25 As soon as Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, that I may go to my own home and country. 26 Give me my wives and my children
for whom I have served you, that I may go, for you know the service that I have given you.” 27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your sight, I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed
me because of you. 28 Name your wages, and I will give it.” 29 Jacob said to him, “You yourself know how I have served you, and how your livestock has fared with me. 30 For
you had little before I came, and it has increased abundantly, and the Lord has blessed you wherever I turned. But now when shall I provide for my own household also?” 31 He said, “What shall I give you?”
Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything. If you will do this for me, I will again pasture your flock and keep it: 32 let me pass through all your flock today, removing from it every speckled and spotted sheep and
every black lamb, and the spotted and speckled among the goats, and they shall be my wages. 33 So my honesty will answer for me later, when you come to look into my wages with you. Every one that is not speckled and spotted
among the goats and black among the lambs, if found with me, shall be counted stolen.” 34 Laban said, “Good! Let it be as you have said.” 35 But that day Laban removed the
male goats that were striped and spotted, and all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white on it, and every lamb that was black, and put them in the charge of his sons. 36 And he set a distance
of three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob pastured the rest of Laban’s flock.
37 Then Jacob took fresh sticks of
poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white streaks in them, exposing the white of the sticks. 38 He set the sticks that he had peeled in front of the flocks in the troughs, that is, the watering places, where the flocks
came to drink. And since they bred when they came to drink, 39 the flocks bred in front of the sticks and so the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted. 40 And Jacob separated the
lambs and set the faces of the flocks toward the striped and all the black in the flock of Laban. He put his own droves apart and did not put them with Laban’s flock. 41 Whenever the stronger of the flock were breeding,
Jacob would lay the sticks in the troughs before the eyes of the flock, that they might breed among the sticks, 42 but for the feebler of the flock he would not lay them there. So the feebler would be Laban’s, and the
stronger Jacob’s. 43 Thus the man increased greatly and had large flocks, female servants and male servants, and camels and donkeys.
I know that this was a longer reading, but I want to get the whole picture of the continued deception that is playing out. The Lutheran Study
Bible states: “Laban deceives Jacob by taking away the livestock he promised. Nonetheless, the Lord blesses Jacob by miraculously prospering his livestock and granting him shrewdness with honesty. In business, you will be tempted to act dishonestly,
as Laban did. Instead, pray for wisdom and shrewdness. In all cases, remember and give thanks that the Lord daily and richly provides for your needs of body and soul. In His faithfulness, He gives us the blessings of His cross in Word and Sacraments and will
set all things right at His second coming.” Nothing like family love… right?
I pray: Come, Lord Jesus, and grant
us Your wholesome wisdom. Amen.
Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The
Lutheran Study Bible (p. 64). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.
Genesis 30:19–24 (ESV)
Jacob’s Children (Part 5)
19 And Leah conceived again, and she bore Jacob a sixth son. 20 Then Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good endowment; now my husband will honor
me, because I have borne him six sons.” So she called his name Zebulun. 21 Afterward she bore a daughter and called her name Dinah.
God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb. 23 She conceived and bore a son and said, “God has taken away my reproach.” 24 And
she called his name Joseph, saying, “May the Lord add to me another son!”
the last several days of going through the Jerry Springer Show… or Jacob’s children, The Lutheran Study Bibles states:
As Leah and Rachel contend with each other regarding childbearing and
Jacob’s affection, they degrade the marriage relationship. As the sole giver of all good gifts, the Lord finally grants Rachel a child and thus removes her reproach (30:23). In many cases, modern technology allows people to turn God’s gift of childbearing
into a product they can obtain or refuse at will. Such manipulative attitudes are as old as Leah and Rachel. As Jacob suggests (30:2), we cannot stand in the place of God in these matters, but we must entrust them to His wisdom. In any case, the Lord has given
us a child—His only-begotten Son (Is 9:6–7)—to save us and bring salvation to the world.
I pray: Lord, grant
us patience and trust in matters beyond our control. Bless marriages and families with Your forgiving love. Amen.
Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The
Lutheran Study Bible (p. 63). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.
Genesis 30:14–18 (ESV)
Jacob’s Children (Part 4)
14 In the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found mandrakes in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
15 But she said to her, “Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes also?” Rachel said, “Then he may lie with you tonight in exchange
for your son’s mandrakes.” 16 When Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must come in to me, for I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.”
So he lay with her that night. 17 And God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18 Leah said, “God has given me my wages because
I gave my servant to my husband.” So she called his name Issachar.
What is a mandrake
and what is going on? The mandrake, related to the potato, was thought to be both an aphrodisiac and a fertility aid. The story reveals the continuing tendency of this family to resort to magic and trickery rather than to God. God had the last word:
Rachel remained barren; Leah gave up the mandrakes, but she conceived. The Jerry Springer Show continues. My what a tangled web we weave!
I pray: O Lord, it is amazing how poor that believers will scoop… but we realize today that we are no different. Help us to trust in your saving faith. Amen.
Genesis 30:9–13 (ESV)
9 When Leah saw that she had ceased bearing children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 Then Leah’s servant Zilpah bore
Jacob a son. 11 And Leah said, “Good fortune has come!” so she called his name Gad. 12 Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13 And
Leah said, “Happy am I! For women have called me happy.” So she called his name Asher.
part of my life on a cattle ranch, Jacob reminds me of a bull. Our ranch was small, but there was one bull for about 70 head of cattle. I wonder if he woke up with a smile on his face and saying: “Ladies, let’s get to work!! Please
forgive my sense of humor. What we are reading is the building up of the Tribe of Israel. God works through our short-falls. Thank the Lord that He is forgiving.
I pray: O Lord, again I pray to help me walk according to your ways. I know I fall short and I am a sinner. Forgive me and use me to carry out your will. I repent and want to do better. Amen!
Genesis 30:1-8 (ESV)
Jacob’s Children (Part 2)
30 When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!” 2 Jacob’s anger
was kindled against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” 3 Then she said, “Here is my servant Bilhah; go in to her, so that she
may give birth on my behalf, that even I may have children through her.” 4 So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob went in to her. 5 And
Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. 6 Then Rachel said, “God has judged me, and has also heard my voice and given me a son.” Therefore she called his name Dan. 7 Rachel’s
servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8 Then Rachel said, “With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister and have prevailed.” So she called his name Naphtali.
The longing that most women (I said most), is to get married and to have children. It is really tough on those who
have not been able to have children and my heart pours out to them. It can change the way they view others and even create jealousy. We see this in today’s reading between Rachel and Leah. It even takes it’s toll on the marriage.
We see in today’s reading that Rachel is putting pressure on her husband Jacob and envied her sister. Much like Sarah did to Abraham, Rachel offers her servant to Jacob to bear children for her. Jacob then bears more children with Rachel’s
servant (Bilhah). I don’t know about you… but doesn’t this sound like the Jerry Springer Show?
I pray: O Lord, help us to
walk according to your ways, not ours. Help me to be faithful to my wife alone. Amen.