Reading the account of the births of Jacob's children reveals one of the more dysfunctional families described in the Bible: Two wives, two servants being offered up as surrogates to produce more children, and a bargain to "purchase" conjugal rights. It sounds like an episode of Sister Wives.
This chapter illustrates some uncomfortable truths about our fallen human nature:
1) We will stoop to any length to get what we want, completely oblivious to the damage we cause to relationships when we center everything on our own desires.
2) We can be acting in ways that are far from God, not seeking His will or obeying His Word, but still want to pull Him in to what we are doing.
Both Leah and Rachel named their sons based on statements about what they felt God was doing for them in providing a son. But there is no mention of them seeking God, praying to God, or behaving in any way consistent with the character of God.
How often do we do what we think is right in order to get what we want without consulting with God, and then want to put His stamp of approval on it by giving Him praise? Perhaps we draft a resume that stretches the truth to the breaking point in order to get a job, then praise the Lord for providing the job? Or we break the speed limit or run a red light, then praise God for arriving on time?
I'm not saying we shouldn't praise God, but if we obtained something without consulting or obeying Him, we might want to think about who actually helped us get it. Getting what we want is not God’s primary objective for our lives. Conforming us to the image of Christ and deepening a relationship with us is His desire. The enemy of our souls is the one who seeks to distract us from matters of eternal significance with temporal trinkets.
If we desire God's will, He will not direct us to violate His commands in order to achieve it. And when we’ve chosen to ignore His commands, we should not assume any earthly success indicates His blessing of our behavior.