January 12 - A Controlling Mother

Psalm 8 brings us back to Genesis when God gave humankind the crown of glory and honor to have dominion over all living things on earth, in the sky and in the sea. This is to bring in the rule or the Kingdom of God over all God’s creation, the rule is on behalf of God and it does not reside in the self. To rule over is not to control, or to lord it over other created beings, it is to carry out the will and purpose of God.

The counterfeit spirit to this is the spirit of control. Control is to make others do what you want them to do and obey your will, not God’s will. In other words, it is to take God’s place and to establish a kingdom of the self. Parents are given the role to bring up and bring their children under God’s control, but it is very easy for parents to establish their own control over their children. Rebecca is such an example.

In the Ancient Near East, women had no position or power in the family. The relationship exemplified by Abraham and Sarah was rare. Abraham listened to Sarah’s suggestion and took in Hagar -- proved to be a mistake. Later, God specifically told Abraham to listen to Sarah, to honor her opinions and suggestions. Women in those days tried to protect their own welfare by taking the control into their own hands, instead of honoring their husbands, they tried to take control through manipulation, scheming and intimidation.

Rebecca tried to take control with her husband aging and about to leave this world. She loved Jacob and wanted him to inherit his father’s blessing. A good plan was devised with the help of Jacob. Twice she said to Jacob, “Listen to what I say”. The guarantee was that if the father found out this scheme, the cursing would fall on her instead of on the son. Later, Rebecca told Isaac not to take his wife from the Hittites because the wives of Easau made life miserable for her. If Jacob also took wives from the local women, then her life would become repulsive. This came with a subtle hint of a possibility of death as a threat.

When one goes out of God’s dominion and inserts one’s own control, one leaves the sphere of God’s blessing and enters into a place of cursing. When God is on the throne, we are all blessed; when the self is on the throne, cursing is not far behind. True dominion comes with the authority and power of God, like what Jesus exercised, to the amazement of the people around Him. When we try to control, we would be like Rebecca, using our own guarantee and persuasion and threat to carry out the scheme.

Are you a controlling person? Do you manipulate others so that they may do your will? Confess it as sin and begin to honor God in all your ways.

Ps 8:1-9 Gen 26:17-27:46 Matt 9:1-17 Prov 3:9-10


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