Wednesday, May 14, 2014

WHOSE DAUGHTER ARE YOU?

Imagine having your entire life story told in 6 lines in an all time best selling book; in the world. But imagine this, that you, as a woman, would have a biography of sorts detailed in 6 verses in the book of Genesis, one of the most important books in the Bible.  What would one have to do, to get this honorable mention? You would be hard pressed to "read between the lines" I am sure. 
What if your story was wedged in between one of the most dramatic love stories since “Gone with the Wind”? Your name is mentioned along with one of the most prominent couples in the bible besides Adam and Eve; Abraham and Sarah. Their story set the tone for the entire book. When Abraham’s family tree is detailed; he has 2 brothers and 2 sister’s-in law, only one sister is named; Milcah. 
Genesis 11:29 Then Abram and Nahor took wives: the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and the father of Iscah.
Did you notice how Milcah was introduced; “the daughter” of Haran; the father of Milcah and the father of Iscah.” Abraham’s wife Sarai isn’t introduced like that. I believe that she and her husband were probably part of the "kin-folk" that traveled with Abraham and Sarah when they left Ur. Further down in the journey, one brother Haran died, and Terah their father turned back to idolatry and later died alone with his "strange gods". But no mention of what happened to Milcah and Nahor. Maybe like Lot, they wanted their own "piece of the rock" and found a nice piece of land and settled on it.  
I would speculate that they had great wealth also, because the covenant that was extended to Abraham included them. 

When Abraham’s son Isaac was almost 40 years old, Abraham started to plan his marriage. He did not want his son to marry any of the "daughters of the Caananitte's or even the Hittite's", he wanted to find a "daughter" of the covenant. He received this information about his brother Nahor’s family.
Genesis 22:20 Now it came to pass after these things that it was told Abraham, saying, “Indeed Milcah also has borne children to your brother Nahor:
And once again, the genealogy of his sister in law’s family was given:
Genesis 22:23 And Bethuel begot Rebekah; These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham’s brother.
Wow, we see a new name, Rebekah; who is Milcah’s granddaughter.So Abraham sent his right hand man Eleazer, to pay a visit his brother and his sister in law Milcah. He was interested in this new daughter named Rebekeh.
Genesis 24:15 And it happened, before he had finished speaking, that behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her pitcher on her shoulder. 
Genesis 24:  24 So she said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, Milcah’s son, whom she bore to Nahor
Genesis 24:47 Then I asked her, and said, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ And she said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.’ So I put the nose ring on her nose and the bracelets on her wrists.
This is how Milcah and Rebekah will be remembered in history; they were Daughters. I have pondered often what is the significance of being a “Daughter”.  I grew up in the South and a common introduction of children and adults went like this:  This is: So and So’s granddaughter, her mother is “So and So”, and so on . It is a brief but important genealogy in what seems to be a casual greeting.  Recently my neighbor invited me to a prayer breakfast at her church. I was excited to go but I was a little concerned about not knowing anyone except my neighbor. As I was standing in a very long breakfast line, I met two ladies, and one of them looked familiar. We introduced ourselves, and we each asked the other about our hometowns.  One of the ladies came from my very own home town in Louisiana. She had lived across the street from the Elementary School I attended and also her kids. I found out that her kids also attended the same middle school and high school as I did, and around the same time frame. At that point we both screamed and asked the same questions: "What is your maiden name, your mother’s name, your grandmother’s name? Awesome, it was the beginning a new friendship. I had an impression that in Heaven, when we meet our ancestors, this may be the type of conversation we will have, and we will bring our friends along too, because they are family too.

In Mark 5:25-34,there is another record of a "daughter"whose story seems to be “wedged in”. If you noticed, this scripture did not have a proper introduction for her, in Mark 5:25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years. She has no name, no “family history”, she is only known by her condition; the woman with the issue of blood who touches the garment of Jesus. You know the story, he turns around and asks the question “Who touched me?”  She did, an anonymous woman who no one had paid any attention to. She had been practically crawling on the ground, she was considered “untouchable”. Even though her goal was to feel better and to be healed, I am sure deep down she craved a “restoration” of who she really was. She was “miles” away from her ancestors Milcah and Rebekah. In verse 34, Jesus does something unique: And he said to her “Daughter, thy faith has made the whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague”. This had the same implication as “Welcome to the family, we have missed you so much".  God doesn't want us to be anonymous anymore.

The other day I was at the grocery store and the lady who checked me out had a very unusual name. It was spelled Binizit and I asked her what her name meant. She said it meant "Daughter" in Arabic. I thought, how unusual. But I realized that "Daughter" is our name for the eternities. We as women were given this name, Daughter as a Title, as a Duty,and as a privilege. Or else how can we develop a mother heart for those children, not our own? How can we become teachers, and leaders and even followers, if we cannot manifest the gift of being known as Daughter?

And finally, if the course of the Lord is one eternal round,another "wedge" in modern scripture is one of my favorites in Doctrine and Covenants 25:1-3. This is a personal revelation from the Savior to Emma Smith. It is a love letter and  I love her. I feel like she is our "patron Saint". Doctrine and Covenants 25 is a record of a unique and personal and intimate one sided conversation. A revelation just for Emma and in retrospect if you ponder the words and meaning of the revelation, it applies to all of God's daughters. The unique thing is that Jesus is speaking and He pronounces her "my daughter", just like the woman who touched the hem of his garment. 
Doctrine and Covenants 25:1-3
1 Hearken unto the voice of the Lord your God, while I speak unto you, Emma Smith, my daughter; for verily I say unto you, all those who receive my gospel are sons and daughters in my kingdom
2 A revelation I give unto you concerning my  will; and if thou art faithful and walk in the paths of virtue before me, I will preserve thy life, and thou shall receive an inheritance in Zion.
3 Behold, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou art an elect lady, whom I have called.

This year marks the 100th celebration of Mother's Day. I have always loved celebrating this day. I am the only daughter of Ruth, who was the youngest daughter of Clothiel. We are daughters of our Heavenly Father. These were words that I had never heard applied to me before I heard them from Missionarys. I have two mothers. My mom passed away 4 years ago, but I believe that my very own loving Heavenly Father knew I would come to that day unprepared. My dad had remarried , and his wife is now my step mother. It's funny, a lot of people may not care for their step parents, at any age, but I have known this lady all of my life and she has always loved me and my brother. I am her daughter now. 
Happy Mother's day to my Sister -Daughter, my Sister -Moms, my Sisters.
My mom and dad














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