To: en & more
From: Su Min
Subject: Genesis 30
to my beloved in Poole, Bangkok and Singapore, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours, grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 1:2-3).
In Genesis 30:1-12 we see how mortals who try to produce human solutions often do so by ignoring God's will. Just as Hagar was abused, so too is Bilhah, brought into the marriage triangle to make it a quadrangle, to bear a child for Rachel, sired by Jacob. Twice in a row she does this, producing Dan and Napthali. Rachel crows to this success over Leah (vs 8), provoking Leah to enter the vicious cycle, thrusting her maidservant Zilpah into the marriage pentagon, 2 sons Gad & Asher being the outcome. The multiple conjugal partners cannot be the desire of God's plan, though God can and does use our mistakes to his glory when he chooses to.
The mandrake is a perennial herb with a torso shaped root of reputed aphrodisiac properties and probably desired by Rachel as a fertility charm. So desperate is Rachel for this that she agrees a trade of one night of Jacob's time with Leah in return for the gift of mandrakes. Leah makes most of this opportunity, and in spite of vs 9, lo and behold God hears her plea, she conceives, giving birth to Issachar, and does it again, delivering Zebulun, and follows up this string of reproduction by giving birth to a daughter, Dinah.
All this time, Rachel remained barren, till, finally, in vs 22 she gives birth to Joseph.
Now Jacob is ready to go home, but Laban was not willing to let this able worker go easily. Jacob asks for the blemished sheep and goats to be his wages: Laban agrees and craftily removes all the blemished animals from his flocks (vs 35). If all the flock are pure how will the offspring be blemished, striped or spotted? Not to be outfoxed, Jacob, skilled farmer as he is, creates a streaked environment for the animals, and by example, striped and specked young are produced (Vs 37-39). The blemished animals are paraded as an example to the others vs (40), and selective breeding of the stronger animals resulted in Jacob becoming more prosperous.
Let us pray
Thank you for the lesson today
We understand the joy of married life that you have destined for husband and wife, and the joy of raising a family within your guidelines.
We also see, Father, the pains that occur both to you and to ourselves, when we do not follow your guidelines.
Both in the old testament and in the new testament your word reveals your perfect plan for us.
Fuel the hunger for your Word in us Lord.
Give us the humility and obedience to obey it.
In Jesus name.
For any comments or enquiries please write to Dr. Lim Su Min
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