Read: Genesis 29:14-30:43
Focus: Genesis 30:1
When Rachel saw that she wasn’t having any children for Jacob, she became jealous of her sister.
Well, it seems to me that the text for today is pretty straight forward and self-explanatory. It has all the makings of a misguided existence that the 21st century has taken as commonplace – trickery, deceit, adultery, self-service, plotting, and jealousy. Once again, our characters seek their own satisfaction rather than seeking God for direction. Well, most of them did. Jacob did a pretty good job of keeping his act clean.
But the ladies… my goodness. Ladies, ladies! Leah and Rachel were both a mess of jealousy, weren’t they? When we allow ourselves to feel resentment toward someone because they have something that we don’t, we set ourselves up to take the bait of Satan.
Leah was jealous of Jacob’s love of Rachel, so she thought having his babies would make him love her more than he loved Rachel. Rachel was jealous of Leah’s babies (and blamed Jacob – really?), so she gave Jacob her maidservant, who gave her babies. Leah was jealous of the whole maidservant thing, so she also gave Jacob her maidservant, who gave her more babies. Then Leah “bought” more time with Jacob from Rachel and had more babies. Finally, Rachel conceived a son, Joseph. That’s 12 “jealousy” babies, folks. Twelve.
Now, maybe we in this day and age, wouldn’t go so far as to compete to see how many babies we could have. But do we compete for other things? A nicer car, maybe? A bigger house? Cuter clothes? A better watch? A longer vacation to a more exotic place? Why do we do this to ourselves? What are we trying to prove? And to whom?
Scripture is very clear on the subject of jealousy. Let’s have a look:
James 3:16 –
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
Proverbs 14:30 –
A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.
Philippians 2:3 –
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
James 3:14-15 –
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
Yowch. Jealousy is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. Maybe it’s time to look at the real reason for our choices, in our true heart of hearts. Jealousy is a heart issue, and this kind of jealousy is not of God. Why does it matter what your friends and neighbors think? Why do we need the approval of anyone but God? As followers of Jesus, our trust is in God, our work is for God, and our things belong to God.
Psalm 37 tells us to trust in the Lord and do good (v. 3a); and take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires (v. 4). Maybe it’s time we keep our noses in our own business, give our desires to God, and trust that He knows best.
Father, forgive me for looking to others for approval instead of seeking You. Will you reveal the areas in my heart where jealousy is a problem? Will you replace my way with Yours? Thank you for loving me and having a perfect plan for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.