Last week, we looked at the tragedy of Leah and reminded ourselves that we are not in her unloved position because we are loved by God. But maybe today you feel more like Rachel than you do Leah. Rachel’s story in this passage is not as tragic as Leah’s but it’s still tragic.
Please read Genesis 30:22-24.
Rachel’s tragedy is not that she is unloved—Jacob loved her from the moment he first saw her, and God clearly loves her because He remembers her and listens to her. Rachel is loved. But her tragedy is that she doesn’t recognize how loved she is. She’s still looking to find her worth in her status. She’s still looking for something more. When Rachel is blessed with a son, she initially praises God! But, in the very next verse, she names her son with her desire for more children.
Think about that for a minute: Judah will have to live his whole life with the knowledge that he wasn’t good enough for his mother. He will have to walk around with a name that tells people, “oh, well hopefully God added more children to your mom, because clearly you aren’t enough.” She will always want something more.
God will of course answer Rachel’s prayer for another son when He blesses her with Benjamin, but the pain of childbirth will kill her. Rachel’s tragedy is the classic case of “be careful what you wish for.”
Had Rachel simply been content with what she had—the love of her husband, a beautiful baby boy, and the favor of God—she could have lived a long and happy life. In fact, she could have lived the exact life that her sister Leah was striving so hard for. Instead, Rachel was always wanting something more.
The true tragedy of these two sisters is that they were each looking for what the other had. Leah simply wanted to be loved by her husband, until she finally realized that this would never happen; Rachel desperately wanted the respect that Leah had for bearing so many children. Neither one of them found contentment in their own situation. To simply have switched places would have given them the greatest of pleasure.
If only these sisters would understand what the Scripture teaches us: “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6).
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