â€œThen they journeyed from Bethel. And when there was but a little distance to go to Ephrath, Rachel labored in childbirth, and she had hard labor. Now it came to pass, when she was in hard labor, that the midwife said to her, â€˜Do not fear; you will have this son also.â€™ And so it was, as her soul was departing (for she died), that she called his name Ben-Oni; but his father called him Benjamin. So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). And Jacob set a pillar on her grave, which is the pillar of Rachelâ€™s grave to this day.â€ (Genesis 35:16-20)
If Jacob and Rachel were living in the 21st Century and had the wonders of science at their disposal, it is not too far-fetched to imagine that doctors may have predicted Rachelâ€™s death. Doctors may have been able to warn the couple that if the baby was allowed to come to term that Jacob’s beloved Rachel would most likely die in childbirth.
If this couple were not the seed of Abraham with 11 sons already and devout followers of Jehovah, is it improbable to imagine them â€œelectingâ€ to have an abortion? In the eyes of many it would be understandable; for goodness sake you cannot expect the mother to give up her life for the baby? Rachel had such a hard time conceiving Joseph and although Scripture does not tell us so, it would not be uncommon for Rachel to have experienced miscarriages prior to and after Joseph’s birth.
Jacob was a wealthy man. However, what if he was a man of meager means and possibly on government assistance? Then with the current Hyde Amendment, and support from the proposed Stupak and Ben Nelson Amendments, the government would have paid for ending the life of baby Benjamin.
Had for any reason Rachel decided not to bear Benjamin, what effect would that have had on history? First, every Jew under the rule of King Xerxes (from India to Egypt) would have been wiped out.
â€œWhen Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow or pay him homage, Haman was filled with wrath. But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him of the people of Mordecai. Instead, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerusâ€”the people of Mordecai.â€ (Esther 3:5-6)
But because Mordecai was able to convince his cousin Queen Esther to intercede for the Jewish people, a whole race was saved. So what does this have to do with Rachel and Benjamin?
â€œIn Shushan the citadel there was a certain Jew whose name was Mordecai the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a BENJAMITE. Kish had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captives who had been captured with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away. And Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncleâ€™s daughter, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman was lovely and beautiful. When her father and mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter.â€ [(Esther 2:5-7) emphasis added]
One look at Jewish contributions to civilization and it is easy see how this would have been a disaster for mankind. Not to mention the tribe of Judah was part of the Babylonian captivity. A quick look at the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew letâ€™s us know how losing that tribe would have affected history.
The sons of Ulam were descendents of Benjamin. First Chronicles 8:40 tells us that they â€œwere men of valorâ€”archers.â€ Would not the Israeli Army have missed those great warriors had they not been born?
King Saul was a Benjamite and many historians might question King Saulâ€™s contribution to the world. However his son Jonathan befriended King David and helped him escape Saulâ€™s wrath.
There was another famous Saul from the Bible who came from the tribe of Benjamin. He began as a persecutor of the early Christian church. He actually held the coats of those stoning Stephen the Martyr. It was on his was to Damascus, to persecute the Church, that he had a personal encounter with Jesus. Saul converted to Paul and became a church planter. He also wrote some pretty important letters to those churches. Those letters make up a large part of the New Testament.
Many are the preachers who have made the point that it is known only to God whether or not America has aborted its next George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. Perhaps the cure for cancer ended up on the floor of an abortion clinic. We will never know for sure. What we do know is that when we mess with life, it is much more than just a personal choice.
Let me end this on a present day note.
In 1987 a mother of four was pregnant with her fifth child. This mother became ill from amoebic dysentery she contracted while on a mission trip to the Philippines. Her doctor recommended she abort the baby because the drugs she was taking to fight the infection would severely disable the unborn child. Because of her faith this mother refused and ended up having a baby boy.
That boy is Tim Tebow.
â€œLet the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. â€˜For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,â€™ says the LORD. â€˜For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.â€™â€ (Isaiah 55:7-9)
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