Daily reading assignment: Genesis 30-31
Twelve sons of Jacob will be borne by his wives, Leah and Rachel, and their servants, Zilpah and Bilhah. Twelve sons who are destined to be the fathers of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
Knowing Leah was Jacob’s least favored wife, God blessed her and we read, the LORD “opened her womb” (29:31). Leah was confident the LORD had blessed her because of the “affliction” (29:32) and rejection she suffered (29:33). She became the mother of Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah (29:31-35).
Ten sons of Jacob were born in his household before the LORD answered Rachel’s prayers for a son. Bearing the cultural shame of a barren wife, God opened Rachel’s womb and she conceived and gave birth to Jacob’s eleventh son whom she named Joseph (30:22-24). Later in our study of Jacob’s life, his beloved Rachel will die giving birth to his twelfth son whom he will name Benjamin (35:16-19).
With two wives, two handmaids, and eleven sons, a longing for home revived in Jacob’s heart and he stated his desire to return to his father’s household (30:25-26). When Laban denied his request, Jacob struck a deal and evidencing a knowledge of husbandry, became a wealthy man with large flocks and herds (30:37-43).
The LORD commanded Jacob to depart for the land He had promised him for an inheritance (31:1-3). Unfortunately, rather than trust the LORD and announce his plans to leave, Jacob plotted and schemed to take flight without Laban’s knowledge (31:4-20).
Learning Jacob had departed, Laban pursued and overtook him (31:1-23). Having been warned by God to not harm Jacob (31:24), Laban departs (31:25-55) as Jacob prepares to enter his homeland where he will soon face his brother Esau (32:1-3).
Jacob returns to Canaan; not a perfect man, but a man whose faith in the LORD has been magnified. The God of Abraham is his LORD. As a young, faithless, self-willed, man he fled his father’s household with nothing; now he returns home a man of wealth whom God had blessed and prospered. Not a promise of the LORD had failed.
I close with a prayer for you:
1 Peter 5:10 – 10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith