Peter Barnes: Genesis 29:31-30:24
SERMON NOTES: JOY AND WOE IN THE FAMILY (Genesis 29:31-30:24)
Man was made for joy and woe,
And when this we rightly know
Thro’ the World we safely go.
Joy and woe are woven fine,
A Clothing for the Soul divine;
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.
- Life is a mixture of joy and woe.
– 29:31. Rachel has Jacob’s love but not his children; Leah has his children but not his love. Leah gave birth to Jacob’s first four sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah – 29:32-35.
– Rachel and Leah experience both joy and woe. All joy would be like all ice-cream, no vegetables. There will be no woe in the new heaven and new earth, but here it is used to put joy in a proper perspective.
- The sin of ‘overdesire’.
– Augustine defined covetousness as ‘overdesire’. Sin is not just doing evil things; it can be desiring something that is lawful in an unlawful way. This is very commonly the cause of our troubles.
– 30:1, 2. Contrast to 25:21.
– Rachel learns nothing from 16:1-2. Hence 30:3-8.
– almost becomes farcical in 30:14-21. Mandrakes were a small orange-coloured fruit, often called ‘love-apples’, and were believed to be an aphrodisiac – Song of Songs 7:13. Assisted reproductive technology has led to over 120,000 frozen embryos, most of which will be destroyed.
- God’s sovereignty in all things.
– 29:31; 30:17; 30:22; 30:2; 29:35. We fail but He prevails.