by Rev Joel Yong
When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!” 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?” 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.” So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob went in to her. And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. Then Rachel said, “God has judged me, and has also heard my voice and given me a son.” Therefore she called his name Dan. Rachel’s servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Then Rachel said, “With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister and have prevailed.” So she called his name Naphtali.
The wives were competing to see who could provide more children, to add to the family line.
They felt it would bring them honor and glory if they did.
Back then, the servants of these women, if taken to be their husband’s concubine- then any subsequent children they produced, would be credited to this particular wife’s name!
You can read about this intense competition and the chaos it creates.
Try and imagine how the servants felt as they were implicated in this race, and made to become concubines.
Try and imagine how this story got retold to the kids subsequently.
The reason why kids were being birthed – was not out of careful intent for their welfare, but out of competition.
Be careful of the motives, out of which you birth, not just children, but projects, endeavors and other such things in life.
Birthed for the wrong reason … it only leads to subsequent strife, whereby you reap the effects of your impure motives for doing so.
The sons of Jacob were a mess in so many ways.
Read about how Jacob summarizes a few of their exploits at his deathbed.
“Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the firstfruits of my strength, preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power. Unstable as water, you shall not have preeminence, because you went up to your father’s bed; then you defiled it–he went up to my couch!
“Simeon and Levi are brothers; weapons of violence are their swords. Let my soul come not into their council; O my glory, be not joined to their company. For in their anger they killed men, and in their willfulness they hamstrung oxen.
And let us not forget, these brothers sold one of their own into slavery, out of jealousy- they sold Joseph and returned to their father, lying that he had been killed by wild animals.
Are you starting on a new project or endeavor in life?
Examine your own motives for doing so.
Unless you do so, it may yield generations of chaotic mess that you end up trying to undo!