Rachel and Hannah: A Fuller Picture of God - Trans World Radio Canada

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  • Oct20Fri

    Rachel and Hannah: A Fuller Picture of God

    October 20, 2017 by the TWR Canada Women’s Ministry Team
    Filed Under:
    Devotional, Women of the Bible

    Ever feel like God has forgotten you? Maybe you’re afraid you’ve done something unforgiveable. It’s sometimes hard to imagine that a holy and perfect God would be interested in us, people who are broken and sinful. And yet He loves us unceasingly!

    Isn’t that the amazing thing about God? He really does love us exactly where we are, as we are…yet he never leaves us in that state. A few months ago, we wrote about Hagar and how God Saw Her where she was in all her humiliation and shame, and he sent a rescue. This month, we want to highlight other women who God rescued, but first He remembered them:

    Genesis 30:22: “God remembered Rachel…and opened her womb (ESV).

    1 Samuel 1:19: “The LORD remembered her [Hannah] (ESV).

    Rachel and Hannah suffered the same affliction though many years apart. They were married to men who truly loved them, but who were also married to other women. Those other women had given their husband children, but Rachel and Hannah could not. Rachel and Hannah wept and prayed for God to remember them. God saw them where they were and opened their wombs, and they each gave birth to a very special son. Rachel gave birth to Joseph. Hannah gave birth to the prophet Samuel.

    God remembered Rachel. The Hebrew name for God in this passage is Elohim. Elohim is the plural of El (God) and carries the idea of the triune God: the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.

    Elohim, the God of Creation, the God of Covenants, the God who makes promises and loves his Creation sacrificially, remembered Rachel. How amazing is that? The God who concerns himself with BIG matters like parting the Red Sea, appointing David as King, giving Solomon his wisdom, making covenants with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, it was THIS God who remembered Rachel, a woman who grieved alone and felt unloved.

    The LORD remembered Hannah. Almost an identical situation in the respect that Hannah was also a beloved but barren wife and was ridiculed by her rival for her lack of children. Her husband could not console her, and year after year Hannah wept before the Lord, begging for justice—for God to open the womb he had closed.

    The name of God used in this passage is Jehovah and occurs more than 7,000 times in the Bible. Usually this name of God is written as ‘The LORD” in all capitals in the Bible. Jehovah is the name of God used when there is judgement involved, when God’s holiness is being emphasized.

    Andrew Jukes in his book The Names of God writes: “The name Elohim, in its very import and by its plural form, spoke of One whose very Being involved a covenant relationship which never could be broken. Jehovah on the other hand, shows One, who, being Love, is righteous also, and must therefore judge evil, wherever it exists, and at whatever cost, whether to the creatures or the Creator…Elohim gives us only one view, blessed as that is, of God our Saviour. We must know him as Jehovah also...”

    These two names of God are like two sides of the same coin. You can’t have Elohim without Jehovah, and vice versa. God is love (Elohim), but He is also holy and just (Jehovah).

    Looking at these two women side by side, just looking at the picture of God given us by the name he’s used in reference to these rescues, gives us a fuller picture of who God is. He is the God of love, who sees broken hearts and unending tears and longs to heal hearts and fix hurts. He’s also a holy God who will answer injustice and right wrongs for his glory.

    No matter how alone or broken you feel, no matter how many tears you’ve shed or swallowed, Elohim sees you. No matter what wrongs have been done, how you’ve been injured or overlooked, Jehovah seeks justice on your behalf. All for His glory.

    Take heart. You are never alone. Whatever separates you from God (real or perceived) can be overcome. Be blessed.