This chapter is full of story snippets...little bits of plot moving in different directions. Jacob moves the family to Bethel after telling them to get rid of foreign gods, Rachel gives birth to her second son and dies, Jacob renames his son and God officially renames Jacob (Israel), Rueben sleeps with Jacob's "other wife" (Rachel's servant who has born Jacob children) and finally Isaac's death which brings Esau and Jacob together.
But sandwiched in between all of this are two sentences about a woman named Deborah. "When they were there (Bethel), Rebekah's personal servant Deborah died. They buried her under an oak tree and called it Weeping Oak." According to my commentary, Deborah is likely the servant who came with Rebekah from her father's household. It is possible Jacob has met up with his mother again, which is why Deborah is traveling with his household, but as we have no record of when Rebekah actually died, it is possible Deborah has outlived her mistress. What I find most interesting is God wanted to honor Deborah by giving us her name and burial place, and that it was named "Weeping Oak" implying the deep grief felt by more than just Rebekah. We know nothing more...just that Deborah was a servant who inspired great love.
I am inspired, too. I hope for nothing more than to be remembered as a servant of God who loved deeply. I want to be missed because my life mattered; for those I served to grieve my loss because I was more than an employee but a true friend. And for the God of the universe to count my life worthy of rememberance.
Until next time,