A Fertility God

Adam Navis

READ : Deuteronomy 7:6-16

There shall not be male or female barren among you or among your livestock. (v. 14)

Despite this promise, the Bible is full of people who cannot have children. Abraham and Sarah struggle to conceive. Isaac and Rebekah wait in vain. Jacob, Leah, and Rachel have a family dynamic that revolves around the in/ability to have children. Samson's mother waits on the Lord. Hannah is thought drunk because of her lamentation. Elderly Zachariah and Elizabeth have made peace with the fact that they won't have children before the angel announces the coming of a son.

Our society is also full of people who cannot have children. According to the Center for Disease Control, 10 percent of all women suffer some level of infertility. This number does not include miscarriage or other pregnancy related complications. Nor does it include the number of men who suffer from infertility. You may not know who they are, but statistically speaking, you know someone struggling with infertility.

Over the next two weeks we'll engage around biblical stories of in/fertility, stories that raise questions like, “Why is having children such a big deal in the Bible?” “What does that mean for us today?” “What might it mean that God ‘closed a womb'?” Fertility is an important theme in the Bible, one that is often neglected. We examine it here because by understanding the role of fertility in the Bible we gain an important metaphor for God's work in the world: to bring life where there is none.

PRAYER

Open our hearts to understand your word in a new way.