Friday, April 12, 2013

K is for Keturah (Second String)

Keturah
Second String
Picture Credit: www.ngabo.org 

Runner-up.  Second chair.  Also ran.  Never mind that you were ahead of all but one, nobody like to be second.
Keturah learned how to play second fiddle, and she did it very well.  Abraham loved his beautiful wife, Sarah.  But the great patriarch also had another wife.

Name: “Fragrance” or “Incense”
Date: 22 Century B C
Identification:  Abraham’s second wife, she bore six sons to the Patriarch.
Story Line: Keturah brought love and companionship to Abraham’s old age.
Read in the Bible: Genesis 25: 1-11

No, not Hagar, the mother of Ishmael.  This was a later wife, a concubine, named Keturah.  She was only a secondary wife until Sarah died, but in Abraham’s old age, Keturah brought his companionship, not to mention six sons: Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.

Nobody likes to be second, but that doesn't have to get us down.  George Gershwin was the second-born son, but composed the incomparably beautiful “Rhapsody in Blue.”  John F. Kennedy was the second-born son, but became a popular American president. Most of the time when we are second we can’t help it.  We don’t control everything, but we can control whether we allow being second fiddle to ruin our happiness, or whether we go ahead and play our hearts out.


Keturah’s son did not receive an inheritance from Abraham.  Instead, he gave them gifts and sent them away.  Did that stop them?  Not at all.  They founded six powerful tribes stretching form the Arabian Desert to the northern Euphrates.  Their descendants were involved in international trade (Isaiah 60:6) as merchants (Genesis 37) and shepherds (Exodus 2:16).  One of them, the queen of Sheba, came to visit King Solomon on an important trade mission (1 Kings 19:2).  So whether it’s second born, a second career or just second place, give it your best shot.  Playing second fiddle is much better than not being in the orchestra.

                         —by Dr. Woodrow Kroll