“AND JACOB DID SO. HE FINISHED THE WEEK WITH LEAH, AND THEN LABAN GAVE HIM HIS DAUGHTER RACHEL TO BE HIS WIFE. JACOB LAY WITH RACHEL ALSO AND HE LOVED RACHEL MORE THAN LEAH. AND HE WORKED FOR LABAN ANOTHER SEVEN YEARS.” Genesis 29: 28,30
As a Christian woman I never thought I would be writing a blog about loving the same man. This topic seems best for the romance novels. Or for the soap operas that come on everyday. Those stories where you sit glued to the television to see if Marty is going to be with Jill or Sue and now days even Bill…but that’s another story. However there was such a drama as this in the early days of the Israelites. We read this in Genesis where Jacob while living with his uncle Laban falls in love with his youngest daughter Rachel. He works for his uncle without pay for seven years so that he can have Rachel as his wife. When the time comes for him to lie with her after the wedding ceremony he does with joy and wedding bliss. Their custom was to have a huge ceremony and then the couple would be together for seven days and consummate the marriage. The bride arrives in full veil and the groom takes her to the place where they will stay with the veil still on. Also during the celebration there is fun, food and wine…so I’m thinking Jacob was not in the right frame of mind when he took his bride to the wedding chambers. When Jacob woke up the next morning he woke up to see that he was with Leah and went to her father demanding his rights. Laban informed him that their custom was that the oldest daughter had to marry first before the youngest and if he would complete the seven day ritual and then work another seven years he would give him Rachel. He loved Rachel so much he did just that and when he layed with Rachel he was extremely happy and worked another seven years for her. Now this is where the story gets good. See just like a soap opera!!! Jacob was now with his true love Rachel. He showed it to all. She was his rib. However he still had Leah. Poor Leah she was described as having weak eyes and Rachel was described as being lovely in form and beautiful. (Genesis 29:17). Now what that means to me is that Leah was alright. She was not the beauty in the family and because she was the oldest and Laban knew nobody would work for her he had to get rid of her somehow. I think that when Jacob came there that Leah liked him as well as Rachel. She knew she could never get him and was thrilled when her father made the switch. But the poor baby was never loved by the man that she loved. She would always come in as a reject to her sister for her husband’s love. Being a man Jacob really had the best of both worlds and he indeed layed with her. Then GOD stepped in and blessed Leah because she was not loved by her husband (Genesis 29:31). That’s the part I really liked it says that “WHEN THE LORD SAW THAT LEAH WAS NOT LOVED, HE OPENED HER WOMB, BUT RACHEL WAS BARREN.” GOD blessed her with children and held Rachel back because he knew that Leah needed unconditional love. Leah however didn’t realize that this was GOD’S WAY OF BLESSING HER AND LOVING HER so for the first three sons she named then in honor of her husband so that he could see that she was the one that needed to be honored and loved. However it wasn’t until the birth of the fourth son did she realize that Jacob still didn’t love her no matter how many sons she gave him. You see in those days and in that part of the world having sons was a great honor for a man and the woman that had them. I believe he was proud of being the man with all of these sons but they were from the wrong wife. He wanted the sons by the wife that held his heart. Now I’m getting ahead of myself and I will get to Rachel in a moment. Meanwhile as they say it in the soaps back to Leah. When she had her fourth son she gave GOD THE HONOR AND NOT HER HUSBAND. With this child she said “THIS TIME I WILL PRAISE THE LORD. SO SHE NAMED HIM JUDAH” Genesis 29:35. Then right after his birth it says that she stopped having children. LOOK AT GOD!!! He made her highly blessed and because she praised him with this child it was this tribe that OUR LORD JESUS CAME OUT OF!!! Now back to Rachel. First of all I can’t imagine my sister and I being married to the same man. We would be fighting everyday all day!!! There isn’t a man alive or dead who could put up with the two of us on our best day, heaven for bid on one of our worse!!! So poor Jacob was caught between two upset sisters. It says in Gensis 30:1-8 that Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacobs children and she became jealous of her sister. She then went to her husband and demanded a child. Jacob told her he was not GOD. So she decided that since she couldn’t have any that she would give him her maidservant to bear her children and thus Jacob layed with her and she ended up having two more sons who were considered Rachel’s. The custom of those days was that your maidservant’s children belonged to the owner. So these children were not the servant’s but Rachel’s. With the first child given to her by her maidservant she said GOD has vindicated me; he has listened to my plea and given me a son. She then said because of this she named him Dan. The next son that her maidservant had Rachel said I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won, so she named him Naphtali. Jacob now has two more sons not by his wives because of jealousy. Now if Jacob was hoping for peace he could forget it. When Leah saw that she had stopped having children and then to one up her sister took her maidservant to Jacob and she had a son for Leah. Leah said what good fortune so she named him Gad. Then her maidservant had another son and Leah said how happy I am. The women will call me happy, so she named him Asher. Jacob has eight sons. Four by his wife that he does not love. Two by Rachel’s servant and two by Leah’s and the one he doesn’t love is still ahead of the one he truly loves. Before I go further don’t feel sorry for Jacob still he’s the one having all the fun!!!. But on the other hand he’s still dealing with these two sisters and no matter what the laws said these other ladies are now in the mix. To make matters worse and to appear to Rachel that she was loosing the baby war Leah made a deal with Rachel for some mandrakes. Leah’s oldest son went out to the field and caught some mandrakes and Rachel wanted some. Leah said to her sister in Genesis 30:15 “BUT SHE SAID TO HER, WASN’T IT ENOUGH THAT YOU TOOK AWAY MY HUSBAND? WILL YOU TAKE MY SON’S MANDRAKES TOO?” Rachel said ” VERY WELL, HE CAN SLEEP WITH YOU TO NIGHT IN RETURN FOR YOUR SON’S MANDRAKES.” You see after Leah stopped having children Jacob did not feel the need to be with her. He loved Rachel and spent his time and his bed with her. The only time he did not do this was when he was given the other two women by his wives. Now for any of the men reading this…for this reason GOD SAID ONE WIFE TO EACH MAN!!!…Okay moving right along….When Jacob got home that night on his way to see the love of his life, his wife whom he didn’t love met up with him and let him know that he had been brought and paid for by her from her sister and he had to stay with her. This he did. And GOD HAD LISTEN TO LEAH’S CRY OF PAIN AND LONELINESS. She was blessed with having her fifth son to the beloved Rachel’s none. Leah then said GOD has rewarded me for giving my maidservant to my husband. Leah got to lay with her husband again and had another son and said GOD has presented me with a precious gift. This time my husband will treat me with honor because I have borne him six sons. Then some time later Leah gave birth to Jacob’s only daughter. Now lets look again at the two. Leah is the unloved by her husband. She is the one that wants the love of a man so bad that she keeps trying to win his true affections. She never gets it from him however, she gets it from GOD. OUR LORD shows her that when man can’t do what is needed for you HE WILL STEP IN AND GIVE YOU LOVE AND HONOR. The only time that she saw this with her heart was when she had her fourth son and gave him to the LORD and this was the son that GOD TRULY HONORED HER WITH, BY ALLOWING OUR LORD JESUS TO COME FROM THAT TRIBE. OUR LION OF JUDAH!!! The ladies because of their jealousy created more children then I think GOD intended and added more ladies then was needed. As for Jacob he was not totally innocent because really he was reaping what he had sowed. You see Laban did him wrong by tricking him with Leah for Rachel and then made him work to get the one he really loved. However remember Jacob had pulled a trick on his brother and stole the birthright from him. You see OUR LORD SAID HE WOULD NOT BE MOCKED. WHAT YOU HAVE SOWN YOU WILL REAP. So these women troubles are directly brought on by things that he had put in place. And lets face it Jacob didn’t really have to keep going to bed with these ladies just because they said so…he was enjoying the benefits of all the physical contact as well. So no I personally don’t feel sorry for him. This study however is not complete until we see about Rachel. She was the beloved. She had the man’s heart and she was the number one wife. Her sister was the first but not the one wanted. She was the wanted one. He worked actually 14 years to get her. He put up with her sister just to be with her. What he wanted most was to have children with her. Really they would have been very happy if it was just the two of them. She would not have given her servant to him if she could have borne him children. She was the pretty one, the most sort after and the one that he loved and spent his time with, but she was the one that GOD DID NOT GIVE CHILDREN. The custom of that day was that if a women could not have children she was a subject of shame and ridicule. Was it her fault that Jacob loved her and not her sister??? Was it her fault that her father tricked her husband into marrying her oldest less attractive sister??? Was it her fault that she was born the youngest??? No none of it was her fault, but she could have been kinder to her sister. Seeing that she did have the man’s heart and that Leah never would have. But if I was in that same situation I’m not sure that I would be so kind either. Why??? Because sister’s talk and Leah knew that she loved Jacob and she should have protested when her father cooked up that trick. After all that was her litttle sister. Just telling the truth!!!. Rachel was the beloved but she sought the LORD as well. What she wanted most she could not have. And this is what I love most about OUR LORD HE IS SO FAITHFUL TO OUR NEEDS AND WANTS. One sister was not loved or honored so HE SHOWED HER LOVE AND HONORED HER WITH SONS SO ALL COULD COUNT HER BLESSED. The other sister was loved but was disgraced because she could not give her husband a child. Not even a girl child. So she cried out to the LORD AND HE LISTEN TO HER. Genesis 30-22-24 says “THEN GOD REMEMBERED RACHEL; HE LISTENED TO HER AND OPENED HER WOMB. SHE BECAME PREGNANT AND GAVE BIRTH TO A SON AND SAID, GOD HAS TAKEN AWAY MY DISGRACE. SHE NAMED HIM JOSEPH AND SAID, MAY THE LORD ADD TO ME ANOTHER SON.” If you read on we know that THE LORD answered that request as well. Like her sister Rachel’s son Joseph became a mighty man of GOD. But unlike Leah’s sons and daughter and the maidservant’s sons Joseph and his brother were the beloved sons of Jacob. To sum up this bible study we note the following
1. It is very difficult to be married to more than one woman!!!
2. You do reap what you sow.
3. GOD WILL STEP IN BE WHO YOU NEED HIM TO BE AS LONG AS YOU PUT HIM FIRST.
4. OUR LORD WILL PROVIDE ALL OUR NEEDS AND WHEN WE CRY OUT TO HIM, WILL PROVIDE MOST OF OUR WANTS.
5. OUR GOD IS ALWAYS FAITHFUL AND WILL REWARD THOSE WHO DILIGENTLY SEEK HIM.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST…..YOU SHOULD NEVER, NEVER, EVER HAVE MORE THAN ONE WIFE!!!
This concludes our first bible study lesson. Please read the lesson in Genesis 29:14b-35 30:1-24. Listen to what GOD has to say to you about the lesson. Ask him for your own personal word to help you grow. Below are question you can answer or use to further your study:
1. If you were Jacob how would you have reacted to Laban’s deception?
2. Would you have been a husband to both ladies?
3. How would your life be if you and your sister were married to the same man?
4. Why did you think GOD honored Leah by allowing our LORD JESUS to come from the tribe of Judah?
5. Do you think Jacob was fair to love Rachel’s children more than the others?
6. Should Rachel have been kinder to her sister Leah?
7. Should Leah have expected Jacob to love her because of the children?
8. How do you feel about the wives having their maidservants have sex with their husband and produce more children?
9. If you were Rachel would you have married Jacob after the trick that her father played on him?
10. Do you fault Leah for going along with the deception of her father?
We pray that you have learned and are inspired to continue to read the bible and be a part of our blog bible study. As always your comments and questions are welcome. Please let others male and female know about this new way to fellowship with OUR LORD.