Daily reading

Today’s reading is: Gen. 28:6-30:24

Video

Genesis Chapter Twenty-Eight

(Chapter Twenty-Eight outline continues from yesterday)

  1. Esau tries to use human viewpoint to solve his temporal-life problems (Gen. 28:6-9).
  2. Jacob departs from God’s geographic will, under deceptive conditions, with no recognition of God’s presence, or work (Gen. 28:10-22).
    1. God appears to Jacob, and confirms the Abrahamic Covenant to him (vv.12‑15).
    2. Henceforth, the Lord is called the God of Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob (Ex. 3:6,15,16).
    3. Jacob confesses his spiritual ignorance to God’s presence and work (Gen. 28:16,17).
    4. Jacob names the place Bethel: house of God (Gen. 28:19).
      1. Bethel will become a place of worship (Jdg. 20:18; 1st Sam. 10:3).
      2. It will be one of Samuel’s places of circuit ministry (1st Sam. 7:16).
      3. It will become a center for idolatry under Jeroboam (1st Kgs. 12:28,29).
    5. Jacob’s immaturity is likewise observed in the blasphemous vow he then takes (Gen. 28:20-22; 31:13).

Genesis Chapter Twenty-Nine

  1. God will be with Jacob in his sojourn, because He is the faithful one to bring about His promises (Ps. 139:10; Heb. 6:13-18; 2nd Tim. 2:13).
  2. Jacob arrives at the Haran well, but takes no time for prayer, as Abraham’s servant had done (Gen. 29:1-8; 24:12-14).
  3. Jacob has no understanding of the ways of the Arameans (Gen. 29:7,8).  The limited water supply is carefully guarded, and only opened in the presence of everyone.  Nobody trusts anybody here.
  4. Jacob sees Rachel, and immediately “falls in love” (Gen. 29:9-11,18,20).
    1. He disregards the local customs & laws, and personally waters Laban’s flock (v.10).
    2. He views Rachel as God’s wonderful provision (v.11).
  5. Jacob then encounters Laban—an even craftier wheeler-dealer than Jacob (Gen. 29:12-20).
    1. Laban receives Jacob, and immediately notices differences between Jacob’s arrival and the mission of Abraham’s servant in obtaining Rebekah (vv.12-14).
      1. Jacob brings no gifts.
      2. Jacob is not a trusted servant negotiating on Isaac’s behalf, but a willful son looking for his own wife.
    2. Laban turns Jacob’s stay from a family visit into an employment situation (vv.15‑20).
    3. Jacob bargained for his birthright, lied for his blessing, and will now work to “earn” his wife—human effort by means of human viewpoint in every instance.
  6. Laban betrays his contract with Jacob, and tricks him into marrying the “wrong” daughter (Gen. 29:21-30).
    1. Jacob is deceived in the darkness, and does not realize his error until his marriage to Leah is consummated (v.25).  What a Divine judgment for Jacob’s deception of Isaac!
    2. Laban admonishes Jacob for his ignorance of local customs, and his helplessness in the local conditions (v.26).  Jacob is out of place in Laban’s territory “our place” and Abraham’s wisdom in not sending Isaac to Haran is vindicated.
    3. Laban identifies Jacob’s desperation, and renegotiates the marriage contract (vv.27‑30).
    4. Jacob fails to recognize God’s overruling will, in giving him his “appointed wife” (Gen. 24:44), and insists that his will is better than God’s will.
  7. The Lord blessed Leah in her undeserved suffering, and rewarded the faithful believer with children (Gen. 29:31-35).
    1. Jacob committed great evil in his polygamous marriage, by loving one wife, and hating the other (v.31a).  Note that his hatred for Leah didn’t keep him from using her for his own sexual pleasures.
    2. God exerted His Sovereignty in opening and closing the women’s wombs (vv.31b,35b).
    3. Upon delivering her first son, Leah gives the glory to YHWH, and names Reuben with a spiritual significance to his name.  She knows that YHWH has “seen” her affliction, and she names her son “See, a Son” (v.32).
    4. Leah likewise gives a spiritual name to her other three sons. 
      1. YHWH has “heard” her prayers, so the baby is named Simeon: “heard” (v.33).
      2. She desires for her husband to be joined to her soul as well as her body, so she names her third son Levi: “joined to” (v.34).
      3. Leah’s prayers begin to be answered as Jacob begins to love her, and she praises YHWH for her fourth son Judah: “praised” (v.35).

Genesis Chapter Thirty

  1. Rachel’s lack of children produced terrible mental attitude sin against Leah, to the point of her becoming suicidal (Gen. 30:1).
  2. Jacob rebukes Rachel for her failure to recognize God’s sovereignty (Gen. 30:2).
  3. Rachel insists on her own “motherhood” in competition with Leah, and chooses to put her handmaiden to that task (Gen. 30:3,4,8).
    1. Rachel’s worldly viewpoint motivates her naming of Bilhah’s children.
      1. She views her “victory” in motherhood as God’s favorable judgment, and names Bilhah’s firstborn Dan: “he judged” (v.6).
      2. She views her competition with Leah as a wrestling struggle, and names Bilhah’s second son Naphtali: “wrestling” (v.8).
    2. Human effort only produced half of what God graciously gave Leah.
  4. Leah is now “outnumbered” two wives to one, and gives Jacob her maid Zilpah to even the score (Gen. 30:9-13).
    1. Leah sees this fifth son as fortunate, and names Zilpah’s firstborn Gad: “fortune” (v11).
    2. Leah is caught up in human happiness, and names Zilpah’s second son Asher: “happy” (v.13).
  5. Reuben makes a mandrake discovery, and Leah finds that she now has bargaining power over Rachel (Gen. 30:14-16).
    1. Rachel had “taken” Jacob’s attention away from Leah (v.15), and Leah had been praying to the Lord to return her husband back to her (v.17a).
    2. Rachel becomes so desperate in her lust for motherhood that she will attempt to use mandrakes to improve her fertility (v.14).
    3. Leah purchases Jacob’s bed services from Rachel in exchange for Reuben’s mandrakes (vv.15,16).
  6. Leah regrets her actions in giving Zilpah to Jacob, and repents of her mental attitude sin, as reflected in the names she gives her next three children (Gen. 30:18-21).
    1. She realizes that she has reaped wages for her sin, and names her fifth son Issachar: “wages” (v.18).
    2. She anticipates that her husband will honor her, and names her sixth son Zebulun: “honor” (v.20).
    3. Leah’s logic for the naming of Dinah is not given, but the feminine form of Dan means “judgment” and likely reflects Leah’s spiritual recognition of the Divine judgment that Jacob’s family will face.
  7. God mercifully gives Rachel a son (Gen. 30:22-24).
    1. Rachel celebrates that her reproach is gone (v.23).
    2. Rachel immediately expresses a desire for more children and names her firstborn son Joseph: “may He add” (v.24).

(Chapter Thirty continues tomorrow)