When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!” Genesis 30:1
Drama anyone? Rachel, still unable to have children, has Jacob marry and get her servant pregnant to give her sons (sound familiar…remember Jacob’s grandmother, Sarah, Abraham’s wife, did the same).
Meanwhile, Leah continues to have more sons. Until she doesn’t. So she also has Jacob marry and get her servant pregnant for more sons. What in the world?
Rachel finally gets pregnant and ultimately has two sons. Jacob loves Joseph, the firstborn of the sons from his beloved Rachel, more than the others. Here is a recap of the twelve sons of Jacob in order of birth:
Twelve sons. The twelve tribes of Israel from this mess.
Jesus comes through the tribe of Judah, born of Leah. The fourth son from the unloved Leah. God saw and loved Leah. God loves, even when we mess it up or don’t feel loved by those around us.
God can surely use all of our messes to accomplish His plans. But our mess and disobedience aren’t without consequences. Yes, God’s plan will prevail, but it doesn’t mean it will be easy or there won’t still be pain associated with our actions. This family, steeped in deception and manipulation, is full of turmoil, strife, jealousy, and hatred.
Challenge: Ask God to show you any places you may be deceiving or manipulating to get an outcome you are hoping for.
Reference: 12 Sons of Jacob