Bilhah

In Study the Women of the Bible by revealadmin1 Comment

The desire for ‘love’ can be overwhelming. Our heart’s longing for someone to know us, to understanding us, and care of us can cloud a healthy outlook on love. When these aspects of love are not met, we may look for affection in all the wrong places. As women, our idea of love, may not be God’s perception of love.

God’s love for us was demonstrated through His Son Jesus Christ. Our finite minds will never comprehend God’s love, but we can read His Word and gain a better understanding of what His love means.

“Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly.

Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own right or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it (it pays no attention to a suffered wrong).

It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of ever person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything (without weakening). Love never fails (never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end) 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, Amplified Bible

I used the Amplified Bible version because I truly want you and myself to understand God’s love in us. Jesus epitomized the love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. His love for you was nailed to a cross conquering death, hell and the grave. His love was put on display for all to see and remember. His love for you is available anytime you want.

Our rendition of “looking for love in all the wrong places” will always play a scratched recording. We will never find the love we search for in another human, in monetary treasure, in positions of authority, or our own families. Jesus of Nazareth never once put His hope and trust in mankind. John 2:24-25 states, “But Jesus did not trust Himself to them, because He knew all men; and He did not need anyone to bear witness concerning man for He Himself knew what was in human nature (He could read men’s hearts).”

Bilhah is a woman in the Bible who may have walked without love. Her desire to be touched, understood, hugged, gently looked at with longing from a man has clouded her heart. She is a married woman, so to speak, and has several children to a man whose heart is spoken for. Jacob is married to Rachel, Bilhah’s mistress. And when young Rachel is incapable of having children, Bilhah is given to Jacob as a “secondary wife”.

Bilhah’s life is spent in servitude. Her story reminds me of Hagar, slave of Sarai, whom was also given to the patriarch for breeding purposes. I do want to remind women, this was not God’s plan for marriage. When He created something beautiful in the Garden between a man and a woman, human nature intervened and desired it’s own rules.

Laws in Mesopotamia were dictated by The Code of Hammurabi. The code is well-preserved Babylonian laws of ancient Mesopotamia dating back to about 1754BC. Babylonian king Hammurabi enforced a code of 282 laws and standards, specified rules for commercial interactions, fines and punishments to meet the requirements of justice. [1]

The Nuzi tables are also further evidence of the customs of the ancient world. Around 1,000 tablets, written in Akkadian, have been found in Nuzi, an ancient town situation above Assyria [3]. Tablet Number 67, describes a marriage arrangement in ancient Mesopotamia. If a woman failed to bear children, the husband may take a concubine and the wife may have authority over the offspring [2]. As much as this situation leaves a distaste in our mouth, it was practiced and culturally accepted in the ancient world. Although customary, it leaves little doubt the effects this tradition had on the concubines and the slave girls; Bilhah was used.

Sadly, Bilhah’s story does not end there. This sordid tale continues drawing us closer to this dysfunctional family. Reuben, Jacob’s son to Leah, has set his eyes on this unloved slave woman. Either for his own pleasure, seducing her to gain authority over his father or truly loving her from afar as young men do, Bilhah sleeps with Reuben. This sin of a son sleeping with his father’s concubine has dramatic consequences for Reuben; a reminder, God sees all! He will lose his birthright.

“Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel – for Reuben was the eldest, but because he defiled his father’s bed with Bilhah, his father’s concubine, his birthright was given to Manasseh and Ephraim, the sons of Joseph son of Israel, so that he is not enrolled in the genealogy according to the birthright.” (1 Chronicles 5:1)

The Bible does not delve into Bilhah’s personality. Her character is not described as haughty like Hagar the slave, or as Peninnah, the unloved wife of Eleazar, who vexed un-pregnant Hannah, the wife who was loved. She is not described as Leah, the weak-eyed sister wife of Rachel, who became pregnant for attention. Bilhah just seems to exist. If not for the Bible, we would never know this woman ever walked the Earth.

Woman today feel Bilhah’s pain. Believe it or not, human nature has never changed. We still desire love, we still desire affection, and we still desire the attention our heart’s seek. There are love-less marriages today, there are women used and abused, and there is only ONE place to seek healing for our hearts. In the arms of Jesus Christ.

Has someone killed or darkened your dreams? He can restore them. Has someone taken your innocence? Christ makes all things clean. Has someone physically tormented you? Take His yoke for His light, easy and not hard, harsh, sharp and pressing (Matthew 11:28-30). Forgive them. Through forgiveness and letting God heal those wounds whether physically, mentally, spiritually or psychologically, doesn’t remove the memories, but will cover those scars with the blood of his Son. How does the healing begin from a heart broken by a lack of love?

Praying, reading God’s Word, serving and gleaning from other godly women will allow God to begin laying a foundation of a healing process like no other. Step by step, the wounds will begin to heal. Prayer by prayer, the burden will be lifted. Give Him your pain, tell Him you are hurt and be as Mary of Bethany anointing Christ with a beautiful prayer, asking for healing. Bring your pain to the cross and lay it down! When you do this, God may bring memories so deep rooted your heart is surprised they surfaced. The memories may still be fresh in your mind or your spirit still tender, only the gentle hand of Christ could ever touch something so broken.

God needs you and your precious story of redemption. When you are able to know Christ and His healing hands, His love for you and the plan for your life, to suppress this truth is uncontainable. This mystery the Apostle Paul writes about in his letters to the churches, explains God’s love and no matter the pain, you will find yourself able to forgive, to abound more in love and become a prisoner of Christ.

There will always be another woman, another daughter, another wife, another young girl suffering, just as you did. These women need your voice. They need to hear how God saves, how Christ gives them beauty for ashes, turns evil into good. There will always be another abuse, another used, another manipulated and another woman rejected. Will you be the arms that accept them? Will you be the courageous one who tells her story? Will you be the bold one who takes a stand for those who have no voice or no one to stand with? I pray you cast all fear, anxiety, and anger aside, pick up your cross and carry it. Your testimony of Christ will heal another woman’s life. I pray you be a blessing to those in need.

For my precious sister who needs Christ’s healing, for restoration, and revival of your spirit to boldly proclaim your testimony, boasting in Christ Jesus, open your heart to the Living God and pray. Give your heart to Him in closing those wounds, leaving a scar, a testimony in planting a harvest for His Kingdom

Comments

  1. Catherine

    Thank you for this. It’s where I am in life right now. Desiring love but I must wait and be patient for God’s plan for my life and not my own. It’s a struggle but it’s not impossible. Besides if you truly think about it God’s love is better than any earthly father or husband. His love is greater than anything anyone on earth has to offer. It will always be above and beyond. Forever.

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