The chapter opens with an all too familiar trait, envy. Verse one states, "When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, give me children, or I shall die!" Envy or jealousy is not unfamiliar to many, the desire to want to live like a celebrity, to have lots of money, or dreams of fame and popularity and acceptance. The story of Rachel and Leah is filled with sibling rivalry and an all too real reality that Jacob loved Rachel. From a place of envy, anger is kindled in Jacob, as stated in verse two, "Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, am I in place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?" Envy is a slippery slope that generally leads to us taking matters into our own hands, as is the case in this story. Verse three "Then she said, here is my servant Bilhah; go into her, so that she may give birth on my behalf, that even I may have children through her."
When we choose our path, all seems well in our own eyes, and at times we will bring God into our choices after the fact. As the story continues, verses 4-6, "So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife and Jacob went into her, and Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob, a son. Then Rachel said, God has judged me and has heard my voice and given me a son. Therefore, she called his name Dan." The next few verses continue as Bilhah has another son in verse seven. Rachel feels like she has gained a victory over her sister in verse eight, and Leah, not willing to go down without a fight, gives her servant to Jacob, and she bares him two more sons versed nine to fourteen. Both Rachel and Leah prioritized their needs over everything else because this is how envy works.
Envy is based on self, not sacrifice. Then next time you are tempted to shut the door and be independent, know that God is standing by and has surrounded you with others to help share the cares of life. In these moments, you must choose to allow yourself to be vulnerable and trust. Trusting others can be difficult, especially since we are all broken vessels. Now the question is will you trust God and be open to love or stay closed and hold on to envy. James 5:16 tells us, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” Isaiah 55: 8-9 states, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." If you are struggling with your current circumstances and considering taking matters into your own hands, let me encourage you to be still and wait on God. Remember that God has a plan for your life. Right now, things may seem a bit challenging, but you can still trust him. God is your source.
God loves you, and so do I