Genesis 29-30:1-24

Genesis 29

Jacob went on a journey and met Rachel while she was tending her sheep. He fell for her instantly and asked her father, Laban, for her hand in marriage. They made a deal that Jacob would serve Laban for seven years, then he would be allowed to marry Rachel.

After seven years, the wedding ensued. Unbeknownst to Jacob, however, he was tricked into marrying Leah, Rachel’s not-so-pretty older sister. Jacob was incensed, but Laban insisted that the eldest sister must marry first.

They struck another deal in which Jacob was allowed to also marry Rachel one week after his wedding to Leah. In return, he would serve Laban another seven years. So, Jacob married his beloved Rachel one week after marrying Leah, whom he did not love.

The Lord knew that poor Leah was unloved, so He gave her many children. Rachel, on the other hand, had not been able to conceive. Leah had four sons with Jacob: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah.

Genesis 30:1-24

Rachel was very jealous that Leah could bear Jacob children when she had not. Rachel threatened Jacob to give her children or she would die. Was she threatening suicide or just being overly dramatic? Either way, Jacob was angered by her outburst, claiming that he was not God. It wasn’t his fault.

Because it seems that no one ever learns from the lessons of history, Rachel gave her maid, Bilhah, to Jacob to bear him a child. Bilhah bore Jacob a son named Dan. Bilhah conceived again and gave Jacob another son, Naphtali, but then she stopped conceiving, and she too gave her maid, Zilpah, to Jacob who bore him two sons, Gad and Asher.

Leah ended up giving Jacob two more sons: Issachar and Zebulun, and then a daughter, Dinah.

Finally, God took pity on Rachel and opened her womb. She bore Jacob a son whom they called Joseph.

We’ve read this same story before when Sarah gave her maid to Abraham when she could not bear him children. Though God had promised her she would, she didn’t have enough faith. Abraham had a son with Hagar (Sarah’s maid) named Ishmael, and later God fulfilled His promise to Sarah who gave birth to Isaac. The descendants of these two continue to fight to this day. It seems when we stop waiting on God, when we decide to fix things ourselves, when we take matters into our own hands, we only mess things up, and not just for ourselves, but possibly for future generations.

Published by walkrlane

Christian blogger and author

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