when I missed spending time with God for a day or two. OUCH! I guess we could also put people who are addicted to t.v. shows where they have to be in front of the t.v. at a certain time each night and contrast how they respond to missing it as opposed to missing their times with the Lord.

    10. What did you learn that is impacting you and why?

    * I can’t pinpoint where it turned in my life from waking and thinking about Jesus all day long even in the middle of night, and when I spent time in His word, writing to Him-communing with Him and delighting in Him sharing my affections toward him to these idols that crept in and it happened a few years before I was married and then since I was married. I do know and give God the glory for gently wooing me out of the desert time knowing exactly what I needed and when. He was careful with me, yet sometimes would get straight to the point with me. Yes I am out of that desert, but I forgot who said it here but my heart is deceptive above all things and desperately wicked-I know it can lean back in that desert direction again, and I have told God I don’t want to go there and for Him to quickly draw me back.

    I must say, it isn’t me, it is God-I give HIM the glory here. It amazes me how He works in my heart and how because He has sealed me with His holy spirit no one can take me out of his hands, not even my idols, but I must heed His call and I desire for him to do what he has to in my life to get my attention when my heart strays.

  39. 8. What do you learn about the Lord here and his physical beauty? The living bible says in Isaiah 53:2 it says ….in our eyes there was no attractiveness at all, nothing to make us want him.
    In the Harper’s study bible is says….he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.
    The world has us to believe he was handsome in the pictures we see of Jesus. I believe God made him with no attractiveness or comeliness when Jesus walked the earth so that people would not follow him just because he was phyically beautiful but only for the faith they had in him. It reminds me of John 20:29, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe”.

  40. 9. “What is your Rachel”? It is food for me. I eat when I’m stressed, happy…don’t need a reason! I eat to comfort myself instead of letting God comfort me. I use food as a way to cope with life, rather than what my body needs. It’s a obsession.
    I’ve gained 80 lbs. above my normal weight since Kendra was born 23 yrs. ago. I’m ashamed of myself, but I lay it all out here for everyone to see the real me.

    10. What did you learn that is impacting you and why? I’ve found out that my heart is a idol-making factory. I want only to worship the one who died for me and will never leave me or forsake me. I believe God alone can fulfill me if I will just let him. Why? Because this is my only life and I want the Lord to use it to prepare me for eternal life with him. I don’t want worldly idols or obsessions in my life. I only want Jesus be my obsession.

  41. Sometimes God can really use Google. I stumbled upon this Bible study blog just now as I am struggling with relationship idolatry. I appreciate the depth here and feel the Holy Spirit empowering me to continue to loosen my grip on my devotion to others rather than God. I am praying that He will show me a pure love and that He will be my only devotion.

    Thanks again!