Frequently Abused: Mizpah, Genesis 31:49 Jan 13, 2016 13:17:16 GMT -5
Post by Cindy on Jan 13, 2016 13:17:16 GMT -5
Another scripture that's very frequently abused is the Mizpah verse:“It was also called Mizpah, because he said, “May the LORD keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other.” (Genesis 31:49) The way it's used today is like a friendship thing, as though the person is asking God to watch over their friend or loved one when they're away from each other. But, if you read the story behind that verse you'll see that it's nothing of the sort! In fact, it was said, basically as a threat! God had told Laban not to say anything good or bad to Jacob, which made things pretty difficult for him. God was separating them from each other but it was complicated by Rachel's theft of the idols and Laban's selfishness and conniving. When they were finally done with their talking, agreeing to separate (Laban was an Aramean) they set up boundary stones as a border treaty. When Laban said, “May the LORD keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other,” he wasn't being friendly. He was saying, "If you mess up, break this treaty, or lie, God is going to know about it so you had better watch out!" So the next time you see one of those ornaments, bookmarks, or whatever else they've put that verse on, realize what it's really saying, and that it's not at all about love or friendship! If you read the entire story in Genesis 31, it's pretty easy to see what's really happening. In fact, just to give you a little more information, let me quote that scripture in context for you: “It was also called Mizpah, because he said, “May the LORD keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other. If you mistreat my daughters or if you take any wives besides my daughters, even though no one is with us, remember that God is a witness between you and me.” Laban also said to Jacob, “Here is this heap, and here is this pillar I have set up between you and me. This heap is a witness, and this pillar is a witness, that I will not go past this heap to your side to harm you and that you will not go past this heap and pillar to my side to harm me. May the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.” So Jacob took an oath in the name of the Fear of his father Isaac.” (Genesis 31:49–53) As you can easily see, this is not a love story!