THE DEATH OF RACHEL AND ISAAC
After God’s visitation, Jacob (Israel) and his family journeyed from Bethel and as they were about to get to Bethlehem. Rachel labored in childbirth with hard labor, and as she had the baby, she named the baby Ben-Oni, because her soul was departing, but the father called him Benjamin. So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Bethlehem and Israel set a pillar on her grave, which is there till today. (Genesis 35:16-20) This was an unfortunate incident that took the life of Rachel away at such a young age. If you would recollect that Jacob pronounced a death sentence on whosoever stole Laban’s idol. Rachel did not tell her husband neither did she confess to her father that she took the idol. Thus the curse was hanging on her from that time. We were never told whether Rachel confessed this to anyone. But thank God she was able to bring forth her second son as she was looking forward to this.
The significance of names of individuals was manifested here when the name Ben-Oni was changed immediately to Benjamin by the father. All through the readings from Abraham, we were constantly informed of change of names of the major characters, and here Jacob was also named Israel, and Ben-Oni became Benjamin. The death of Rachel was painful because she did not live to see Benjamin grow up. Benjamin could have been nursed by her sister Leah or her handmaid Bilhah. The consequences of sin is always devastating and this is why the Bible says , “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 3:23).
In this chapter again, we were informed of the atrocities committed by Reuben, Israel’s first born, who went to lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine (Rachel’s handmaid).the mother of Dan and Naphtali, This was a serious offence but Israel did not say anything about it. The chapter concluded with the list of the twelve sons of Jacob with their mothers,that eventually came to meet Isaac in Mamre which is the city of Arbah also called Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac sojourned. Isaac was still alive and the days of Isaac were 180 years, and then he gave up the ghost and his sons Esau and Israel buried him. Walking through these chapters we can recognize the faithfulness of God in the lives of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God promised them long life and wealth. Abraham lived for 175 years and Isaac lived for 180 years. At the time of the death of Isaac, Jacob and Esau were 120 years of age because they were born to Isaac when he was 60 years old. God is faithful to his promises as He continued to pass on the blessings to their children’s children. This goes to show that if we walk with God, we will receive abundant blessings which we can pass on to our own children’s children and then as Psalm 91 says He will satisfy us with long life and good health. I pray that this awareness will stay with us so as to make us conscious of how to receive from the LORD. I also pray that this year 2019 will bring us closer to God and every of our blessings that are pending will be released to us in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen. God bless you all.