Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Uneven Exchange

"He loved Rachel more than Leah . . ."

I've been to the market to buy one thing and to my frustration, when I return home,
I find out I picked up the wrong item:
fat free instead of regular,
crunchy instead of creamy,
jam instead of jelly,
parsely instead of cilantro.
How annoying.

She was not the one he had chosen.
He agreed to work seven years for Rachel.
That was the agreement.

Grudgingly, I'm now obliged to make a second trip to the market to return the wrong item I bought and, hopefully, get the one I intended on purchasing in the first place.

Another trip, another chunk of my time.

Jacob didn't have the option to return Leah, it was a done deal.  
Now, he had to work another seven years to earn the wife he had longed for, hand-picked, ...loved.  

Rachel may have been frustrated, as well. 
The moment she laid eyes on Jacob she knew he was the one.

Immediately, she ran to her dad to tell him about this guy named Jacob who practically dropped onto her doorstep, said he's from their kin, and wanted to marry HER.  YAY!  

She may have also breathed a sigh of relief when Jacob accepted her dad's stipulation that he must work on Laban's land for seven years before acquiring Rachel.

To Jacob's surprise and Rachel's disappointment, Laban did not come through with his end of the bargain, for he never intended for Rachel to marry first.  Leah, was older than Rachel.  
It's tradition.  Not to mention the advantageous, economic opportunity that suddenly had fallen on his doorstep.  

For Jacob to fall in love with Rachel at first sight, and to agree to work another seven years for her was not only unusual, 
but evidence that he wasn't playing.  He wanted Rachel.

Leah was older, 
and unfortunately, no one had expressed a desire for her hand, perhaps no one ever would.  She was, let's say, 
simple and unnoticeable.

The night of the wedding, as Rachel may have been preparing to meet her beloved, Leah was secretly being concocted to go into the marriage chamber, instead.

Leah was used as a manipulation chip and placed into a love triangle, by no fault of her own, but in the middle nonetheless.

I can't even imagine Leah's horror, as she witnessed Jacob's fury upon realizing he had been tricked into marrying the wrong girl! HER.

Ironically, it would be "Rachel (who) envied her sister".
Genesis 30:1

Rachel was beautiful, in form and countenance,
but Leah had one huge advantage,
the ability to bear children.  

Rachel desired to give her husband children, but she could not.
Leah, desired the love of her husband, but he could not.

Evidently, jealousy ran in the family.

Jacob's grandmother, Sarah, was also barren. God had promised her a child, but she became weary in waiting. She took matters into her own hands by giving her husband to her maidservant. Her interference produced her more pain than joy. It opened the door to intense envy and rivalry. Abraham eventually was forced to dismiss Hagar, along with his child.

Sarah's promised child Isaac eventually came.
And, the thread of jealousy weaved into his boys' story.
And, later, it shows up again with Rachel and Leah.

And, the destructive cycle continued.

Jealousy and envy are emotions that plague all of us at some time or another.  We have expectations in life and when those expectations don't seem attainable, we have a difficult time swallowing its achievement in others.

As we judge our own successes and failures, by the triumphs and disappointments of people, we either think of ourselves as failures, or someone else.

The Word of God doesn't teach us to consider our value by measuring ourselves against the circumstances of others, rather in whom He says we are.  Remaining secure upon that knowledge can keep us from falling into rabbit holes and unnecessary detours.

So, let's do everything possible to avoid the  "Rachel vs. Leah" trap. Truth is, God loved both of them enormously.
Each sister had a unique design, fashioned by their heavenly Father and empowered by the Spirit of God to bring about an amazing story and legacy.

Although Leah may have been Jacob's Plan B, she wasn't God's.  Her presence was pivotal to the plan of God for her people.  Yes, she had to endure some heart breaking experiences, but in the end God did not forget her.  He blessed her and kept her, and still today she is honored as the mother of many of Jacob's sons which became the namesakes of the tribes of Israel.

Rachel was also remembered by her heavenly Father.  She was blessed by the love of her husband, and later the Lord heard her longing for children and opened her womb.  She gave birth to Joseph and Benjamin.  Joseph would later be chosen by the Lord to deliver his people and his family.

There will always be another person who will have that one thing we want, but can't have. Rather than keeping in mind all that God has already blessed us with, we lament that one thing we imagine would have made everything "perfect".  Like Leah, it may be a person, beauty, youth.  Like Rachel, it may be children, success or being first.  For others it might be money, or success, or personality, friendships, posessions, power, influence, or position; fill in the _______?_______. . .

When we see our sisters being blessed in areas we struggle in,
rather than denying, ignoring or agreeing with envy
let's replace it with:

 for the blessings we were given.
Philippians 4:6

in Christ who strengthens us.
Nehemiah 8:10

 in the knowledge that God is love, sovereign, and good.
Philippians 4:7

in Jesus, for He's not finished with us yet.
Romans 5:4

for He knows our circumstances and He has not forgotten.
Psalm 91:1

in His promises
Proverbs 3: 5-6

rejecting any thought that rises itself against the knowledge of His Word.
2 Timothy 1:7

"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,
but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
casting down arguments and every high thing
that exalts itself above the knowledge of God,
bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."

2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Rachel & Leah's Story

Today I'm honored to be linking up once again with
Holley Gerth


  1. I love Rachel and Leah's story and your take really makes me think about my own walk with The Lord. Great post friend! Glad I ran into your blog via Holley Gerth!:)

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment and for stopping by. Have a great day! :)


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