Leah & Rachel • Devotion #6: Twelve Tribes
James Clouse | Student Pastor
Have you ever been put in a position where God was able to use your own sinful behavior for His good? God has to remind me all the time that my own sin can cause disastrous consequences, but it is also amazing to see the ways that God has used my past sins and the sins of those around me to help me grow.
Genesis 35:22-26 says, “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. The sons of Leah: Reuben (Jacob’s firstborn), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s servant: Dan and Naphtali. The sons of Zilpah, Leah’s servant: Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan-aram.”
God did not intend for Jacob to sin against his family and run away. God did not intend for Jacob to work for Laban and have his father-in-law trick him to sleep with the wrong daughter. Jacob’s past is full of sin, as is all of ours. But we see an amazing thing happen with all the children that Jacob had with both Leah and Rachel. Yet, we see the birth of the twelve tribes of Israel.
The first three children will not receive their own tribe because of the sin in their lives, but the rest of Jacob’s, or Israel’s, children will see flourishing tribes come forth. Here we see the amazing power of redemption. God has used the sin of Jacob, the sins of those around him, and the sins of his children to create twelve tribes that will go on to create kingdoms. God has redeemed Jacob and his family to create and to fulfill His promises.
In our own lives, we see this amazing redemption through the power of Jesus Christ. Christ has redeemed us with His blood. So when we come before our Father with our sins, we are sanctified through the amazing power of Christ’s redeeming blood. This does not mean that we will not be punished or see the consequences of the sins in our lives, but rather God can use those sins to either help us grow or to help others around us.
The next time that you sin, which will happen, come before the Father and ask for forgiveness. Ask God to have Him use that sin to help you grow in your walk with Him. Ask the Father how you can now move on with your life to help others away from that sin. If you have dealt with alcohol abuse, come before God and ask for forgiveness and let Him use that sin to help others. The same goes for other sins that others around us struggle.