101-130 Genesis Part 3 Chapter 30
Envy and jealousy is a poison to the peace of the soul. It profits one nothing to grieve over the fortunes of another. There is nothing to be gained but contention and dissatisfaction with one’s own accomplishments. Envy is a sin that is hateful towards God and does great harm to neighbors and to one’s self. Rachael considered not that it is God that makes the difference and in other aspects of her life she had the advantage. We should carefully watch against the workings of this passion in our own minds. Let us not have this evil come into our hearts through the eye and harbor this evil feeling towards our neighbor, as our Lord’s thoughts are pure and we should strive to be as Him. Jacob loved Rachael and reproved her for this attitude. Jacob was faithful in his love for Rachael and his loving reproof demonstrated this.
Still Jacob was swayed by Rachael’s persuasion to take her handmaid Bihah for a wife and bear children. It was the custom of those times to do such a thing. Bihah bore children and they became as Rachael’s. The evil thoughts that had entered into Rachael’s mind would have been better if she had a greater concern for the children of Leah than that of her handmaid. In Rachael’s selfishness she desired children she could rule over than children she had more reason to love. Rachael takes pleasure in giving her children by her handmaid names that show her rivalry towards her sister Leah.
Bihah bore Rachael a son and Rachael said the Lord had judged her and heard her plea and named her son Dan, which means “judgment.” Bihah bore a second son and Rachael declared that she had wrestled with her sister and named the son Naphtali, which means “my wrestling.”
The root of envy will grow and bring forth bitterness and strife and cause great mischief among relations. Leah unable to bear another child also persuaded Jacob to take her handmaid Zilpath. See the power jealousy can have over the lives of people. It is here that we can fully appreciate the wisdom of God in Divine appointment, which joins one man with one woman only.
Leah bore a son by her handmaid Zilpath and said that a troop cometh. As Leah named him Gad, which means “troop.” Perhaps Leah expected more but is was said of Gad in Genesis 49:19 that he was a raider at the heels of his enemies. Leah bore another son through Zilpath and said happy am I. Leah named this son Asher which means “happy or blessed.”
The two sisters Leah and Rachael, although with true desire of being the mother of the promised seed, and the honor of having many children, remained in a contest with each other to bare children. They both were influenced by the promises of God to Abraham, which held the richest of blessings and from whom the Messiah was to come. Leah’s deal with Rachael to lay with Jacob produced another son of her own. Leah bore another son and believing God had rewarded her named the son Issachar, which means, “hire or reward.” Leah then bore another son by Jacob and named him Zebulun, which means, “dwelling.”
God also remembers Rachael and she also bore a son by Jacob. Rachael said the Lord has taken away her reproach and named her son Joseph. Joseph means, “Adding, or rather, to be added; or, God shall add.” Rachael expressing her renewed faith said may the Lord give here another son.
After twenty years with his uncle Laban Jacob new it was time for him to return to Canaan to rejoin with his family there. Jacob had spent the twenty years in service to Laban with no wage for his labors. He now had two wives and their handmaids, eleven sons and on daughter to care for. 1 Timothy 5:8 says that a man must care for his own family and house hold and if he does not then he has denied the faith. So Jacob struck one more deal with Laban that he would care for his flocks in exchange for the lesser of Laban’s herds. Laban had prospered greatly due to Jacobs work for him and agreed to the deal. The Lord continued to bless Jacob as He had promised and Jacob prospered greatly also with large herds and servants.