This chapter took place in Haran, the homeland of Abraham’s brother Nahor.
This chapter takes place over 7 years.
Jacob is 83-90 years old.
Rachel was jealous of her sister Leah because she could not have any children.
She doesn’t seek the Lord but instead seeks the culture of that time to fix her problem.
Rachel gave her servant Bilhah to bear children for Jacob.
She had two sons Dan and Naphtali.
Leah also gave her servant Zilpah to Jacob to bear more children. She had two sons, Gad and Asher.
Leah’s son Reuben found mandrakes for her. Rachel wanted some and in exchange allowed Leah to sleep with Jacob that night.
She had two more sons, Issachar and Zebulun. Leah gave birth to a total of 6 sons and then a girl named Dinah.
Leah believes that Jacob will now love her but he doesn’t.
We know Jacob has other daughters according to chapter 46 and verse 7 but we don’t know their names.
The sons are the only focus because they will become the 12 tribes of Israel.
(We are only told about Dinah because she is part of a sad story in chapter 34 which we will cover at a later date).
God blessed Rachel and she had a son named Joseph. She was not happy before having Joseph and she is still not satisfied after having him either. She wants more.
Jacob was blessed by God with prosperity and he wanted to return to Canaan. Laban wanted him to stay because he knew God was blessing his house because of Jacob.
(Laban is an unbeliever but he can see that Jacob is being blessed by his God)
Jacob agreed to continue working for his uncle if he could keep all the speckled and spotted sheep, goats and all the black lambs.
Laban tried to deceive Jacob once again by removing those animals but Jacob was mature enough now to trust God.
In Genesis chapter 12:3 God said I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse. God cursed Laban but blessed Jacob.
Some theories are that Jacob came up with a genetically engineered way to grow his flock and other theories are that God blessed anything Jacob was doing to increase his flock supernaturally.
Jacob gave the glory to God for any success he had while he lived at Labans house and continued to bless him.
Jacobs family made poor choices when it came to relationships.
They wanted to rush God’s perfect timing and terrible things happened.
In spite of all this poor choices, God still blessed and worked through Jacobs family.
We should be encouraged that in spite of our family dysfunction that God can still work in each of our lives.
We can all still be used by God in spite of some of our worst decisions.
I can see back on my own life where God did that many times and I’m sure you can too!