HEALTHY RIVALRY BETWEEN SISTERS
When the Lord saw that Leah was ]unloved, He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren. So Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben; for she said, “The Lord has surely looked on my affliction. Now therefore, my husband will love me.” Then she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I am ]unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” And she called his name ]Simeon. She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi. And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Now I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she called his name Judah.[i] Then she stopped bearing. Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister, and said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I die!” And Jacob’s anger was aroused against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” So she said, “Here is my maid Bilhah; go in to her, and she will bear a child on my knees, that I also may have children by her.” Then she gave him Bilhah her maid as wife, and Jacob went in to her. And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. Then Rachel said, “God has judged my case; and He has also heard my voice and given me a son.” Therefore she called his name Dan. And Rachel’s maid Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Then Rachel said, “With ]great wrestling I have wrestled with my sister, and indeed I have prevailed.” So she called his name ]Naphtali. When Leah saw that she had stopped bearing, she took Zilpah her maid and gave her to Jacob as wife. And Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a son. Then Leah said, “A troop comes!” So she called his name ]Gad. And Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. then Leah said, “I am happy, for the daughters will call me blessed.” So she called his name Asher. Now Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest 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.” 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?” And Rachel said, “Therefore he will lie with you tonight for your son’s mandrakes.” When Jacob came out of the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must come in to me, for I have surely hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” And he lay with her that night. And God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. Leah said, “God has given me my wages, because I have given my maid to my husband.” So she called his name Issachar. Then Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son. And Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good endowment; now my husband will dwell with me, because I have borne him six sons.” So she called his name Zebulun. Afterward she bore a daughter, and called her name ]Dinah. Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb. And she conceived and bore a son, and said, “God has taken away my reproach.” So she called his name ]Joseph, and said, “The Lord shall add to me another son.” (Genesis 29: 31-35, 30:1-24).
We have read the tussle between the two sisters and how this rivalry had produced the children of Jacob that the LORD promised him being the heir of the blessings of Abraham. This was a good one and surely the Hand of the LORD was in it. God uses different ways to achieve His objective and He had gently populated the life of Jacob with 11 sons from different women of the same family. What a wonderful way to grow a family. The LORD that promised Abraham that he shall become great and father of nations had manifested his promise through Jacob. God is the only one that can make any one great. If one traces the life history of many important personalities today, we will be able to see from step to step how God played His leading role in their lives even though they might not recognize it and some of them might call it luck. Let us not loose sight of the lessons from the story of these people of God. The major lesson is that we might know the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob as the God of Heaven and Earth, the God that is from generation to generation, the God that keeps His covenant, the God that rules in the affairs of men, the God that can turn impossibility to possibility. I hope you can relate to the God that has no beginning and no ending and changes not, but can change your situation around as he did change Jacob’s life. Each name of Jacob’s sons were prophetic. Joseph’s name meant “The LORD shall add another son to me” And it did happen, which was Benjamin.
Therefore brothers and sisters, seek to know this God more, and allow Him to guide you throughout this year and the remaining of your life through his Word. When we study and meditate on His word more regularly, the secrets in His Word will be revealed to us. May the LORD continue to pour His Spirit into us in Jesus Name, Amen. May the GRACE of God continue to abide with us in Jesus Name Amen.