Sermon • Submitted • Presented • 30:12
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Gen 29 we ended with Leah having a fourth son, Judah, and praising God in the face of her tumultuous marriage.
This week we will see more of Jacob’s children come onto the scene. Very little application (though some micro-application throughout)
1 When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!” 2 Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?”
Rachel is envious and her character shows.
Jacob is angered points to God’s choice to withhold children
As discussed last week, the Bible is reporting on Jacob and his multiple wives, not supporting it.
Notice: Leah is his first, and “approved” wife. She is the one blessed with the most children and it’s from her we have Judah, the line of Kings, and eventually Jesus.
1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
God is teaching His people about the blessing of righteous marriage
3 Then she said, “Here is my servant Bilhah; go in to her, so that she may give birth on my behalf, that even I may have children through her.” 4 So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob went in to her. 5 And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. 6 Then Rachel said, “God has judged me, and has also heard my voice and given me a son.” Therefore she called his name Dan. 7 Rachel’s servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8 Then Rachel said, “With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister and have prevailed.” So she called his name Naphtali.
Rachel demonstrates the same lack of faith that Sarah has in Gen 16
2 And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.
4 And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress.
God teaches His people that you can try and take matters into your own hands, but you will never succeed and never be happy until you trust God completely.
9 When Leah saw that she had ceased bearing children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 Then Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11 And Leah said, “Good fortune has come!” so she called his name Gad. 12 Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13 And Leah said, “Happy am I! For women have called me happy.” So she called his name Asher.
Leah’s response is both Sarah and Rachel’s lack of faith and the adversarial nature of Leah and Rachel revealed.
Now we have a short aside:
14 In the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found mandrakes in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” 15 But she said to her, “Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes also?” Rachel said, “Then he may lie with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.” 16 When Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must come in to me, for I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he lay with her that night. 17 And God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18 Leah said, “God has given me my wages because I gave my servant to my husband.” So she called his name Issachar.
What is happening here? Reuben, who can’t be more than 6-8 years old at this point, finds mandrakes and brings them to his mother. Rachel wants them and asks for them. The purpose is completely speculative, but given the circumstances we know that Rachel likely wants them for the sake of fertility. She purchases them but her plan backfires
19 And Leah conceived again, and she bore Jacob a sixth son. 20 Then Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good endowment; now my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons.” So she called his name Zebulun. 21 Afterward she bore a daughter and called her name Dinah.
22 Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb. 23 She conceived and bore a son and said, “God has taken away my reproach.” 24 And she called his name Joseph, saying, “May the Lord add to me another son!”
Rachel finally receives a son. Her response is just as telling as her attitude in the opening verses.
Pray for God to reveal Himself within your unique family composition
Pray for God to reveal Himself to you personally through His Word
Pray for God to strengthen your faith and obedience