Saturday, July 18, 2020

2020.07.18 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 30:1–24

Questions from the Scripture text: What did Rachel see (Genesis 30:1a)? What was her initial solution (verse 1b)? What does Jacob acknowledge (Genesis 30:2)? What does Rachel suggest and implement (Genesis 30:3-4)? To what effect (Genesis 30:5)? What does she say about the name she gives her son (Genesis 30:6)? What does she name the next son and why (Genesis 30:7-8)? Who implements the new method in Genesis 30:9-10? What does she name that son and why (Genesis 30:11)? What does she name the next one and why (Genesis 30:12-13)? Who ends up wanting something from whom and how in Genesis 30:14? How does Leah turn this to her advantage (Genesis 30:15)? Who is taking orders about all this in Genesis 30:16? To Whom has Leah apparently been talking about this (Genesis 30:17)? What does He do? What does she name him and why (Genesis 30:18)? What happens again in Genesis 30:19? What does she name him and why in Genesis 30:20? Whom does she bear in Genesis 30:21? What does God do in Genesis 30:22? To whom has Rachel been talking, and what does He do? What does she say in Genesis 30:23? What does she name him and why in Genesis 30:24?
This passage is basically an arms race. How does Israel finally get going? We’ve been squeaking along—the covenant line barely surviving from one generation to the next, as just one son extends the church on earth.

Suddenly, there are twelve sons and a daughter! How?

Certainly not by man’s ability. Infertility often strains a marriage (cf. Genesis 30:1). It so quickly exposes the helplessness of our humanity. As Jacob exasperatedly says (and Joseph will reassuringly say in Genesis 50:19), “Am I in the place of God?” (Genesis 30:2).

And certainly not as a response to man’s godliness. Rachel resurrects an old family technique for covenant-line-propagation, when she gives Bilhah to Jacob. As if two wives wasn’t sinful enough or miserable enough. And she has the audacity to name they boy on presumption of vindication by God (Genesis 30:5)?! May God preserve us from the folly of taking His providential mercy as if it were judicial approval!

Rachel’s provocations become the occasion for the stumbling of Leah, who follows her sister’s (and great-grandma-Sarah’s) lead (Genesis 30:9). Gad’s name (Genesis 30:11) seems to be a response to Napthali in Genesis 30:8.

Jacob, who started all this mess with his myopic pursuit of Rachel in the previous chapter, presents the pathetic picture of a passive man, engulfed in his own ungodliness, leading a house of ungodliness—or, rather, being dominated by the women who are actually running things. We don’t know whether to weep or mock him, when Leah notifies him that he has been hired out for the night (Genesis 30:16), and apparently Leah is able to repeat the transaction later (Genesis 30:19).

The most amazing thing is that God is bearing so patiently with all of this sin. That God actually listens to Leah in Genesis 30:17 and remembers and listens to Rachel in Genesis 30:22. How astonishing! Not by man’s ability but God’s, not by man’s worthiness but by God’s faithfulness, the covenant line is multiplied. And not in a cold, detached, distant sort of way. But by His remembering and hearing them, even in the midst of their wretched sin. How astonishing!
What worship response do you give God for grace toward you like what we see in this passage? What repentance response do you give Him for it? What are examples of things that He did for you that were over-against both your inability and your unworthiness?
Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH433 “Amazing Grace”

No comments:

Post a Comment