Genesis 30:1-2, “1 Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister, and said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I die!” 2 And Jacob’s anger was aroused against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?”
Envy is something we encounter from time to time in our walk with the Lord. Envy is the grieving at the good of another, a sin that is hateful to God and hurtful to our neighbors and ourselves. This is where we fail to understand that we are all wired differently and God has placed certain things in certain people he may have not placed in others. If anything, we ought to celebrate our differences, our uniqueness and celebrate what God is doing in us and others.
Rachel and Leah being sisters, they were very different. It was God’s doing to make them different, but instead of each celebrating their difference, they were both trying to walk in each other’s shoes. The more they did, the more they were miserable. Rachel was more beautiful than Leah, she was more loved but her womb was shut. Leah on the other hand God had opened her womb and gave her children, by this time she had 4 sons when Rachel launched a complaint. Genesis 30:1,” Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister,..”.
“… and said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I die!”. I believe where there is envy, there is a misdirected approach to things. Our judgments are clouded, how we react and act is skewed and how we approach things tend to go wrong. Rachel having seen Leah her sister have children believed it was Jacob’s fault she was not having children. She had forgotten that God is the author of good things. The one to call upon when there is a problem. How easy it is to turn our focus on man when things are not working out as we need them to work, and even blame others for the predicament we find ourselves in. Psalm 118:8-9 says, “8 It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man. 9 It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in princes”. Instead of trusting God, she concluded that her problems were caused by her husband. Her confidence was not in her God but in her husband.
Vs. “2 And Jacob’s anger was aroused against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” Jacob is angry, because his wife ascribes nothing to the providence of God, and, by imagining that children are the offspring of chance turned on and off as man pleases. It is probable that Jacob had been already sorrowful on account of his wife’s barrenness. Jacob acknowledges God as the provider of children and uses this as an eye opener and encouragement to his confused, hurting, envious wife. He affirms that the Lord had shut her womb, he obliquely intimates that she ought to deeply to humble herself and trust God. Tragically, in vs. 3. she comes up with her own plan of giving her maid Bilhah to Jacob to have children with so as to call them her own. This is a shortcut means to blessings which is not God’s way. As Matthew Henry rightfully puts it, “Had not Rachel’s heart been influenced by evil passions, she would have thought her sister’s children nearer to her, and more entitled to her care than Bilhah’s. But children whom she had a right to rule, were more desirable to her than children she had more reason to love”
There someone right now who is envious of someone who has a better job, house, children, spouse etc. and it’s killing you inside as you think that it’s not right for them to have all that and not you. Now Moses, by exhibiting this evil in Rachel, would teach us that it is inherent in all; in order that each of us, tearing it up by the roots, may vigilantly purify ourselves from it. That we may be cured of envy, put away pride and self-love; and celebrate what God has done and is doing in others who may have what we don’t and trust God for what we need. As Paul prescribes this single remedy against contentions “Let nothing be done through vain glory.” (Philippians 2:3.). Blessings, Ev