08 Dec Rachel had it all …but was not content
I’m sure you have met someone that appears to have it all together!
A beautiful face with no blemishes, perfect body, interesting career, a devoted husband and perfect children!
I used to have a habit of comparing myself with others. No matter where I was I would see someone that was attractive, well-dressed with her perfect children and full of confidence. Immediately I would feel like I was doing everything wrong starting with my body and hairstyle, and all my life skills. I had formed a habit in my thought patterns and I didn’t even realize what I was doing, it just came ‘naturally’.
One day I spoke to one of these imagined perfect people and heard what was coming from the inside. She had learned how to ‘look good’ on the outside, but her inside was full of bitterness. As I thought on this situation I realized that I had been judging from outward appearance and I knew absolutely nothing about the person.
Comparing myself to other women is not part of God’s plan for my life. Learning from other women is.
The Bible gives us many examples of women that have walked before us. When I study the women in the Bible I see God working through the lives of imperfect women. Scripture reveals real women with radical testimonies. You can read a love story that would make the perfect chick flick! Learn how to deal with a broken heart, even how to love and be loved. If you have a bad reputation, you can see how Jesus transformed a woman with the worst reputation. The women in the Bible have great relevance to the lives of women today. There is nothing new under the sun.
Rachel is an example in the Bible of a beautiful woman that seemed to have it altogether. She had a man that was devoted to her. Jacob was willing to labor seven years for her hand in marriage, “but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her” (Genesis 29:20). Unknown to Rachel, trouble was on the frontline.
What was to be her wedding night turned into a nightmare. Her father had betrayed Jacob, Rachel and Leah by giving Leah to Jacob on what was to be Rachel’s wedding night! Rachel became Jacob’s second wife; Leah was the fertile one, bearing four healthy sons, one after another.
We can empathize with Rachel, especially those among us who have known this heartache. If Rachel had rested in Jacob’s love, and waited patiently for the Lord to open her womb, we would have applauded her as a role model in a very difficult situation. But, as a flawed human being, she became jealous of her sister. The beautiful woman, deeply loved by her husband was not enough; she wanted what her sister had.
Did she turn to God and ask for His mercy, no. Rachel demanded of her husband, “Give me children or I’ll die!” (Genesis 30:1). Does this drama-queen demand sound familiar? Jacob lost his temper as Rachel demanded something that was beyond his control. “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?” (Genesis 30:2).
Rachel was a desperate woman who was determined to take matters into her own hands. She pushed her maidservant, Bilhah, into the arms of her husband to give him a son. Canaanite customs allowed such a solution … but Rachel was not a Canaanite! How easily we adapt to the ways of the world when we focus our attention on what we want. It is hard to say no when we see others getting what they want, by whatever means.
When she finally gave up trying, “God remembered Rachel…” (Genesis 30:22). God had not forgotten her. When Rachel finally came to the end of herself, then “… God listened to her and opened her womb.
God is still listening today. He is waiting for us to come to Him with our requests, to humble ourselves admitting our need of Him. He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). There are many things in the world that are vying for a piece of our heart, but God wants our whole heart, soul and body.
It is not easy living in this world, but with God all things are possible. Study the life of Rachel and Leah; they are women with desires just like you and me. Leah learned to overcome the trials and pain in her life. Most of Rachel’s life was lived in bitterness from the seeds of jealousy that were planted in her heart (Genesis 30:1).
Study this family in the Book of Genesis. Through all the family problems— lies and deceit, God built the House of Israel.
To learn how Leah overcame her pain and heartache, order the book: Leah, the substitute bride.