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Daily Devotional Genesis 30:1–24

Have you ever wondered if God could use you because of your past? Maybe you feel like God cannot work through you because of where you came from or what you have done. If you have ever felt that way, Genesis 30 should be an encouragement to you. Jacob and his family had significant dysfunction. Even so, we can clearly see how God was at work in and through them.

God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise.


It is hard to know just what to do with chapters like this one. Leah was upset because she was the unwanted wife. Rachel was upset because she could not have children like Leah. Both women wanted what the other had. Rachel railed at Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!” (v. 1). After having children, the women said things such as: “I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won” (v. 7). Or, “This time my husband will treat me with honor, because I have borne him six sons” (v. 19). The only real prayer offered in this section comes after Rachel has her first son when she pleads, “May the LORD add to me another son” (v. 24). One was not enough.

Yet, to an Israelite reader this chapter records far more than the internal strife of a family. The children that were born through this struggle become the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel. This is how the promised nation was formed. God was at work despite the sinful behaviors of the people. As one commentator put it, “The significance of these stories in Genesis is not to provide tips on how to avoid getting into a mess or how to get out of one, but to remind us that we all get into messes and that this does not stop God from being at work.”

Go Deeper

How would you characterize Jacob’s family? Why was there so much division? Aren’t you grateful that God’s work does not depend on perfect people?

Pray with Us:

Almighty God, Your faithfulness to us knows no boundaries! Give us eyes to see Your patience and love to Your people through the ages. Show us clearly, we pray, the lessons we need to learn from the book of Genesis.

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