Leah And Rachael Compete for Jacob’s Love

The godly Scottish preacher Andrew Bonar penned a diary entry. He wrote, “This day 20 years ago I preached for the first time as an ordained minister. It is amazing that the Lord has spared me and used me at all. I have no reason to wonder that He used others far more than H … More

Envy

Rachel was very jealous of Leah for having children while she had none and blamed Jacob (v. 1) Because Jacob loved Rachael more than Leah he reaped many years of agony which this situation produced. It reminds us of the situation that his parents had when they played favorites with their sons. Rachael becomes envious because Leah is able to have children and she is not. Because of this she schemes to give Jacob her handmaid Bilhah (vv. 2-3) just as Sarah did many years before (Gen. 16:3). From this union two children were born (vv. 4-8). I think it should be noted that when Rebekah tried to have children her husband, Isaac, prayed for her (Gen. 20:17). But with Jacob, he had not yet learned to stand tall on his knees is prayer. 

As Leah was watching her sister’s pathetic performance she decided two could play the game so she gave her handmaid Zilpah to Jacob for which two sons were born (vv. 9-13). Instead of finding her joy in God, Leah was finding a fleeting happiness in winning a carnal victory. It is hard to imagine a wife who would give her hand maid to her husband just to get what she wanted

During the wheat harvest Reuben found some flowers and took them to his mother Leah but Rachel asked her for some of them and Leah said no (vv. 14-15). Bickering and shameless bargaining characterized this bigamous household. The family quarrel between the two sisters reached an all-time low in the circumstances that led to Issachar, Zebulun and Dinah’s birth (vv. 16-21). Leah said that “God had given her a wonderful gift, and her husband would be pleased for giving him six sons and a daughter.”

Finally God opened Rachael’s womb and she gave birth to Joseph (vv. 22-23). Rachel said, “God has taken away my disgrace and I’ll pray that the Lord will give me another son (v. 24). “This shows how births are controlled by God and not manipulated by people. In spite of this unhappy family situation God prospered Jacob and started to make from him a great nation. It is truly amazing how God wants to bless us in spite of who we are or what we may have done.

Application

I can scheme and plan my life but in the end God is going to have His way in spite of what I may say or do.

Genesis 30:1-24 (English Standard Version)


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