jacob and leah compete in kids genesis 30 www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 2: Genesis 30:1-13

Summary of Genesis 30:1-13:

Rachel gets mad at Jacob, blaming him because she has had no children. Jacob rightly tells her that it is God, not he, that is preventing her from having children. So Rachel gave Jacob her servant, Bilhah, to have kids for her. Bilhah had Dan, which means “he has vindicated.” Bilhah had another son by Jacob named Naphtali, meaning “my struggle.” Leah, seeing what Rachel did, gave Jacob her maidservant, Zilpah, to bear kids for her. Zilpah bore Gad, meaning “good fortune, or a troop,” and Asher, meaning “happy.”

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 2: Genesis 30:1-13

3a) Rachel says she’s jealous of Leah and angry. The names mean, “he has vindicated” and “my struggle” shows Rachel’s pain at not having children. Leah is just being petty and jealous too with Zilpah. She already had 4 kids; she does not need more. Pretty sure Leah and Rachel did not talk to each other and probably pretended the other didn’t exist, sad as sisters.

b) It’s human to be zealous of others. We all can relate, especially those who have struggled to have kids. Prayer truly is all that fixes it.

4a) He rightly corrected her, telling her God was in charge. Yet, he wrongly went along with her plan. No one learns in OT times, it seems.

b) Not slept with the maidservants and prayed to God instead.

5a) Pray about it. Pray about your feelings towards that person. Pray for that person. Love that person despite the pain or hurt. Pray to forgive them. Pray for God to solve the problem.

b) God is with you. God answers prayers, even when He doesn’t answer them, that is His answer. Have faith God knows what He is doing.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 2: Genesis 30:1-13

Noticed Jacob didn’t protest any of this nonsense, especially Leah’s request. She already had kids. She was being petty here. No one learned from Abraham here. You could argue Jacob was a typical man here. Who turns down an offer of free sex? Since there is no mention of Jacob’s protest, this seems likely.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 20, Day 2: Genesis 30:1-13

Note that these are the first words recorded in the Bible that Rachel uttered, showing the depth of her despair: “Give me children, or I’ll die!”

Jacob seems unsympathetic to Rachel’s plight here, probably due to the culture at the time. Still, we saw in Genesis 25 how Isaac prayed for Rebekah to have a child. What would have happened if Jacob had done the same instead of answered with “that’s your problem”? Would God have answered and no maid servants would have been needed?

Scholars debate if the surrogate (Bilpah) was sitting on the lap of the adoptive mother during conception and birth. There is no proof that this custom was followed or practiced. Some believe the child was merely placed n the knees of the one who adopted the child.

In the competition between the two women, Jacob’s 5th son was born, Dan, and his 6th, Naphtali. Rachel felt somewhat vindicted now, as Dan’s name implies.

Leah ups the ante in this petty competition by providing her maidservant, Zilpah. Jacob’s 7th and 8th sons are born, Gad and Asher, respectively.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 20, Day 2: Genesis 22:6-10; 24:62-67

Summary of passages:  Genesis 22:6-10:  Abraham places the wood for the sacrifice of Isaac on Isaac while he carries the fire and knife.  They proceed together and Isaac asks his father where is the lamb for the burnt offering.  Abraham says God will provide the lamb.

When they reached the place for the sacrifice, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood.  He bound his son and laid him on the altar.  He took the knife to slay his son.

Genesis 24:62-67:  Isaac went out to the fields to pray when he saw camels approach. Rebekah saw Isaac and asked who he was.  When she found out it was her future husband, she covered herself with a veil.  The servant reported to Isaac all that had happened. Isaac and Rebekah were married.

Questions:

3)  He is God-centered.  He submits to God’s plan of being a sacrifice.  He believes his father that this is from the Lord.  He is praying when his future wife arrives and he marries her without question.  God is first in his life and he will sacrifice his life for God’s will.

4a)  According to Webster’s Dictionary, submissive means “submitting to others.”  Submit means “to yield to governance or authority; surrender.”

b)  Numbers 12:3:  “Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.”

Psalm 25:9:  “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.”

Psalm 37:11:  “But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.”

Psalm 149:4:  “For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation.”

Matthew 5:5:  “Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth.”

Matthew 11:29:  “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

1 Peter 3:4-5:  “Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.  For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful.  They were submissive to their own husbands.”

Verse 6:  “Like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master.  You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.”

[Note:  I threw in verse 6 for 2 reasons:  1) It mentions Sarah whom we are studying  2)  I think fear is crucial in understanding why we do some of the things we do–out of fear. It’s one of the devil’s favorite weapons against us.  We are afraid to submit to our husband’s authority and on down the line.  We are afraid to give control of our lives (and our kids) to God.  We are afraid of _____ (fill in the blank).  Fear is a HUGE motivator in our lives–and we must recognize and acknowledge that in order to defeat it.

And in terms of beauty, we women are afraid to say we are beautiful if we don’t look like Gisele (and that’s 99.9 % of us).  But each and every one of us are.  Because God inhabits us.  And the world would be infinitely better if fear didn’t prevent us from shining our souls to others.]

4c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’d be happier.  Less stress.  Less worry.  Less heartache.  Less disappointment.  I take everything personally so I often am resentful of people.  And we all know I have no patience.  I’d have more friends cause I’d be more forgiving and a nicer person to be around.

Conclusions:  I found it odd we looked up the definition of submissive but then was asked about developing meekness.  So, I looked up the definition of meek.  It is “enduring injury with patience and without resentment; mild.  Deficient in spirit and courage; submissive.”

Deficient does mean lacking, not up to normal standards, or defective (yes, I looked this up too).  So being meek according to the second definition I believe is not what we want. We want the first definition.

I think both are the goals.  Enduring injury with patience and yielding to authority–things that go against the American norm and what most of us were raised to be (thanks in large part to feminism which I believe has done more harm than good to this country).

Despite the fact we went back in Genesis, I think this was an important lesson to underscore.  I think it’s something we all need to work on.  Submissive is a borderline bad word in America and we need to change that.  The second definition of meek is the predominant thought as well where one is cowering in a corner.  Humble is usually not the first word that comes to mind when asked to describe someone.

Lesson for the week:  Pray for humility, meekness, and submissiveness in our lives.