Thursday, October 29, 2009

God Remembers Rachel -- Genesis 30:22-24

Then God remembered Rachel, and God gave heed to her and opened her womb. So she conceived and bore a son and said, "God has taken away my reproach." She named him Joseph, saying, "May the LORD give me another son."

God heeded Leah, but He remembered Rachel. Is there a difference? I think so. To ‘heed’ is to give serious attention to someone’s request and to take that something or person into account when acting. To ‘remember’ someone is to have them come to mind independently for the purpose of paying them attention or consideration, without any current, in one’s face if you like, request on their part. In Rachel’s case, scripture says He remembered her first and then He gave heed to her long-lasting desire to bear children, and He opened her womb. God was responding to Rachel’s request out of His love for her rather than out of her continuously asking. I would rather be remembered then heeded when it comes to how God deals with me.

So Rachel conceived and bore Jacob yet another son. Believing that God had taken away her reproach, Rachel names the 11th son of Jacob (the 5th from her side of the marriage and the very first by her) Joseph which is translated to mean ‘Jehovah has added’. There are two aspects to this name. First, that God has shown grace to Rachel in spite of her actions and secondly, that God may now continue to give Rachel children, especially another son.

Can you imagine the joy that Rachel must have felt after all these years of not being able to bare Jacob children directly? Even Jacob must have felt something special. After all, this son, Joseph, was the first child of his beloved Rachel. And as for Leah, did this birth signify the continuation of the competition between her and Rachel to bare the greatest number of children?

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