Daily Word

God works despite sin | Genesis 30:14-21

14 Now in the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found mandrake fruits in the field, and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” 15 But she said to her, “Is it a small matter for you to take my husband? And would you take my son’s mandrakes also?” So Rachel said, “Therefore he may sleep with you tonight in return for your son’s mandrakes.”

16 When Jacob came in from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must have relations with me, for I have indeed hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he slept with her that night. 17 God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18 Then Leah said, “God has given me my reward, because I gave my slave to my husband.” So she named him Issachar.

19 And Leah conceived again and bore a sixth son to Jacob. 20 Then Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good gift; finally my husband will acknowledge me as his wife, because I have borne him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun. 21 Afterward she gave birth to a daughter, and named her Dinah.

Genesis 30:14-21 (NASB)

Mandrakes for sex

The race for sons continues from yesterday. Somehow mandrakes fit into the picture. Leah’s oldest son, Reuben, finds some. She may have asked him to scout them out. Rachel gives up access to Jacob for a night in exchange for them. What are they? “The mandrake is a root, called the love apple in Hebrew. They were thought to increase fertility in women (and still are among some peoples). Because Leah had the mandrakes, she knew Jacob would have relations with her, believing there was a greater likelihood she would become pregnant.” (enduringword.com)

God works despite sin

As you can see, this is quite a messed up situation. And it’s happening within God’s chosen family! We remember it didn’t start here, but actually back “home” with Rebekah and Jacob scheming to steal the birthright then, the blessing. Now here, all this scheming, fighting, jealousy. How was God honored? How was God supposed to accomplish His will? But He does. He actually “listened to Leah” again and blessed her with not just one son but two more sons. Issachar means reward, and Zebulun means dwelling. She also bore Jacob a daughter, Jacob’s first, to boot! Poor Rachel was still childless. But the story continues…


  • Are you surprised to see that God still works in such a messed up, sinful situation where there seems to be a huge lack of faith and devotion to Him? How can we explain it? Mercy and grace. He has a plan, He’s made a promise. The Lord will carry it out. What promises has He made to you? If you’ve messed up; if you’re sinning, STOP. Confess. Repent. God will hear, forgive and cleanse you of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9) so as to restore His relationship with you.
Mandrake plant. Image from Pxfuel.com

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