Monday, June 28, 2010

Life Goes On - Genesis 35:21

Then Israel journeyed on and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder.

There are many events that occur during the lifetime of an individual where for a fleeting moment he or she may think that life will never be the same again. For people my age, born in the 1940’s, these include the assassination of U.S. President John Kennedy, the Vietnam War, the various wars in the Middle East, segregation ruled illegal, Chernobyl, the catastrophic tsunami, and many, many more. And yes, in some ways, live did change considerably for those directly involved and only minutely for the rest of us. That would be true of any event one could identify, including those I left out or ones I never even heard of.

But in all cases, life does go on. So it was with Jacob after his beloved wife died en route to Bethlehem while giving birth to Benjamin. Life may well have changed for him considerably. Still, the only thing left for Israel (the new name God had given Jacob) to do was to continue on with his journey, taking his family and children with him.

The Bible tells us that his next tent stop was beyond the ‘tower of Eder’ or ‘Edar’ as the word is spelled in the King James, with Strong’s concordance preferring this spelling as well. The word itself meant ‘flock’ and this structure was understood to be a shepherd’s watchtower very near the city of Bethlehem. In fact, it was so close to Bethlehem, that some believe it was used to mean Bethlehem itself, at least in this verse.

Let us reflect on life’s losses for a moment. If you have faced a personal tragic loss in your life, you know your world and life has changed significantly for you. Time alone, contrary to what many say, is not the total answer. It helps, but the truth is that the memories of whom or what was lost will always leave a disappointing gap in your thoughts and life. But yet you know that life must go on. You know you have to keep on traveling towards your destination or goals. And you know that along the way you have to stop and pitch your tent somewhere.

It is my prayer that God continues to give you strength and stamina to continue your life’s journey. I pray He gives you a desire to keep on trusting and hoping that one day your losses will be fully replaced by His blessings and the glory of His Kingdom. I pray He grants you His wisdom to know where to pitch your tent next and that the stop is part of His plan for your life.

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