Biblical Story Of Reuben And Lessons

Biblical Story Of Reuben And Lessons

Biblical Story Of Reuben And Lessons


Reuben was the first born and son of Jacob by Leah and the forefather of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. He was named Reuben by his mother Leah which means Lord has seen my misery, surely my husband will love me now. Genesis 29:32. His mother, Leah became Jacob’s wife by cunning trick and her life turned out to be heartbreaking as she sought to win Jacob’s love. Jacob made no effort to hide the fact that he loved Rachel more than his other wife Leah. Although Leah had the honor of being the first to bear children for Jacob, Jacob continued to show his preference for Rachel. After all the children were born, family jealousies were intensified when Jacob gave preferential treatment to Rachel’s two sons, Joseph, and Benjamin. It was never recorded in the bible that Reuben experiences a father’s love as the first son of Jacob. As an adult, Reuben was one of the more honorable sons of Jacob, he saved Joseph’s life when his brothers plotted to kill him and even talked his brother’s out of murdering Joseph, instead, he convinced them to leave him in a pit instead. He intended returning to rescue him privately, but his plans failed when in his absence, the other brothers sold Joseph into slavery. He wasn’t happy when he went to the pit and he couldn’t find Joseph, so he rented his garments and went to ask his brothers where he was. (Genesis 37:30). He has some good and better traits of character which was mentioned by his father Jacob in Genesis 49:3 but his grievous sin against his father made him unworthy of the birthright blessing.

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The bestowal of the birthright was a customary practice for the patriarchs and later was law for the children of Israel (Deuteronomy 21:15-17). The heir of the birthright inherited the responsibility of family leadership and received a double portion of his father’s possessions. Reuben lost his birthright as the first born because he slept with his father’s wife. He was supposed to be the first Israelite tribe leader, but he lost that after the immoral act. His father cursed him and affected his lineage. His birthright inheritance and kingdom were given to Judah while his double portion of his inheritance was given to Joseph. The tribe of Reuben never rose to any eminence in Israel. In this article, we will be learning some lessons from the biblical story of Reuben and how impulsive decisions can have a lasting or eternal impact in one’s life.

  1. STICK TO GODLY DECISIONS: Reuben lost his birthright due to some poor decisions, as Christians, we should endeavor to make godly decisions always no matter what. God gave us a gift of salvation and when we embrace the gift, we have inheritance in God. Anytime we make bad decisions, we not only hurt ourselves, but we also hurt God and our relationship with him suffers too. We are to honor our Heavenly father who by his abounding grace adopted us into His family. Let us keep watch over ourselves so that we may not lose the prize which God has prepared for us due to poor decisions to abide in sin.
  2. OWN UP TO ANY SIN COMMITTED: Do you cover your mistake or sin when it has been committed, this is a question to answer as a Christian in the vineyard of God. Sin not confessed can come back around and affect you. You will be judged or punished for it. From the story of Reuben, he sinned, and his descendants paid the price forever. As Christians, while we all strive not to commit sin, we must be extra careful not to sacrifice our future because of the here and now. We are to avoid temptation because the implications of sins are often unknown at the time or uncertain, but the costs will certainly outweigh the immediate gratification.


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The story of Reuben doesn’t give much to emulate as Christians, his faith was about duty, responsibility, obligation, and morality but not inspiring. Like many people of faith, we must be careful not to leave out grace, wonder and excitement in the word. Don’t fight alone cause but check to see if your faith is dry and renew yourself in the word of God. Check not only if you are doing the right thing but that you are doing it the right way too. Following God’s path has no pecking order or hierarchy, but make us the path you seek is the right path and you won’t jeopardize your future in the end.


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