Family Problems: Genesis 22-31

I often say that I have a family bush rather than a family tree.

Although this is not nearly as uncommon today as it was during the time I was growing up, my family history includes divorce, remarriages, steps, and halfs.

I am the oldest of two, five, or eight children although we have never all been in the same room at the same time and have different levels of relationship with each other.

My half-sis and I wore Pray! shirts to support our (shared) dad when he had surgery.

I know that this is not God’s design or best, but it is how it is.

As I listened to Genesis 22-31 this week, I realized that family strife has been around for ages.

Jacob loved Rachel, but Laban lied and gave him Leah.  Jacob eventually took Rachel as his wife as well, but Leah had children while Rachel remained without.  Rachel gave Jacob her maid so that through her Rachel could “have children.” And they all had family strife.

The interesting thing about all of this is that Jacob’s name is changed to Israel (spoiler alert) in Genesis 32. And from his twelve sons, we have the twelve tribes of Israel.

God has plans despite our family problems.

He chose to bless Jacob and was bound and determined to bless the world through Jacob regardless of the fact that Jacob had twelve sons from four wives.  God also used Jacob’s family problems to preserve and prosper the nation of Israel (spoiler alert  – Joseph’s story is coming up…).

God works through our family problems, redeems our stories, and chooses to bless us in the midst of all of it.  These facts blow my mind.  And they also encourage me to look beyond the situations that come from large families created by family strife.

As an adult, I am so thankful for my family bush.  My life is so rich and blessed because of the number of family members I have. Yes – there are times of problem, strife, and discontent.  But seeing how God works through us and in us helps me to see His grace and mercy in ways that I would not have seen without my family bush.

How have you seen God work in the midst of family strife?  How has God blessed you in the midst of trials with family members?


Please note that Blogging Through the Bible has its own blog site. It is being dually published here because I want to share it with my peeps.