Toledot
For the week of November 9, 2002 / 4 Kislev 5763
Torah: Bereshit / Genesis 25:19 - 28:9
Haftarah: Malachi 1:1 - 2:7

Inquiring of God

She (Rebekah) said, "Why is this happening to me?" So she went to inquire of the LORD (Bereshit / Genesis 25:22).

Life is hard to understand at times. Many of us are completely overwhelmed with our circumstances. There are many people who try to sell us formulas through which to understand life. It seems that they think that the complexities of human existence can be reduced into a set of basic principles. If we learn to work these principles correctly, life will work in our favor.

While the Scriptures do provide us with godly principles, and we would do well to abide by those principles, there is so much of life that is beyond our control and understanding. Assuming that we can reduce all of life to the law of cause and effect will either frustrate us, or force us to try to deceive ourselves and others.

There will be times in our lives when all the knowledge in the world won't make a difference. Isaac's wife, Rebekah, was facing such a time. During her pregnancy, she became concerned that things were not exactly right within her. She asked herself the question, "Why is this happening to me?" a question that I know I have asked myself many times.

If we react to this story by thinking that Rebekah's confusion was largely due to the lack of medical knowledge of her day, we would miss the point. While an ultrasound would have revealed that Rebekah was carrying twins, it would not have provided her the real reason behind the strife she was experiencing. How could it? How could anyone?

Yet Rebekah knew where to go with her question. Distressed as she was, the Torah tells us that she inquired of God. She took her questions to God. She asked God what was going on. And he told her.

I don't know how much better she felt now that she knew the truth about the boys she was to give birth to, but she was no longer plagued by the question, "Why is this happening to me?" I am sure that helped a great deal.

I am not saying that there is no place for human knowledge. Human knowledge and wisdom can and does help us a great deal. To neglect good helpful information when available and appropriate would be foolish. But to rely on human knowledge and wisdom to the neglect of God's revelation is equally foolish.

Have you ever truly inquired of the Lord? Have you every asked God for wisdom and waited for an answer? If not, then why not right now?

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