While many preachers air their daily sermons on social media or television, something that became useful during the Coronavirus pandemic, some paint a much rosier view of life than the Bible details. I understand the desire to win souls to Christ, but when a stranger leads a seeker into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, don’t tell them all their problems will suddenly go away. Life is full of challenging trials, James 1:2-4, which are necessary to stimulate spiritual growth.
Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Padan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean. 21 And Isaac prayed much to the Lord for his wife because she was unable to bear children; and the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife became pregnant, Genesis 25:20-21.
If you read the Bible too fast, you’ll often miss what’s really going on. As Moses summaries the life of Isaac, he seemingly skips over the fact that it took Isaac and Rebekah 20 years to have their first child. From a modern perspective, most doctors don’t recommend women having children after forty due to the numerous health risks to the mother and child. From Rebekah’s point of view, her biological clock is running out as hope fades, replaced by doubt and fear. These are the trials that preachers with rose colored glasses often gloss over.
[Two] children struggled together within her; and she said, If it is so [that the Lord has heard our prayer], why am I like this? And she went to inquire of the Lord. 23 The Lord said to her, [The founders of] two nations are in your womb, and the separation of two peoples has begun in your body; the one people shall be stronger than the other, and the elder shall serve the younger. 24 When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb, Genesis 25:22-24.
Isaac prayed for the same thing for 19 years without any signs of God answering his request. Like a well written movie script, Moses fast forwards two decades to highlight God’s blessing of twins. Be careful what you pray for as it appears Rebekah went through a rough pregnancy, another point ignored by preachers with rose colored glasses. While everyone would prefer to hear a positive message, one of Jesus’ disciples writes about the need for Christians to go through fire, tested by God to refine faith. 1 Peter 1:6-7.
by Jay Mankus