When God Remembers

 based on the Love God Greatly Study, Enduring Hope / w4d2

Today’s Reading: Genesis 29:31-30:24 / SOAP 30:22-24

Then Leah said, “God has given me a good gift. Now my husband will honor me because I have given him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun.

21 After that she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.

22 Then God took note of Rachel. He paid attention to her and enabled her to become pregnant. 23 She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. Then she said, “God has taken away my shame.” 24 She named him Joseph, saying, “May the Lord give me yet another son.”

Genesis 30:22-24
The Back Story

Jacob’s story with Leah and Rachel is best understood by going back to the day his father, Isaac, sent him on a journey. “You must not marry a Canaanite woman!  Leave immediately for Paddan Aram! Go to the house of Bethuel, your mother’s father, and find yourself a wife there, among the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother.  May the Sovereign God bless you! May he make you fruitful and give you a multitude of descendants! Then you will become a large nation.  May he give you and your descendants the blessing he gave to Abraham so that you may possess the land God gave to Abraham, the land where you have been living as a temporary resident.” 

After Isaac had spoken these words , he sent Jacob on his way, and Jacob went to Paddan Aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean and brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau. Along the wayJacob falls asleep and has a dream, in which he hears God say, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of your father Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the ground you are lying on. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west, east, north, and south. And so all the families of the earth may receive blessings through you and through your descendants. I am with you! I will protect you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I promised you!”

Following this, Jacob made a vow, saying: “If God is with me and protects me on this journey I am taking and gives me food to eat and clothing to wear,  and I return safely to my father’s home, then the Lord will become my God. Then this stone that I have set up as a sacred stone will be the house of God, and I will surely give you back a tenth of everything you give me.” Afterwards, Jacob moved on and came to the land of the eastern people.

And So It Began

This is where the ‘today’s story’ begins. For it is here that Jacob met and fell in love with Rachel, It is also here that Jacob was deceived by Laban, his mother’s brother. It is because of that deception that we find the two sisters, Rachel and Leah, both married to Jacob, one loved and the other unloved, one betrayed by her father and the other used in the deception of Jacob. While the events and desires or plans of Jacob’s life had become disrupted by man’s schemes, God was (and is) in perfect and complete control. He was not working only in and for Jacob – but for Leah and Rachel and the children they would bear and when they would bear them

Leah had given Jacob four sons but Rachel was unable to give Jacob children. Jealous of Leah and desperate for children, rather than trust God she schemes and manipulates the situation by giving her servant to Jacob so that she could conceive for her. Perhaps culturally acceptable in that day, this decision and manipulation never ceases to amaze me. However, I’m even more amazed and have learned much from the fact that she gives God the credit and the glory for something she manipulated.

“God has vindicated me. He has responded to my prayer and given me a son.”

Genesis 30:6

The manipulation and the competitive actions of the sisters continue. Leah longing for Jacob to love her and Rachel longing to give her husband a son. The women seem to be pawns in Laban’s schemes and obviously manipulative themselves, but God did not forget them, (Genesis 30:17 and 22). Because God did not forget them, because He is in complete and perfect control of all things, Leah was able to conceive two more sons and a daughter. Rachel also became pregnant and gave Jacob two sons, Joseph and Benjamin, (Genesis 35:24). Because God’s love and power are seen in His Word I can endure the times of waiting and unfulfilled desires with Hope.

Response to God’s Word

Father, how often in the past have I not been patient for You to answer or trusted that You would answer according to my desires. In my impatience and self-consumed desires I have often pushed ahead and manipulated people and situations to attain my wants and my goals. I look back with regret on many of these things and yet I also see Your power to work all these things together for the good of those who love you, who have been called according to Your purpose. Thank You for the lessons of Scripture and for those You have taught me through life’s experiences. Thank You for forgiveness of sin and for Your perfect and complete control in all things. Thank You for remembering me when I was childless and desperate and for letting me look back now and see how you opened my womb when the time was just as You desired and knew it should be, for both Your will and my benefit, in the years to come! Blessed be Your name and power – O LORD, my God and Father.

Going Deeper

The Back Story

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