Laban also gave his servant girl Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maidservant.
I. THE INWARD SPRING OF THE OUTWARD LIFE. Power of the heart over the will, over the circumstances, over flesh. Time measured by the motions of our thought. The world needs to be taught that the material rests on the immaterial.
II. THE SERVICE OF LOVE THE CONSECRATION AND CONSUMMATION OF HUMAN ENERGY. Christ the highest object of affection. The life of his servant compared with the life of selfish caprice.
III. THE GREAT EXAMPLE OF LOVE SUGGESTED. Jacob a type of Christ; Rachel, of his Church. He served for her. His love made obedience, even unto death, his delight.
IV. SPECIAL TRIAL HAS ITS SPECIAL REWARD. Jacob served doubly for Rachel; but his service was amply paid afterwards, although for a time the veil of disappointment hid the purpose of God. While Leah, as the mother of Judah, was the true ancestress of Messiah, still it was in Joseph, the son of Rachel, that Jacob's heart was satisfied, and that the history of the kingdom of God was most manifestly carried on and its glory set forth. As in the case of Sarah and Rebekah, so in that of Rachel, the birth of the representative seed is connected with special bestowments of grace. - R.
Proverbs 31:30). While the first woman was merely " she who gives life" (Eve); the daughter of Lamech, seven generations later, was the "beautiful" (Naamah); this was certainly a progress; but many centuries were required to elapse before men ceased to regard beauty both as the test of worth, and a proof of special Divine favour. To contribute towards this important lesson is the end of this portion; for, "when the Lord saw that Leah was hated, He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren"; by the same act He taught Jacob wisdom, and procured justice to Leah. The latter was clearly aware of this turning-point in her life; for when she gave birth to a son, she exclaimed: "Surely, the Lord hath looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me." Nor does she seem to have been unworthy of being blessed with offspring; the love of her husband was the sole object of her thoughts and feelings.
1. God doth not see as men, not as good men see sometimes in accepting persons.
He loved also Rachel more than Leah.I. THEIR TRIALS. Leah was "hated " (ver. 31), i.e., she was loved less than Rachel By becoming a party to a heartless fraud she lost her husband's affections. And Rachel, the beloved wife, was denied the blessing of children, so coveted by the ancient Hebrew mothers (ver. 31). Both had trials, though of a different kind.
II. THEIR COMPENSATIONS. Leah was blessed with children, which compensated her for the loss of her husband's love. The names of the four sons successively born to her were all significant, and betoken that pious habit of mind which recognized the hand of God in all that befel her. She called the first-born, Reuben (Hebrews) "see ye a son." The second, Simeon (Hebrews) "hearing," for God had heard her prayer and seen her affliction. The third was named Levi (Hebrews) "joined." Now, surely, would the breach be healed and the husband and wife joined together by this threefold cord. The fourth she called Judah (Hebrews) "praise," as if recording her thankfulness that she had won the affections of her husband by bearing to him so many sons. Rachel, on the other hand, continued barren. But she was compensated by her beauty, and by the thought that she was first in her husband's affections. Thus with the evils which fall to the lot of individuals, there are compensations.
(T. H. Leale.)
2. God's providence may be regardful of them who are neglected by men.
3. Undervalued and hated mercies may, under God's ordering, prove most fruitful to men.
4. The most regarded by men may be disrespected upon some accounts with God.
5. The most lovely mercies in man's eye may prove barren and unfruitful to him (ver. 31),
(G. Hughes, B. D.)
(M. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.).
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