Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 101’

Genesis 27Deception

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Govert Flink: Isaac Blesses Jacob

No matter how many times I read this story I continue to be curious about Rebekah, the woman who changes the course of history when she urges Jacob to deceive his aging father in order to steal his brother’s birthright.  In her elegant yet simple scheme she takes on all culpability and allows both Jacob and Isaac to stand by passively as the story unfolds.  This dichotomy of action versus inaction is reflected in the values these family members choose; and it calls us to examine our way of relating to others in this world.

From the HARPERCOLLINS BIBLE COMMENTARY (99): “Jacob’s disguise involves his wearing his brother Esau’s clothing; as will be seen, deception involving clothing is an important motif in the narrative about Jacob’s beloved son Joseph (37:31-33)”.  A son deceives his father . . . this son is in turn deceived by his own sons.  We can only wonder if years later Jacob sees this echo of himself in any way when he realizes what has happened to his beloved son, Joseph.   In all of this deception, the result is the same: separation from those we love and pain we had not intended.  The joy and hope we looked for cannot flourish in a life of shadows and secrets.  The irony is not lost on us that by participating in fraud, we may gain our immediate objective . . . but we will also experience a lifetime of rippling, unforeseen consequences that we may not want or like.

Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini: Rebekah at the Well

We humans struggle to climb to the top of the heap, to arrive first, to be the most liked, the best fed, shod and clothed.  Many of us use any means to justify this end while others of us reject deception of any kind to hug closely the values of integrity and honesty.  This uncomplicated choice of deceit versus honesty is presented to us in Psalm 101: Norm of Life for Rulers.  We may want to pray it today as we consider who we choose as our companions in life . . . and who we are as companions to others.

I follow the way of integrity . . . I do not allow into my presence anyone who speaks perversely . . . I shun the devious of heart; the wicked I do not tolerate . . . Those who follow the way of integrity, they alone can enter my service.  No one who practices deceit can hold a post in my court . . . I look to the faithful of the land; they alone can be my companions. 

Mays, James L., ed.  HARPERCOLLINS BIBLE COMMENTARY. New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1988. 99. Print.

To visit a site with art through the ages about this story, go to: http://www.bible-art.info/Rebecca.htm

Images from: https://www.artbible.info/art/large/83.html and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca

We will be away from the Internet for several days. Please enjoy this reflection first posted on July 19, 2011.

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Sirach 51:13-30: Prayer for Those in Pursuit of Wisdom

Sunday, September 4, 2016wisdom's path

We have considered our pursuit of Wisdom and acknowledged her importance in our lives. We have surrendered to the passionate search for Wisdom and all she promises. We have set our feet on Wisdom’s path, committed to the pursuit of Wisdom’s gifts. And so today we pray.

Lady Wisdom, we ask that you bless our hearts with authenticity and integrity.

Creator God, we thank you for your gift of Wisdom.

Lady Wisdom, we ask that you steer us away from the lure of Mistress Folly.

Generous God, we know that you are faithful to us and hear our prayer.

Lady Wisdom, we ask that you help us to guard against deceit.

Knowing God, we pledge to abide with you as you abide with us.

Lady Wisdom, we mediate on God’s law morning, noon and night.

Faithful God, we thank you for the invitation to enter into Jesus’ Law of Love.

Lady Wisdom, we plant our feet along the river that calls forth good fruit.

divine-wisdom-shiloh-sophia-mccloudHopeful God, we rest in the knowledge that you nourish and guide us always.

Lady Wisdom, we follow in the way of the just.

Loving God, continue to teach us the way of your Lady Wisdom.

Lady Wisdom, we thank you for your voice that cries out, inviting all to come to your banquet.

Holy God, we thank you for your gift of eternal life. Amen.

Psalms 1 and 101 open for us an entrance to the path of Lady Wisdom.  When we spend time with them we discover the feast she offers.

For reflections on Lady Wisdom and Mistress Folly, click on the images or visit: http://www.ridgewoodbaptist.com/sermons/wisdom-for-everyday-life-choosing-wisdoms-path/ and https://heartofashepherd.com/2014/12/01/proverbs-132-33-a-mans-destination-is-determined-by-the-path-he-chooses/


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