Devotional Short Note to Genesis 30


My father use to say: “Behind every successful man stands a woman telling him what to do”. My wife alerted me this morning about my wrong reading of a verse in Genesis 29:27-30 and even explaining it as the good old prophetic interpretation of the year-day principle. Not so. Not at all said my wife and I rushed to delete it. Good editors of the site deleted it already for me. Thanks. But that said, it is time to let my wife dr. SookYoung Kim, graduated at Andrews in New Testament, speak on this chapter in her ongoing Band Genesis Commentary that is called English Bible Readings or EBR. I took all her comments and strung it below. Sometimes it is good to take the backseat and give the steering-wheel to someone else: your wife.


An Empty Space in Your Heart Genesis 30:1-2.

Rachel was a beloved wife of Jacob but since she didn't have children, she was not happy. Leah had 4 sons but since her husband didn't love her, she was unhappy. Then if you have 4 children and your husband love you, are you going to be happy? Human heart has an empty space where nothing in the world can fill, but only Jesus can with satisfaction and happiness. "Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst"(John 4:13-14).

We Are Not Children of Bondwoman Genesis 30:3-5.

We feel sorry about Leah who was not loved by her husband. But when we come to Bilhah and Zilpah, the handmaids of Leah and Rachel, we realize their situation was even more pitiful. How about their children? Servants' sons were also servants commonly in the ancient times, but it is not so in the kingdom of God. Galatians in the New Testament verifies we are not children of slaves but of God by saying, "So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman (Hagar), but of the free (Sarah)"(Galatians 4:31). We are the children of promise as Isaac was (Gal 4:28). Thank You, Lord!

Are You Wrongly Accused? "And Rachel said, God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son: therefore called she his name Dan." Genesis 30:6.

When a woman could not have children in the Bible time, it was considered she had great sin, so God was closing her womb. Rachel's heart was filled with frustration as if she was wrongly accused. When eventually there was a son through her maid, she declares with joy that God had judged over her case of false accusation and released her. That son's name "Dan" has the meaning "to judge" in Hebrew.

The Only Unique Person in the Universe Genesis 30:7-8.

Naphtali is a name with the meaning of "my wrestling." It reflects the heart of Rachel who was in competitive relation with her sister. We need to remember each of us is the unique creature of God whom He loves. When we remember Jesus gave up even His heavenly throne and came down to redeem us, we would not want to compare myself with any other: the mind of envy and competition will vanish. We became royal sons and daughters of heaven through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Amen. She has a diagram asking that one should stop comparing oneself to others.” I am awesome but others are also awesome.”

Competition to Give Concubines Genesis 30:9-10.

As Rachel compared herself with her sister Leah, and out of competition and envy against her, she gave her maid Bilhah to Jacob her husband, Leah with the same reason of envy, gives her maid Zilpah to Jacob. What a competition, even to give concubines to their own husband! This truly reflects our fallen state. We are sorry for Jacob who was sandwiched between them. Who will free us from this bondage? "Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ"(1 Corinthians 15:57).

God Can Hit Straight with Bended Stick Genesis 30:11-13.

The first son of Zilpah, Leah's maid, was named Gad. By the Hebrew etymology, King James translated it as "Troop," while most of other versions have "Fortune" for his name. Zilpah's second son Asher means 'Joy." Leah was happy when her maid bore two sons. Due to the human selfishness and sinfulness, Jacob now has 8 sons, but in the providence of God Who can turn evil into blessings, they will be part of the 12 tribes which are to form the nation Israel. "God can hit straight with a bended stick."

Let Us Focus on Jesus Genesis 30:14-15.

Mandrake was also called "Love-Apple" and it was known to help conception. Since Rachel didn't have babies, she desired for it. By promising that she will let Jacob go in to Leah, Rachel gets the plant. Are mandrakes going to solve her problem? We cope with problems and have many decisions to make in our lives. If we always have our focus on Jesus in the midst of any concerns, the Lord Himself will be in charge of all the other matters. Her photo added said: let us fix our eyes on Jesus and the crucifixion is shown.

The True Husband Who Hearkens Genesis 30:16-20.

Though Leah had six sons, she still only missed her husband Jacob's love. Different from her physical husband who did not love her, there was One who always listened to her and hearkened unto her deep wishes. It was the Lord God Who was her true Husband. Her photo is a girl, dog and teddybear kneeling beside a bed praying for her doll that is sick.

Dinah the Daughter of Jacob "And afterwards she bare a daughter, and called her name Dinah." Genesis 30:21.

The daughter that Leah bore was named "Dinah." It has the meaning of "judged," or 'vindicated." Bilhah's first son's name was "Dan" and we find both of these names commonly have <d> and <n>, which means "to judge" in Hebrew etymology. She was the only daughter of Jacob mentioned in the Bible. We will see in Genesis 34 what is waiting to happen in her life.

God Is Always on Your Side Genesis 30:22-24.

In 30:17 it says God hearkened Leah and she conceived. Here in 30:22, it says God heard Rachel. Leah and Rachel were in competition, but can God take the side of Leah and also of Rachel? Yes, that's true. Since God has such a big-sized body, whoever wants to sit the very next to Him, that person will be able, no matter how many there would be. As long as you want to get closer to Him, God will always make sure to take your side. Amen. The photo says: I have a supercharged affirmation that God is on my side.

My Wives Were My Wage Genesis 30:25-26.

Finally Rachel bore a son, for whom Jacob served for 14 years. After Joseph was born, Jacob decides to go back to his home land. It seems natural to bring the family together, but in the ancient times, it was a custom for a servant to leave his family and go out by himself if the lord gave him a wife(Exodus 21:1-6). However, since Jacob was not only Laban's nephew who later became his son-in-law, but he also got his wives as his wage, Jacob boldly suggested he would leave with his family.

How Should We Be? Genesis 30:27-28.

Reading this text, we realize Jacob worked free except what he ate and drank. Of course he got his wives as his wage, but that was all. However, God blessed Laban's family trade for the sake of Jacob, and Laban also knew about it. All the patriarchs were the same. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, Daniel, Paul... People could see God was with them. How should we be, and the Lord would walk with us?

It Is God Who Works Out Genesis 30:29-30.

"Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman wakes but in vain"(Ps 127:1). I pray the Lord may dwell in me in person, that He who is in me does His own work (John 14:10). Amen. The photo shows a potter working with His hands and reads that it is God Who works.

Jacob, Honesty and Integrity Genesis 30:31-33.

Jacob himself knew he was an honest and faithful. Not only Laban, but God also knew Jacob's honesty and integrity. Jacob understood and believed that God will bless and build up his house Whom he had been serving truthfully.
When the Interests Are Conflicting Genesis 30:34-36.

Laban put the speckled and brown sheep and goats into the hands of his sons and separated them, in his concern Jacob might not use them for mating. Now the animals with Jacob were only white sheep and goats. As Christians, we should not be too selfish or cold-hearted when the interests are conflicting. Through our lives reflecting Christ's virtue, we may seek the blessings from heaven. The photo shows two people pulling a robe on each end in competition.

God Disciplines for Change Genesis 30:37-39.

It is superstitious if we say when the animals conceive in front of speckled rod they bear speckled ones. However, in verse 30, Jacob testifies it is because of God's blessing that Laban's possession increased. Not only Jacob was changed from a deceiver to a diligent person, he also came to acknowledge the grace of God rather than attributing to himself. Discipline through years of tribulation truly transformed him. God heard Jacob's sincere prayers and worked miracles for him. Speckled and spotted and brown animals were born for him.

Jacob Becomes Prosperous Genesis 30:40.
By Faith Jacob Moved Forward Genesis 30:41-42.

Jacob did not mate the speckled and brown sheep with the stronger ones to utilize the hereditary law, so that stronger ones may become his own. He simply by faith put the striped rods before the stronger sheep when they conceive. Are there things that we need to go ahead by faith? Our God is able Who is the Lord life. The photo has a lamb that is speckled, spotted and streaked.

God Intervened for Him "And the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and camels, and asses." Genesis 30:43.

Whoever diligently does his best should succeed. However, we see the result is unfair often times in our sinful world. Jacob was diligent and faithful humanly speaking, but in addition, he depended upon God. Jacob's prosperity was due to God's intervention to reveal the evidence that God was with him. Hudson Taylor said: “dream a dream so big that unless God intervenes it will fail”. With God comes changes in one's life that are very surprising and exciting. If the heart is consecrated to Him all is possible. Jacob learned that very soon in his life.


Dear God

This period in Jacob ‘s life was full of lessons and difficult but formative. Self always comes in the way and we need to curtail that. Help us to that effect. Form and shape us like a potter the clay. In Jesus Name. Amen.