A Daily Genesis

Genesis 30:22-27

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 30:22a . . Now God remembered Rachel;[/B]

Does that mean the omniscient Almighty had somehow forgotten all about her? (chuckle) No. God's memory works just fine. But I think God has a day planner, sort of like the appointment books that professional people utilize to plan their schedules.

Well; I think God had set a date for Rachel's pregnancy quite some time before this event and as He turned the pages of His planner to check His busy schedule; lo and behold there was Rachel. Most of us just mark our calendars for appointments with doctors and dentists; but someone like God no doubt sets up His appointments on a much grander scale than that. This is all just conjecture, of course, so feel free to take it with a grain of salt.

Personally I suspect that God's day planner is all in His head so He doesn't have to keep a literal appointment book to remind Himself; though He does seem to keep some literal books; e.g. the book of the living (Ps 36:28) and the book of the earth (Jer 17:13).

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 30:22b . . God heeded her and opened her womb.[/B]

Does the word "heeded" mean Rachel finally decided to pray for a baby? I think so. Some people are driven to drink by the problems of everyday life. God's people are often driven to their knees.
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[/COLOR][B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 30:23 . . She conceived and bore a son, and said: God has taken away my disgrace.[/B]

It's one thing to adopt children, or take in foster kids, or become a step-parent. But nothing can take the place of having your very own. Rachel possessed two legal children by her maid Bilhah. But those were really and truly Bilhah's babies, not Rachel's. Until she had her very own, Rachel remained low on the totem pole of feminine esteem.

Men just can't appreciate how important babies are to (normal) women. Even tough women don't really feel like real women until they have a child. I worked as a vacuum cleaner salesman many years ago when I was very young. The owner of the business was married to a successful woman in her mid forties who had no children of her own; and actually, never wanted any.

But whenever she was in the presence of moms, they made her feel like a loser because in her mind, moms were the real women. In other words: she was a freak of nature born without a mother's heart; and that is a fatal flaw in any woman's character: business or otherwise.

That woman's confession amazed me because hers was a strong, assertive, self-confident kind of personality with scratch-proof, dent-proof hide like depleted uranium armor plating. But every suit of armor has a chink in it somewhere and that was hers.

"Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth." (Ps 127:3-4)

Arrows are not only weapons of war, but also tools of readiness, strength, and defense. In Rachel's day, children were old age security. They still are for many people in third world countries; and for those of us who face retirement on fixed incomes. When my wife and I finally wax old and feeble, we hope our son will care enough about us to make sure we don't die hungry and poverty-stricken.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 30:24 . . So she named him Joseph, which is to say: May The Lord add another son for me.[/B]

Joseph's name is from [I]Yowceph[/I] (yo-safe') which means: let him add (or perhaps simply the active participle: adding)

Yowceph is the future tense of [I]yacaph[/I] (yaw-saf') which means: to add or augment (often adverbial, to continue to do a thing) So in colloquialism, maybe Rachel was really saying: Yeah! Keep 'em comin'.
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[/COLOR][B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 30:25-26 . . After Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob said to Laban: Give me leave to go back to my own homeland. Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served you, that I may go; for well you know what services I have rendered you.[/B]

Jacob had agreed to remain with Laban for fourteen years. Well, time's up, and Laban had no further moral or legal claim either upon Jacob or upon his family.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 30:27 . . But Laban said to him: If you will indulge me, I have learned by divination that The Lord has blessed me on your account.[/B]

The divination that Laban was talking about was a dark art. The word for "divination" is from [I]nachash[/I] (naw-khash') which means: to hiss, i.e. whisper a (magic) spell; generally, to prognosticate.

Nachash was one of the sinful practices that God condemned in the Canaanite peoples. (Deut 18:9-14)

Apparently, somewhere along the line, Laban became very puzzled how Jacob was doing so well in animal husbandry. In the fourteen years that Jacob worked for him, his flocks not only increased; but they increased beyond reason.

So he consulted with a mystic seeking to find out the secret of Jacob's success. Lo and behold, the diviner discovered Jacob really had no trade secrets to hide at all. He was actually under Yhvh's auspices— Abraham's god —whom Laban didn't worship himself but at least recognized as an option.

Laban was justifiably reluctant to let Jacob go. He prospered greatly because of Jacob's abilities and because of his faithfulness; and especially because of his connection to Abraham's god. He was willing to strike almost any bargain that would keep Jacob on the job working for him. Once before he had gotten the better part of the bargain by letting Jacob name his price; so now he made the same proposition again.

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