Dream word – PRAY
“Thus says the Lord: ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.’” NKJV
Our text for tonight is both a prophetic and poetic expression, in that it prophetically foretold “the slaying of the Benjamite innocents” by Herod, as recorded in the Gospel according to Matthew and is also a poetic expression, of all the mournings and moanings of God’s people under their calamitous burdens throughout the ages.
Rachel, cranky, crabby and cross in character, was nevertheless, the best loved wife of Jacob the patriarch. Rachel, beautiful in youthful exuberance, fetching in form and adorable in appearance, had captivated Jacob’s, then momma’s boy heart, “So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.” Genesis 29:20 NKJV
Another beautiful woman, a poet and painter herself, better known for being the muse of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the wife of Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti, was today in 1862, despite her own fantastic form and features, found dead from an overdose of Laudanum, when her husband and another poet friend, returned home from a night out on the town. Around the time of her death, there were rumours of suicide and even today, questions are raised about whether Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal, was in fact murdered.
Siddal, like her husband Rosseti, was in fact a drug addict. A paragraph can never sum up anyone’s life, but it is apparent that Siddal’s first pregnancy by Rossetti, was in great part a hopeful security for his continued love, if not fidelity. The still-birth of this security package, so damaged the totality of Siddal’s constitution that even whilst pregnant a second time by Rosseti, she overdosed herself to death.
It is reported that Rosseti was inconsolable at the time and in reflection of this, took the whole body of his poetic work and placed them in the coffin, binding them in his corpse wife’s, flowing hair. Not too much later in life, his own constitution now displaying all the signs of a slow suicide of the soul and with his painters eyesight failing, he had his dead wife’s body secretly exhumed by night and from the copper hair filled coffin, had the poetry removed from the dark. A single worm had burrowed a bullet hole through the heart of the poetry.
The exhumed poetic work was edited and published but its “fleshly” content brought the author, both manifest and mighty criticism. This crushing criticism, combined with Rossetti’s own drug addiction, his deepening depression and rising delusions, his fear of the secret of the exhumation of his dead love being made public and no doubt the damage done by his own failed attempt at Laudanum suicide, led to a stroke and his eventual and lonely death in 1882.
Rachel had angered Jacob when in her own desperation she had cried,“Give me children else I die!” Genesis 30:1,2.Unfortunately this self fulfilling prophecy, was realised just short of the little town of Bethlehem, when Rachel did indeed die whilst giving birth to her second son, whom she named “Son of my pain,” whom Jacob quickly renamed “Son of My Right Hand.”
There are many lessons for us here in both these poetic stories. From the many, allow me to briefly leave with you a simple consideration and an observation tonight.
First, consider that the grieving and groaning of barren women, longing for life to come forth from them, are so powerful, that they seem to resonate through space and time, their echoes being strong enough for many other people to both feel and hang their sadness on. I wonder if this powerful grieving, if not channelled into pleading prayer, will simply bring forth death instead of life? I wonder?
Secondly, observe that there are some old loves and some lost works that really need to remain buried. Let it go. Let them go. Else a worm will burrow a bullet hole through the centre of your own heart and soul. Jacob buried his love, erected a pillar of remembrance and moved on with his life. You need to do the same.
Listen: “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 Rachel's grave to this day.” - Genesis 35:19-20 NKJV
Pray: Father, deliver me from self curses, crypt raiding and worms of the heart, in Jesus name I pray, amen.
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