Scripture Reading: Genesis 30:14–18
“And Leah said, God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband: and she called his name Issachar,” Genesis 30:18.
Issachar: Man of Hire
“And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, give me, I pray thee, of thy son’s mandrakes. And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that thou has taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son’s mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son’s mandrakes. And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son’s mandrakes. And he lay with her that night. And God hearkened unto Leah and she conceived and bare Jacob the fifth son,” Genesis 30:14–17. Leah called his name Issachar, which means, “man of hire.”
From Asher to Issachar we see the manifestation of joy and happiness in Leah. She describes herself as a blessed woman. But in that joy she found herself confronting her original challenge. Her sister Rachel again wanted something she had and she said to Rachel, you have taken my husband and now you want to take my mandrakes? Rachel said, lie with my husband tonight and give me the mandrakes. He went unto Leah as the man of hire and she gave birth to a man of hire.
The sobering reality for Leah was that this exchange made it clear that Jacob never loved her. She may have given birth to Jacob’s sons but his heart was with Rachel as he preferred her. This is why Leah complained to Rachel that she had taken her husband. Rachel said, don’t worry, give me the mandrakes and I will release him to you for one night. But God came through again and Leah conceived.
This passage also teaches that industry, the ability to transact, is needed. Many people never get to the place of Issachar where they understand their environment. The sons of Issachar had an understanding of the times, 1 Chronicles 12:32. Rachel presented a transaction Leah could have turned down, but she said yes and gave birth. The son of hire became her reward.
In other words, trading, or transacting, came into play and the child who was born became the man of hire. The point here is that in the Christian life it is a reality that we must get practical. We should not get so spiritual that we are not of any use on earth. We should get to a place where we have an understanding of the times, like the sons of Issachar who understood their environment and were able to negotiate, transact, and get the desired results.
Leah was transacting, but she was not committing adultery. Jacob was her husband but he was not available until she negotiated for him. She said, “Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son’s mandrakes,” verse
16. You are my husband but you are not fulfilling the office, so I have bought you. Many of us would not operate this way but the true Christian must understand their circumstance, their environment and in the order of Leah, command that the blessings come in. And with that action, Leah, who would never have had a child again if things continued as they were, through that hire positioned herself to conceive again and bore Jacob a fifth son. She said God has given me my hire and she called him Issachar. I pray that you will get an understanding from this message.
There are times when what you need legitimately is elusive and challenging. You need to swallow your pride, keep your eyes on the goal, and go for the gold, the Issachar, that is yours.
Issachar was waiting in Leah’s womb and only that negotiating, that demanding her right by hire for something that was her right by marriage brought forth this Issachar. The key point here is that sometimes, extra action is required. We need to have the extra oil to bring forth our Issachars.
I pray that extra wisdom, extra oil, extra grace will come to you today. But it can only come if Jesus is in you. If you have never given your life to Jesus, you cannot reason this way.
Some of us would have been so emotional, we would have eliminated our blessings permanently, but thank God for the ones who are wise because Jesus is in them. The Bible says in 1 Chronicles 12:32 that the sons of Issachar had an understanding of the times and they knew what Israel ought to do. Leah had an understanding of what she ought to do and did it and brought forth her fifth son. May you have an understanding of your circumstances and bring forth in Jesus’ name.
If Jesus is in your heart, He will tell you what to do. If He is not in your heart, pray with me now, “Lord Jesus, come into my heart and give me the wisdom that will give me the grace to understand my times, my environment, and what I need to do in every circumstance in Jesus’ name.”