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A Personal Review (Part Two)

May 27, 2013

In Part one, we left off with a touching on a noetic practice: Painting in Prayer.

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Painting in Prayer is not the same as Art of Prayer, and I am sure there are numerous books written on this. Painting in Prayer is used in the intellect to advise on set ideals. For example, if, while praying, someone heard,  “____will pay [his] debt because he has been deceived”, the intellect takes this through an advisory board of ethics. At face value, the mind asks: What debt? If [he] has school (college), house, car, marital … debt, then ____ will pay these (just about every person today, except those whose room and board is kept by an organization, has incurred a fair amount of debt). In Painting in Prayer, the advisory board on the intellect says, “Hold on, we can’t take this literally, for this is, after all, God we are praying to. God may speak in a language that we understand, but he also calls us to learn Spiritual Language, which relates in Spiritual Growth. This is hugely important to be aware of  that we might understand the Parables, and the Messages on His Word. Incidentally, much of the Old Testament is lost to people because of lack of Spiritual Language, this being the Wisdom on the Word. So many read these books and say, that is a mean-old-nasty-hateful God (based on what I have read and heard of others comments). Meanwhile, I say, wow, a love letter  to me?

So in the example above, the intellect sifts through the grain to find the truth on the words. The next question might be: Will ____ carry for [him] the debt [he] carries because ____ owes this to [him] for deceiving [him]? Or will ____ work off [his] debt for [him] because ____ has deceived [him]?

And lastly, what is meant by debt? What is the nature of this deception?

There is not enough information in this example to come into its meaning more fully, but what I experience in these is a Presence where the message is always, always multi-faceted. But we can ask questions to gain a clearer understanding. Actually, to not ask, is to live in ignorance, or, one may look at this as spiritual immaturity.

Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7.7

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Let’s look at Jacob’s story.

GENESIS

29 Then Jacob went on his journey and came to the land of the people of the east. As he looked, he saw a well in the field, and behold, three flocks of sheep lying beside it, for out of that well the flocks were watered. The stone on the well’s mouth was large, and when all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone from the mouth of the well and water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place over the mouth of the well.

Jacob said to them, “My brothers, where do you come from?” They said, “We are from Haran.”He said to them, “Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?” They said, “We know him.” He said to them, “Is it well with him?” They said, “It is well; and see, Rachel his daughter is coming with the sheep!” He said, “Behold, it is still high day; it is not time for the livestock to be gathered together. Water the sheep and go, pasture them.” But they said, “We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together and the stone is rolled from the mouth of the well; then we water the sheep.”

While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10 Now as soon as Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, Jacob came near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. 12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s kinsman, and that he was Rebekah’s son,and she ran and told her father.

13 As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he ran to meet him and embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban all these things,14 and Laban said to him, “Surely you are my bone and my flesh!” And he stayed with him a month.

15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my kinsman, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?” 16 Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah’s eyes were weak,[a] but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. 18 Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” 19 Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.

21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my time is completed.”22 So Laban gathered together all the people of the place and made a feast. 23 But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and he went in to her. 24 (Laban gave[b] his female servant Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her servant.) 25 And in the morning, behold, it was Leah! And Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?” 26 Laban said, “It is not so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. 27 Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years.” 28 Jacob did so, and completed her week. Then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29 (Laban gave his female servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her servant.) 30 So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served Laban for another seven years.

And then the story continues with Jacob’s children.

Some questions that one in Painting in Prayer might ask is: Who or what does Jacob represent? What came before in Jacob’s life? What is meant by the rolling away the stone when all the flocks are gathered together? Who or what is the well? Why would Laban allow Jacob to work seven years thinking he would receive Rachel after he had completed this? Who or what do Leah and Rachel represent? Why did Laban deceive Jacob? Who do the female servants Zilpah and Bilhah represent in the story? And lastly, what is meant by giving the firstborn in marriage before the younger?

There is so much to glean from Jacob’s story, and never enough time to do it. In working these essays, I choose to show a little that another might show a lot. Jacob represents Youth. The well represents the Time in our lives to choose. The daughters of Laban represent Endurance and Wealth. The other country (verse 26) represents what was essayed on in The Prodigal Pope. And lastly, to give the firstborn before the younger is found in: 

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You  cannot serve God and mammon. Matthew 6.24.

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