22 Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb.
23 She conceived and bore a son and said, "God has taken away my reproach."
24 And she called his name Joseph, saying, "May the LORD add to me another son!"
This chapter is one of the more unpleasant episodes to read in all of scripture. Leah and Rachel reach heights of sibling rivalry regarding sexual fertility in their bizarre marriage to Jacob that simply stagger all common sense thinking. I find this chapter to be the best argument ever for monogamy! What man in his right mind would want to fight among four women? By the time we get to Issachar's birth, Jacob has become nothing more than breeding stock for argument... literally!
But we get to see God work even in the most sinful of family situations. Jacob's home is hardly honoring to God, yet God in His mercy and in keeping of the covenant with Abraham, keeps blessing. And Joseph becomes in the whole string of patriarchal accounts the most faithful of all. He could not help the circumstances of his birth, nor the bitter fighting that would mark his family and write a tragic story for him. But God was slowly making something of him that would be remarkable.
So even in the worst of situations, God's grace prevails. God's plan does not fail. And Jacob's family is living proof of that sovereign truth.