v 31. When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he enabled her to have children, but Rachel could not conceive.
Poor old Leah, aware that she was unloved, must have found solace in her four sons. And how despairing Rachel would have been – loved so much and yet unable to conceive. I find it hard to imagine the tension there would have been in the household as Leah became the mother of the first four tribes of Israel, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah. Meanwhile much-loved Rachel remained barren.
And how did Jacob himself feel I wonder?
This is one of the hardest things for couples to manage between themselves. They desperately try for children, and yet year after year there is no success. Nowadays couples go off and seek help from fertility clinics and such like, but Jacob and Rachel suffered in silence. (Or did they, I wonder? Did they at times rail against God? Did they blame God for their apparent failure to produce offspring? Did Rachel blame herself – after all, Jacob was having repeated success with Leah?) Whatever was going on between them, these could not have been the happiest of times for Jacob and Rachel. Sustaining love in such circumstances can be far from easy.
If you know of any couples in similar circumstances, pray today for them. Pray that they will retain a joyful relationship to see them through the tough times and find pleasure in each other.