Summary: Even though we sin, God is compassionate and blesses those who call on His name.
Our text today is a story within a story. We are studying Genesis 29-30, the story of the expansion of God’s promise through the descendants of Jacob. The STORY is the life of Jacob. But the story within the story is about dramatic way in which Jacob’s sons are born.
The bookmarks for this section center around the barrenness of Rachel. We begin in Genesis 29:31 where we read that “Rachel was barren.” We end in Genesis 30:22-24 where we read, “The Lord remembered Rachel, he listened to her and opened her womb.” Within the two folds of these markers we find an incredible, even a salacious account of four women, one husband and eleven children.
There are many interpretations on the births of the 12 sons.
Arthur Pink sees the life and ministry of Christ in the naming of the 12 sons.
Some commentators are quick to point out prophetic truths contained in the naming of the 12 sons.
Others use the text to highlight personality studies concerning Rachel and Leah.
But we want to see today the main application of this story.
Even though we sin, God blesses His children and shows compassion toward our broken hearts
This is an “R Rated Story!” Let’s review the essential elements of Jacob’s journey thus far.
Jacob arrives in Padan Aram and instantly falls in love with beautiful Rachel. Never mind that she is his first cousin, a matter far more offensive today than in Jacob’s time.
After a month of work for Rachel’s father - good ole’ uncle Laban, Jacob requests the hand of Rachel in marriage. He has to work 7 years tending sheep to earn this right, which he does gladly.
On their wedding night, Jacob is victim of a conspiracy between Laban and his oldest daughter Leah. Leah puts on Rachel’s wedding dress, covers up with a veil and sleeps with Jacob. Jacob wakes up and is horrified to discover that after seven years of patient waiting, he just spent his wedding night with the less desirable Leah!
In a bargain with Laban, Jacob works another seven years to “earn” the younger sister - 14 years of labor for 2 wives! During this time, the two sisters carry out a baby contest to win the favor of Jacob. He sleeps with both wives and both of their personal assistants and bears eleven sons and one daughter. Conflict is around every corner. This house is a mess!
If this were a movie today, with all the sex and betrayal, you would most tell people not to go and see it! It sounds more like a modern day Television show!
In fact, there are a couple of Television shows that might be usable to give us a title for Jacob’s story:
Instead of calling it “Two and a Half Men,” Jacob’s story could be called “Two Wives and Two Concubines.”
Or maybe Hollywood would base a series on this story and call it “How I Met Your Mothers.”
But the best contemporary twist to this story might be the story line from “Desperate Housewives.” The Genesis 29 version would be called “Desperate Sisters.”