What a beautiful day it has been. I watched the sun come up and color the sky with pink. I never tired of seeing sunrises and sunsets. Thanks to the Lawn of the Month guy, our grass is coming in greener and healthier. The tree next to our fence is leafier and greener by the day. Maybe spring is really here this time.
I love our Tuesday morning discussions at leadership council. We have just started Joseph's story interrupted by the story of Judah and Tamar. I'm drawn to obscure facts or occurrences. Jacob and Rebekah deceived Isaac with young goat dinner, then there are the goats and the deception between Laban and Jacob, the brothers soak Joseph's coat of many colors in, you guessed it, goat blood and when Judah is looking to have relations with Tamar, disguised as a high class temple prostitute, he promises her to send a young goat to pay for the services rendered. What is it about this family and goats? I know they all owned flocks and were sojourners in this land, but the deceptions usually involve some part or all of a goat. I have been researching this and today others in our discussion encouraged me to continue on with this goat meaning quest but I have exhausted all the resources I know. So if anyone out there has some goat info pertaining to Jacob and his family, I would love to know it. My untrained and not a theologian thought is, generational sin kind of thing. We all have areas where we are tempted. Drinking could be a figurative goat to some...or telling lies or stealing. I don't know but if I find anymore out I will be sure to report in. I also learned in my research that if you are going to eat goat, eat young goat. Older male goats are tough meat and female goats back in the biblical days were rarely killed due to their economic value for reproduction and milk. Gee, I feel like I just gave a 5th grade report.
One of the verses we looked up was in Mark 7, it is what is inside us and comes out, it what contaminates us. We were looking at the intense hatred and jealousy Joseph's brothers had toward him. This morning I read these verses out of The Message
14-15 Jesus called the crowd together again and said, “Listen now, all of you—take this to heart. It’s not what you swallow that pollutes your life; it’s what you vomit—that’s the real pollution.”
17 When he was back home after being with the crowd, his disciples said, “We don’t get it. Put it in plain language.”
18-19 Jesus said, “Are you being willfully stupid? Don’t you see that what you swallow can’t contaminate you? It doesn’t enter your heart but your stomach, works its way through the intestines, and is finally flushed.” (That took care of dietary quibbling; Jesus was saying that all foods are fit to eat.)
20-23 He went on: “It’s what comes out of a person that pollutes: obscenities, lusts, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, depravity, deceptive dealings, carousing, mean looks, slander, arrogance, foolishness—all these are vomit from the heart. There is the source of your pollution.”
Wow, all these are vomit from the heart. Gross word picture but great description. When one is in the throes of vomiting, there is little we can control and that's how it is with all the above listed. When we get angry and do or say these things, it gets to a point where there is no control and boom or splash...we cannot take those words back except if you are a dog because it does return to its own vomit. I hope no one is eating anything while reading this paragraph.
This doesn't have a thing to do with any of the above but last night I once again found myself watching Hoarders. These were some of the worst cases ever, so said almost every organizer and Dr involved. One doctor said something prolific that I have thought about today. The woman they were involved in helping had been married to an evil, controlling man and his constantly berating words formed who she became. The house was an absolute horror and her hoarding included lots and lots of rancid, contaminated food. She could not see why everyone else was so grossed out by it. The doctor talking to the camera voices his concerns for this woman, that she might not ever be well. He said, we can help her deal with clutter, anyone can deal with clutter, but she's ill, she's mentally sick and I don't know if we have the time and if she even has the desire to move forward. She has lost herself in the word prisons of her husband. He was no longer on the scene by the way. I guess this has to do with all that I have been writing and contemplating after all. At one time or another, everyone has told little falsehoods or excuses that justify but aren't exactly the truth. We can clean up that clutter or deal with that clutter but when it is something so deep inside, like the deceit that goes on in Jacob's family, only God can do the work and the healing to uproot deception. Still, God loved them and He had chosen them and made covenant with them.
I must get back to Billy Goat Gruff research. Another biblical goat fact before I go, goats destroyed so much of the land and vegetation way back then if they were not properly shepherded. In their lust for grass and herbs, they also ate leaves off trees standing on their hind legs. They are responsible for the destruction of the land in the Middle East way back. OK, 5th grade book report for myself, C. But wait there's more, goat hair was valuable and woven into some of the most beautiful tents and coverings. Oooh, extra credit...B-.