v 19. So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).
It is not until reach chapter 30:32 in the story that we read ‘ Then God remembered Rachel’s plight and answered her prayers by enabling her to have children. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. “God has removed my disgrace,” she said. And she named him Joseph, for she said, “May the Lord add yet another son to my family.” ‘
By that time Leah had raised 6 sons, and there were 4 more sons through servant girls. So now there were 11 sons – and Rachel has a hard time with the birth of the 12th son, named here as Benjamin. This is the final son, and after them are named the 12 tribes of Israel. Rachel however dies in the process of childbirth, and we discover – yes, we are back in Bethlehem where our story of Ruth began!
The story moves on eventually, (chapter 37), to the point where 11 brothers sell Joseph, Jacob’s favourite, into slavery in Egypt, only to discover that he has been promoted to be second in the Kingdom after Pharoah. It is Joseph, the first-born son of Rachel, that became the rescuer of Jacob and his whole family during a time of great famine.
The love story of Jacob and Rachel has many twists and turns, sadnesses and disappointments. But it is through these apparent disasters that God was at work, building a nation that would return triumphantly to possess the land promised to Abraham so many years earlier.
Try charting the ups and downs in your life to discover God’s hand in it all, bringing you safely to where you are now.
Then praise Him for His continuing grace. AMEN