Summary: In part 2 of this series, we look at Jacob’s first 2 sons, Reuben and Simeon and what they symbolize in and for the church.
We continue to look at the 12 stone memorial that was set up by the Israelites after crossing the Jordan. Each stone was for each of the 12 tribes of Israel. We are going to look together at the first two sons born to Jacob and the significance of what God was doing in and through these sons.
n Although Jacob’s desire was to be fruitful with Rachel, God had closed her womb.
n Jacob’s fruitfulness came with Leah, the one he really didn’t want in the first place.
n We must realize that if we ever want to be fruitful with Rachel, we must first be faithful with Leah.
n There are times in our lives where God will put things in our lives that we don’t really want, so that He can bring us to the place that He wants us to be.
n What we can learn in our times with Leah will serve us well when we get to our fruitfulness with Rachel.
n If fruitfulness with Rachel does not come at the right time, it can be damaging to all involved. Far too many think they are ready when God knows they are not.
o We must trust God’s timing.
*Jacob’s first 4 sons were born to Leah. Let’s recap what Leah stands for.
a. Leah was tender eyed. This doesn’t mean she wasn’t attractive, she just didn’t turn a lot of heads. She had her own qualities, but wasn’t highly favored.
b. The name Leah means weary.
i. Over the life of the church, weariness is one of the biggest barriers and obstacles to the life that the church is designed to have.
ii. Weariness will cause you to stop short of the mark. It will cause you to miss out on what is truly available.
c. The name Leah means impatient.
i. The church is often guilty of jumping the gun and going after things before she is ready.
d. The name Leah means grieved.
i. Grief in and of itself is part of life, but the issue with the church is that she often takes on way too much grief and hurt.
ii. A major danger and pitfall in the church is to try and do whatever is necessary to avoid grief and hurt.
e. The name Leah means to be offended.
i. It is impossible to not be offended in life. The issue is how we deal with that.
ii. An offended church becomes quite destructive to themselves and to others around them. Hurting people hurt people.
f. Leah was the one who was ultimately buried with Jacob. The tomb held Abraham & Sarah, Isaac & Rebekah, and Jacob & Leah (Genesis 49:31).
Jacob & Leah’s First 2 Sons:
a. The name Reuben means “behold a son” or “a gift is given”.
b. Leah declared that Reuben had been given to her in her affliction.
c. In the midst of trials and affliction, God had proven Himself faithful by providing His gift.
d. In the Leah era, in the times of grief and offense and the epitome of everything the church doesn’t want, God has provided His blessing.
e. A gift has been given – before we can become all that God wants us to be and be fruitful in our Rachel time, we must allow the fullness of God’s Spirit to work in our lives.
f. Think about this:
i. We don’t need the gift of healing unless someone is sick.
ii. We don’t need the gift of faith unless there is a need.
iii. We don’t need the gift of miracles unless something has to change or else.
iv. God’s gifts are best developed in affliction and suffering.
g. God wants us to learn how to cultivate what He has called us to in the midst of the difficult time, so that we can know how to utilize our gifts when the time calls for them.
a. The name Simeon means God has heard.
b. Leah declares that God has heard her when she was hated or unloved.
c. Leah was feeling as though she was second-class or unappreciated.
d. She learned in this time that God is listening and hears the cries of hurt and disappointment.
e. During our times of lack and feeling unloved or disappointed is when we learn best how to cry out to God.
f. Even Jesus Himself cried out all the more earnest during His most difficult hour in the garden.
g. This is where God brings us to a place that we must learn how to call out to Him.
h. Cultivating and developing a life of prayer is vital to the health and growth of a church.