And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.Genesis 30:1
Dear Church and Friends,
What do you get when you add flour, egg, butter, sugar, and oil together? If done in the right proportions you will have created a yummy batter that many deserts can be made from. Here’s another one. What do you get when you add pride, jealousy, and selfishness together? In Rachel’s case, that is a recipe for envy which can be baked into so many other sins, none of which are yummy.
I entitled this Letter “Is Justice Blind? (Part 2)” because this is the other side of the Leah/Rachel story. Rachel was the prettiest, she was “beautiful and well favoured” (29:17). She must have known it, and liked the attention and advantage it produced. However, it did not garner favor in heaven. Our best attributes never do.
Her beauty seems to have created a sense of entitlement, a haughty look, a selfish heart. She complained to Jacob “Give me children, or else I die.” The tantrum of a spoiled-child that hasn’t learned life’s first lesson. Instead of repenting and turning to the Lord, her envy multiplies into several sins.
- The offer of her handmaid: “And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her” (verse 3).
- Jacob’s adulterous act: “And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her” (verse 4). Like Adam, he should have said no.
- Her declaration that God had blessed this course of action: “And Rachel said, God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son: therefore called she his name Dan.” (verse 6).
- She inspired Leah to do the same thing: “When Leah saw that she had left bearing, she took Zilpah her maid, and gave her Jacob to wife” (verse 9).
All of this happened because she envied her sister. James teaches us, “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work” (James 3:16). We see this played out in the home of Jacob. It is still being played out in hearts today.
So how do we repair the recipe? Only one thing will make the bitter waters of Marah sweet again. Moses cast a tree into the waters; only the cross of Christ can rescue the human heart from its corruption. Only Jesus can give Rachel peace.
Music: Once for All by CityALight.
Prayer Request: Please pray for the following.
- Swahili-Speaking Arabs of East Africa. (swah-HEE-lee) – Beginning in late July and continuing through the early days of this month, Swahili-speaking Arabs of East Africa joined Muslims all over the world in celebrating Eid al-Adha, the Festival of the Sacrifice. They remembered Abraham’s loyalty to God and willingness to sacrifice his son. As they reflect on this story, pray that they will allow it to point them to the God Most High who sacrificed His one and only Son for the forgiveness of the sins of the world. Ask that their eyes will be opened to the beautiful sacrifice that Jesus made on their behalf.
Catechism: Craig’s Catechism (1581) [4. The First Part of God’s Honor.]
Question 128: What other things do they specially teach us?
Answer: His fatherly care and providence for us.
Question 129: Who rules and keeps all things made?
Answer: The same eternal God, who made them.
Question 130: Who makes all these fearful alterations in nature?
Answer: The hand of God, either for our comfort or punishment.
Question 131: Who rules Satan and all his instruments?
Answer: Our God also, by His almighty power and providence.
Question 132: What comfort do we have from this?
Answer: This comfort, that nothing can hurt us, without our Father’s good will.
All my best.
And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?Genesis 30:2
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