Genesis 30 The Beginnings Of The Nation.
Rachel was envious of her sister bearing children. She complains to her husband, but clearly Jacob did not consider himself to be at fault. Was Rachel unable to bear children? Why would Jacob not have prayed that her womb would be opened? He acknowledged that it was God alone who could open the womb. When she bears a son, she names him Joseph, which means that the LORD would add to her another son. This is the forgotten overlooked state of Joseph in his life. However, the LORD did grant Rachel another son. When Joseph was born, Jacob also took this to mean the promised son had arrived, and he petitioned Laban to now leave to fulfill a return to the promised land. However, the fact is all 12 sons would be blessed, and demonstrate the blessing of Abraham expanding through salvation history. In fact, it was through Judah, Leah’s son, that the messianic hope and lineage would come.
Mandrakes were apparently associated with fertility-something which mattered to both Rachel and Leah. However, in the end it was God’s will alone that mattered. As far as the wealth Jacob had accumulated, he thought it was due to his good scheming that he gained on Laban, but Laban liked the idea that he thought Jacob was taking the imperfect of the flock. Like Esau, Laban reaped what he sowed. It is a sad story of Leah, but she would come to understand that the LORD’s love was greater than that of any man. It is remarkable how much history repeats itself in the actions of Jacob-like that of Abraham and Isaac. In spite of their sinful failings, including taking more than one wife because they wanted to see the promise fulfilled on their terms, the LORD established the 12 tribes of the covenanted nation. All these characters are clear examples of God’s grace shown to sinners.