Healing and Hope 3

In Healing and Hope 2, we noted that God removes our reproach (shameful past). In this final installment of the message:

3. God Remembers Rachel By Removing Her Reproach and Renewing Her Hope. Jehovah taught her the meaning of the name, “Joseph.” “Joseph” is from the Hebrew, Yowceph. The noun, yowceph, combines two Hebrew words, Jehowah, “Jehovah,” and, acaph, “to add.” It means, “Jehovah adds” or as a participle, “Jehovah adding.” Jehovah was indeed adding to her a son, after her 2 sons from Bilhah, Dan and Napthali (See Genesis 30:5-8). It literally carries a double meaning—“taking away” and “adding.” (Keil and Delitzsch)

Looking at the context, Rachel looked at her past and saw her deceitful ways of gaining a son. She looked at her present, and saw her son as a gift of God, after 14 long years of waiting. Thus, she saw Jehovah subtracting from her reproach, by adding a son.

Jehovah was teaching her the mathematics of the name, Joseph. With the gift of a son, God deleted from her heart her envy towards her sister. Yet with that same gift, God also inserted in her heart a seed of hope for another son in the future.

Notice that Rachel shifted from using “God” (elohim) (v. 23) to “LORD” (Jehovah) (v. 24). Thus, with the gift of a son, God increased her faith in Jehovah, the Covenant God. She remembered the promise of Jehovah to Abraham that he will have many descendants. It increased her faith in Jehovah. And so Rachel looked to the future, hoping that Jehovah would add one more son. (Keil and Delitzsch) That hope was fulfilled with the birth of Benjamin.

We’ve been told that you just forget the past and move on.  That is partly correct.  But the following day, you still feel the pain of your past.  Thus, it is not enough to forget your past and leave it behind. You need God to heal your past and give you hope for the future. He will do so in Christ.  Christ is the bondage breaker. Call on Jesus today.

If you solve your problems with your sinful solutions and don’t depend on God, you deepen your problems. But if you depend on God, God will reward you and bless you. And you will know what God is like.

Despite our sinful solutions to our problems, God will still accomplish His good purposes in our lives. Let us wait patiently in the Lord and trust Him. Let us not resort to sinful means to accomplishing His will. God’s will must be done God’s way.

Permissions: You may copy/paste or distribute this post in part or in whole, provided that you do not change the words or word order or charge a fee beyond the cost of copying or distributing.  However, should you use it as your sermon, this writer will not charge a fee, so long as you will share with him one-half of your honorarium. (Just kidding)

Disclaimer:  I’ve tried to give credit to whom credit is due.  If there is any original thought or reference which I failed to footnote, please call my attention.  Once validated, it will be corrected immediately.


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