Genesis 29:31, 30:22 – When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren…Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and opened her womb.
Yesterday, we started diving into the story of Jacob and his two wives – Rachel and Leah – and four baby mamas, who included Rachel and Leah’s maidservants. Rachel had convinced Jacob to sleep with her maidservant to give her children, as she was barren. Not to be out-sinned, Leah too pushes her husband Jacob to sleep with her maidservant. Leah named the son Gad, which means “luck”, and she failed to see that human life even comes from God’s hand. Jacob continued to sleep with Leah’s maidservant and had another son, which Leah named Asher (meaning “happy”) because it made her happy.
The hillbilly soap opera gets even weirder when Jacob’s firstborn son Reuben finds some mandrakes that he gives to his mother Leah. Rachel trades sex with their husband Jacob for Leah’s mandrakes, which may have been considered an ancient aphrodisiac. Happy to oblige, Jacob had sex with Leah that night and conceived yet another son, Issachar. With bizarre reasoning, Leah attributes the birth of this son to God blessing her for having her husband have sex with her servant, which is a simple way of her saying God was so happy about the adultery and bigamy that He was blessing her. Leah went on to have another son and eventually a daughter. At this point in the story, even the woke progressives are blushing.
Apparently, somewhere in all of this drama, Rachel prayed to God, who answered her prayer and gave her a son they named Joseph, who was the youngest of the 12 until Rachel also conceived Benjamin in Genesis 35:18. The other 10 sons and one daughter were conceived with his unloved wife Leah and the maidservants of Rachel and Leah. The daughters of Laban appear to be a lot like their deceiving father.
Through it all, God would preserve His covenant through Jacob’s sons, who would become the 12 tribes of Israel through whom Jesus would be born to deal with the human sin problem that was so evident in Jacob’s family. The theme of this section, as with the rest of Genesis and the Bible, is that God is the hero that rescues self-destructive sinners from themselves by His grace and mercy alone.
What does Revelation 21:1-12 reveal about the importance of the 12 sons who came from the four scheming women in Genesis?
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