Day 60 – March 1
Genesis 30:1-24 – The tribes of Israel
When Rachel realized that she could bear Jacob no children, Rachel became jealous of her sister and said to Jacob, “Give me children! If you don’t, I may as well be dead.”
2 Jacob was angry at Rachel and said, “Do you think I’m God? God alone has kept you from giving birth!”
3 She said, “Here’s my servant Bilhah. Sleep with her, and she will give birth for me. Because of her, I will also have children.” 4 So Rachel gave her servant Bilhah to Jacob as his wife, and he slept with her. 5 Bilhah became pregnant and gave birth to a son for Jacob. 6 Rachel said, “God has judged in my favor, heard my voice, and given me a son.” So she named him Dan. 7 Rachel’s servant Bilhah became pregnant again and gave birth to a second son for Jacob. 8 Rachel said, “I’ve competed fiercely with my sister, and now I’ve won.” So she named him Naphtali.
9 When Leah realized that she had stopped bearing children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as his wife. 10 Leah’s servant Zilpah gave birth to a son for Jacob, 11 and Leah said, “What good luck!” So she named him Gad. 12 Leah’s servant Zilpah gave birth to a second son for Jacob, 13 and Leah said, “I’m happy now because women call me happy.” So she named him Asher.
14 During the wheat harvest, Reuben found some erotic herbs in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Give me your son’s erotic herbs.”
15 Leah replied, “Isn’t it enough that you’ve taken my husband? Now you want to take my son’s erotic herbs too?”
Rachel said, “For your son’s erotic herbs, Jacob may sleep with you tonight.”
16 When Jacob came back from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must sleep with me because I’ve paid for you with my son’s erotic herbs.” So he slept with her that night.
17 God responded to Leah. She became pregnant and gave birth to a fifth son for Jacob. 18 Leah said, “God gave me what I paid for, what I deserved for giving my servant to my husband.” So she named him Issachar. 19 Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to a sixth son for Jacob, 20 and she said, “God has given me a wonderful gift. Now my husband will honor me since I’ve borne him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun. 21 After this, she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.
22 Then God remembered Rachel, responded to her, and let her conceive. 23 She became pregnant and gave birth to a son and said, “God has taken away my shame.” 24 She named him Joseph, saying to herself, May the Lord give me another son.
Comment: in ancient times our ancestors equated prosperity with longevity, and longevity with with the number of sons in a family. Dismal mortality rates 3000 years ago added to this understanding. Scripture is helping us to see how God’s family grew against all odds.
The Gospel of John 21:15-19
15 After they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?” “Yes, Lord,” he answered, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Take care of my lambs.” 16 A second time Jesus said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” he answered, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 A third time Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter became sad because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” and so he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you!”
Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep. 18 I am telling you the truth: when you were young, you used to get ready and go anywhere you wanted to; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will tie you up and take you where you don’t want to go.” 19 (In saying this, Jesus was indicating the way in which Peter would die and bring glory to God.) Then Jesus said to him, “Follow me!”
1 As a deer longs for flowing streams,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and behold
the face of God?
3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me continually,
“Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul:
how I went with the throng,
and led them in procession to the house of God,
with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving,
a multitude keeping festival.
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my help 6 and my God.
Prayer: This day, I hope in you, My Lord and God, as you lead me to care for your sheep. Amen.