After God reaffirmed Israel’s place and blessing, Israel experienced a time of loss. He lost his beloved wife, Rachel, He lost his father, and he lost the trust of his eldest son, Rueben.
Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin. She named him son of my sorrow, Ben-Oni–because she realized she was so busy competing with Leah for Israel’s favor that she forgot to live and be grateful for all God had provided her. Israel renamed the boy Son of my right hand–Benjamin as he favored Rachel his partner in life.
Next, Rueben, Jacob’s oldest son slept with Billah, one of Israel’s concubines…Not much is said, other than Israel found out…In that though, Israel lost all confidence in His eldest son. Such a lack of respect could never be made right. It is only in the end that we find that Israel never forgot his son’s treachery.
Finally, Israel loses his dad. the death of Isaac came at age 180. 20 years after Jacob left his dad on his death bed…So Israel and Esau buried Isaac together and there seemed to be peace between them.
This passage is a great reminder that even as we are blessed by the Lord, that blessing does not exempt us from trial and loss. Israel lost his wife, His son’s respect, and His father immediately after God’s blessing. It was not a cruel trick by the Lord; it was simply life. In our lives, we can be blessed in many ways, but God does not exempt us from the trials of life. Death, betrayal, loss all still happen to the people of every station and life.
We must learn to be grateful for what we have and not expect special treatment from the Lord. As life hits full in the face, we need to remember this is the journey, not the destination and as we face the destination, we then do it with a grateful heart and humble spirit. That is how Israel faced his life, and that is how we must face life as well.
God Bless You
16 Then they journeyed from Bethel. When they were still some distance[f] from Ephrath, Rachel went into labor, and she had hard labor. 17 And when her labor was at its hardest, the midwife said to her, “Do not fear, for you have another son.” 18 And as her soul was departing (for she was dying), she called his name Ben-oni;[g] but his father called him Benjamin.[h] 19 So Rachel died, and she was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem), 20 and Jacob set up a pillar over her tomb. It is the pillar of Rachel’s tomb, which is there to this day. 21 Israel journeyed on and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder.
22 While Israel lived in that land, Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine. And Israel heard of it.
Now the sons of Jacob were twelve. 23 The sons of Leah: Reuben (Jacob’s firstborn), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. 24 The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. 25 The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s servant: Dan and Naphtali. 26 The sons of Zilpah, Leah’s servant: Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan-aram.
27 And Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre, or Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had sojourned. 28 Now the days of Isaac were 180 years. 29 And Isaac breathed his last, and he died and was gathered to his people, old and full of days. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.