For the third generation in a row, we encounter the theme of barrenness as God forms the nation He had promised Abraham. Would Rachel pray like Isaac and Rebekah or take matters into her own hands like Abraham and Sarah? She chose the latter and demanded that Jacob have children for her through her maid, Bilhah, and she had two sons. Then Leah made the same sinful choice and gave Jacob her maid, Zilpah, who also had two sons.
God used these sinful choices for good, but they were not without consequences. Rivalry and favoritism would not be confined to Jacob and his now four wives. These sins would spill over onto their children. Learning from our sins is important. It is one way we grow in holiness. But it is also important that we learn from the sins of others. Surely Jacob knew the stories of his fathers, but tragically, he and his wives chose to repeat their follies.
What lessons have you learned from your failures, and how can you encourage others by sharing them?