30 When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!” 2 Jacob became angry with her and said, “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?” 3 Then she said, “Here is Bilhah, my servant. Sleep with her so that she can bear children for me and I too can build a family through her.” 4 So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife. Jacob slept with her, 5 and she became pregnant and bore him a son. 6 Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me; he has listened to my plea and given me a son.” Because of this she named him Dan. 7 Rachel’s servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8 Then Rachel said, “I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won.” So she named him Naphtali. 9 When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11 Then Leah said, “What good fortune!” So she named him Gad. 12 Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13 Then Leah said, “How happy I am! The women will call me happy.” So she named him Asher.
Jealousy and comparison can often make us do strange things!
This passage shows us just how jealousy can have an impact on family and relationships, with Rachels servant bearing two sons for her with her husband Jacob as she is barren. Rachel does this as her sister Leah has children and she has none, making her jealous and angry with her own situation. When Leah see’s this, she does the same thing with her servant!
In verse 13 Leah says, ‘How happy I am! The women will call me happy’. This makes me wonder, would Rachel have been truly happy within this situation? Competing with your own sister and allowing your servant to sleep with your husband to give you children doesn’t make for the happiest of circumstances to me. Instead of turning to God while feeling overlooked, Rachel took matters into her own hands to satisfy her wants.
I wonder how many times we have done something out of jealousy, to present ourselves to the world as ‘happy’? How many times have we changed our situation, so other’s will look at us and think we have our lives sorted, are on top of everything, and have it all under control?
It’s always a challenge, but I am reminded from this passage it is important to turn to God, pray in the midst of what we might be going through, and trust that he in control, as He has a plan for everything.
Lord, help me to continue to rely on You. When I am jealous, or start comparing my life to someone else’s, remind me that You have a unique plan and purpose for my life. Remind me You are in control even when I can’t see it and help me to always trust in You.
Written by Rachel Tomc