The Sons of Jacob :: Joseph (and Jesus Christ)


Joseph was eleventh born of the sons of Jacob. He was born as Jacob’s first son through Rachel. The Bible records that God remembered Rachel and hearkened unto her and opened her womb and she conceived and bore Jacob, her son Joseph saying that The Lord shall add to her another son. She also expressed that God had taken away her reproach (disgrace or shame of being barren).

From the birth of Joseph, we learn a few truths that may not be explicitly evident.
First, God remembered Rachel, teaching us that God does not forget.
Second God hearkened to Rachel, teaching us that God is a listening and prayer answering God. This also informs us that Rachel was praying to God. Earlier we see that Rachel has bartered her husband Jacob for some mandrakes which she superstitiously thought would have made her fertile. Now we see that she is seeking of the Lord and not resort to some lore, folklore. The superstitious Rachel becomes a supplicating Rachel.
Third, God opened Rachel’s womb, teaching us that it is only the Lord God who can produce life and remove all barrenness.
Fourth, God had taken away her reproach.
Fifth, The Lord shall add to Rachel another son, teaching us that God can add. It also speaks to us about Rachel’s faith and trust in the Lord.

Points to ponder:
Jesus remembered us while we were still sinners and unproductive and did not forget us. (Romans 5:8)
Jesus listens to our prayers and he is a prayer answering God (John 14:13). Let us believe and hope in the Lord than hope on some false lore.
Jesus is the only one who can make us productive for we can do nothing without him. (John 15:4)
Jesus’ grace takes away our disgrace as sinners and turns us into saints. As believers and followers of Jesus, we have nothing to be ashamed of, for he was shamed on the cross to take away our shame. (Isaiah 49:7; Isaiah 50:6-8; Hebrews 12:2; Colossians 2:13-15)
Jesus, the Son of God, was made the Son of man so that God can bring many sons to glory i.e., add us all as sons (and daughters) into his family, for to all who believe in Jesus and who have received him, they are given the power to be called the sons of God (John 1:12)

Are you a son/daughter of God?

Genesis 30:22-24 (KJV)
22 And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.
23 And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach:
24 And she called his name Joseph; and said, The Lord shall add to me another son.

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The Daughter of Jacob :: Dinah (and Jesus Christ)


Dinah was the only daughter of Jacob and her name is mentioned only once in the Bible (Genesis 30:21). She was born to Leah as Leah’s seventh child and Jacob’s eleventh child. She was the last born of Leah and Jacob and her name Dinah means “avenged” or “judged”. Dinah is the feminine form of Dan and both have their roots in the Hebrew word “din” which means to “judge” or “plead”.

It is plausible that Leah may have so named her daughter, Dinah, for she may have felt avenged by the Lord as her husband Jacob did not love her as much as he did love Leah’s sister, Rachel. Later we shall see how Dinah was avenged for the crime of Shechem the Hivite against her, wherein her brothers, Simeon and Levi took matters into their own hands.

Points to ponder:
God is judge. It is he who avenges. When life seems to unjust to us, let us rely on him to avenge and not take matters into our own hands. Jesus is the Judge over all for the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son (John 5:22) and we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; so that every one will be “judged” according to what we have done; good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10). Those who have walked according to the Spirit of God and not according to the flesh, to them who are in Christ Jesus, to them there is no condemnation when Christ the Judge judges (Romain 8:1).

Genesis 30:21 (KJV)
21 And afterwards she bare a daughter, and called her name Dinah.

John 5:22 (KJV)
22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

2 Corinthians 5:10 (KJV)
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Romans 8:1 (KJV)
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

The Sons of Jacob :: Zebulun (and Jesus Christ)


Zebulun was tenth born of the sons of Jacob. He was born as Jacob’s sixth son through Leah. Zebulun means “dwelling” or “habitation” or “home” and he was so named by Leah because she said, now that I have borne Jacob six sons, he (my husband Jacob) will dwell with me.

Points to ponder:
Unlike Leah, who hoped that her husband Jacob, would dwell with her, we the Church, the bride of Christ Jesus can be assured that he would dwell with him. He has already done so once for the Bible records that the Word (Jesus Christ) was in the beginning with God and was God and the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us (John 1:14) and has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Jesus willingly came to dwell amongst men so that man could dwell with God. The important question then is have you and I made the Most High God our habitation, our dwelling place, for the one who does so, is protected from all evil and plagues, for he shall give his angels to charge over them to keep them in all their ways (Psalm 91:9-11).  Is Jesus Christ, God Most High, your/my Zebulun?

Genesis 30:19-20 (KJV)
19 And Leah conceived again, and bare Jacob the sixth son.
20 And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun.

John 1:14 (KJV)
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Psalm 91:9-11 (KJV)
Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

Two Wives Tales


Genesis 30:14-18 records an interesting account of a transaction that takes place between two sisters, Leah and Rachel, who were the two wives of Jacob, the son of Isaac.

Leah’s firstborn son, Reuben, finds mandrakes in the field, during the days of a wheat harvest and brings it to his mother Leah. Rachel, her sister, who was barren, pleads with her sister for the mandrakes, which was believed to be a aphrodisiac with the power to make a barren womb fertile (Song of Solomon 7:13). Mandrakes are Mediterranean plants that have a forked fleshy root which supposedly resembles the human form and was formerly used in folklore medicine and magic as it has stimulating elements and a narcotic smell. Leah responds with some degree of animosity, wherein she questions her sister, asking “Is it a small small that you have taken my husband, Jacob and now want my son’s mandrakes too?” Driven by the desire to bear a child, Rachel does not answer Leah questions, but instead respond by bartering her husband to sleep with Leah that night in exchange for Reuben’s mandrakes. When Jacob returns from the field in the evening, Leah goes out to meet with Jacob and tells him that he must lie with her that night for she had hired him. Jacob obliges.
The Bible then records that God hearkened to Leah and she conceived and bore Jacob her fifth son, whom she named Issachar, meaning “hire”.

While this whole account, out of context may seem preposterous to us in this monogamous day an age, but instead of focusing on its absurdity, let us focus on some hidden truths that surface, with deeper inspection.
First – it is not the mandrakes or for that matter any object that can make anyone fertile, except God himself. Therefore, we must not succumb to superstitions but instead submit to the Sovereign God for being productive.
Second – Jacob, who should have loved both his wives impartially failed in his duty as a Godly husband, for he loved Rachel more than he loved Leah, which was akin to hating Leah (Genesis 29:30-31); but God is impartial and just and he hearkens to Leah’s prayer.
Third – God hearkened to Leah means that Leah was a prayerful women seeking God to be her problem solver, unlike Rachel who resorted to old wives tales, instead of God to help her.
Fourth – The one who gave is the one who receives. Leah gave away her son’s mandrakes to Rachel and it she who is blessed by the Lord with another son.

Points to ponder:
Let us not succumb to old wives tales but instead submit to the Sovereign, Just and Righteous God by praying to him and seeking him to be our problem solver. He is the only One who can remove the barrenness in our lives and make us productive. Let us be willing to give and give up (even that which may seem is beneficial to us), for it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Genesis 30:14-18 (KJV)
14 And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray thee, of thy son’s mandrakes.
15 And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that thou hast taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son’s mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son’s mandrakes.
16 And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son’s mandrakes. And he lay with her that night.
17 And God hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bare Jacob the fifth son.
18 And Leah said, God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband: and she called his name Issachar.

The Sons of Jacob :: Issachar (and Jesus Christ)


Issachar was ninth born of the sons of Jacob. He was born as Jacob’s fifth son through Leah. Issachar means “for hire”. He was so named by Leah because of the event that occurred which led to his birth. What may seem absurd is that Leah had hired her husband from Rachel her sister by giving Rachel the mandrakes, that her first born son Reuben had found.

Points to ponder:
Jacob the deceiver was bought with mandrakes that was believed to be an aphrodisiac which functioned as a fertility agent to produce life (make a woman conceive). Jesus bought us from the penalty of death with his blood which gives new life to all who believe in him. Jesus came to do the will and work of God the Father, which is to pay the wages of sin (death).

Genesis 30:14-18 (KJV)
14 And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray thee, of thy son’s mandrakes.
15 And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that thou hast taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son’s mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son’s mandrakes.
16 And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son’s mandrakes. And he lay with her that night.
17 And God hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bare Jacob the fifth son.
18 And Leah said, God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband: and she called his name Issachar.

The Great Eclipse


The Great American Solar Eclipse – August 21, 2017

The first solar eclipse to cross the continental United States in 99 years happens today (August 21st, 2017) according to The Washington Post. Huffington Post calls this celestial phenomenon as the “great American eclipse” where from the Pacific to the Atlantic, various states can see how the moon will come in-between the sun and earth, blotting out the warmth and light of the sun, from the residents of the earth. Darkness will temporarily come over the earth as the moon will casting its shadow on it.

While the Bible records that the sun will be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, before the coming of our Savior, Lord and King, we must remember Jesus’ words that the day and hour of his coming is not known to anyone except God the Father (Matthew 24:29,30; 36). We must therefore keep watch for the return of Jesus (Matthew 29:42). End signs and prophecy is given to us in the Bible, not to predict the time of God’s return but to proselytize the Truth of his Gospel, so that everyone living in darkness may have the chance to believe and repent and be adopted into God’s family (John 1:12). End signs and prophecy is given to us so that we can build Biblical character, conforming more into Jesus’ image (Romans 8:29), rather than building a Biblical timeline.

Additionally, as I chatted with my wife (Sangeetha) and children (Reuben and Ittai) about the solar eclipse and pondered on it, there are a few other things that surfaced. The moon is a lot smaller (about 400 times according to scientists) than the sun; The darkness experienced by the residents of the earth is only temporary.

The moon was created as one of the two lights to rule the night i.e., in a timeframe when it is dark, it is set in place by the Creator to reflect the light of the sun to give light upon the earth but in a solar eclipse it comes in-between the sun and the earth and by virtue of its position, casts a shadow instead, blocking out the light of the sun from the earth. Like the moon, Lucifer (aka satan), was created as a morning star (Isaiah 14:12) to declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1) and to worship God alone and not seek the worship of self (Revelation 22:8-9). In fact, the very word Lucifer means light-bringing. But iniquity was found in his heart and he wanted to usurp God’s throne and elevate himself above God, and so was pushed out of heaven (Isaiah 14:12; Luke 10:18) and he fell on earth (Job 1:6-7). He is so much smaller than God in all spectrums. Yet he tries to position himself between the Son of God and the people of the earth, eclipsing the glorious truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, blinding the minds of many, to keep them in darkness (2 Corinthians 4:4). But the good news is that the darkness is temporary, because the fact is that the sun never stopped shining – it was only obstructed. In like manner, the love of God is constant, ever shining on all of his creation. The warmth and love of Jesus Christ never stops shinning. Satan cannot stop it for there is nothing, absolutely nothing, for I, this Paul, like Apostle Paul, am persuaded that nothing – neither death, nor life, nor angels (satan being one of them), nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature (including satan) shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Points to ponder:
Let us not remain in darkness, but by the renewing of your mind, let us believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be brought into the light that dispels all darkness. Let not our soul be eclipsed, for that is far greater than the great American eclipse! Accept the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who is the Light of the World, uneclipsable.

Matthew 24:29-30
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

Genesis 1:16-18 (KJV)
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

2 Corinthians 4:4-6 (KJV)
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.