Day 12

Rachel



Genesis 30:1-24, Genesis 35:16-20, Psalm 98:1-3, Hebrews 4:16

BY Rebecca Faires

Laban really gave his daughters a raw deal. When he tricked Jacob into marrying Leah, he sentenced both of his girls to one truly heartbreaking marriage. Instead of enjoying sweet accord between husband and wife, both women are crowded into a bitter, vengeful squeeze of marital misery. One wife is just the right number of wives, but one man, two sisters, and their maidservants to boot is a cramped relationship for sure. Indeed, the normal strains of marriage are quite enough without having to engage in a fertility contest with your own sister. A fertility contest that Rachel was losing—the stats were 10 to 0 against Rachel before Joseph was finally born.

Once a month, my husband goes out for an evening with his friends to discuss literature. But by the time he gets home at 10pm I’ve had quite enough of sharing him with others. Marriage is a tight circle of two. Rachel and Leah were both denied the sweet intimacy that can only exist when two people are alone in a marriage. They likely both felt forgotten by both their husband and by God. And forgotten is a feeling that we can all identify with. People will absolutely forget us. Terrible marriages, absent parents, distracted friends, and even children can pass over us as they forge ahead in life.

But there is One who does not forget. God remembers His people. God remembered Rachel (Genesis 20:22). And in Scripture, when it says that God “remembers” someone, it means that He is going to intervene and help. When God remembers, He takes action (Genesis 9:15, 19:29, 30:22; Exodus 2:24, 32:13; Psalms 25:6–7, 74:2). Even though Rachel seems to only be asking Jacob for help, God remembers Rachel. He remembers, He listens, and He opens her womb (Genesis 30:1,22).

In the weirdest and most uncomfortable situations—in the deepest, saddest days—God remembers and listens. It goes without saying that His action may not be what we are asking for or what we think the situation requires, but in His sovereignty, He listens and remembers His people.

Rachel died in childbirth when Benjamin was born. She fought with Leah for her entire married life, and she never got to enjoy watching her own sons grow up. She didn’t get to grow old with the man she loved. It was Leah’s son, Judah, who was in the line of Christ. Rachel’s life probably did not turn out at all like she had hoped. But she was remembered by God.

Life isn’t about us and what we are doing. It is easy to forget that just because things have not gone as we hoped, that does not mean that we are forgotten or abandoned. Indeed, God builds His kingdom even amidst our dashed expectations.

Post Comments (32)

32 thoughts on "Rachel"

  1. Courtney says:

    ChurchMouse: You always have such wonderful words of wisdom and a way of simplifying the message so that it is easily understood and truly meaningful. Thank you for your contributions!

  2. Evie Wenger says:

    This is a reminder that we can trust in God, that He had the best for us even when it may not feel like it. Others may disappoint us and not intentionally. They were just not made to fill our expectations. But we were made to be loved perfectly by God ❤️

  3. Bessie says:

    This is a very convoluted story indeed. I have been thinking about why God allowed this to happen. There are many things we can’t know or understand, but I believe it was all part of God’s plan. He promised Abraham that he would give him as many descendants as there are stars in the sky. Jacob’s twelve sons are a significant part of His plan. To this day Jewish people identify as being from a certain tribe.

    God chose very human characters to be part of His story. Rachel was only able to bear two babies. Perhaps that is why God allowed Leah to enter the story. We will never know, but it is interesting to ponder how God worked in that situation. It is also interesting how God raised Judah up to be the tribe in the lineage of His son Jesus. In both situations God chose to use a younger son over the firstborn. Jacob over Esau and Judah over his 3 older brothers.

    No answers, but lots of questions!

  4. Churchmouse says:

    *King David

  5. Churchmouse says:

    Both Leah and Rachel thought they got the short end of the stick. But Leah gave birth to Judah from whom both Kind David and Jesus came. Rachel gave birth to Joseph, who taught all of us that what man intended for evil, God intended for good. Little did they know that their hard circumstances actually blessed generations. That might be small comfort but God looks at the totality of one’s life and its effects. Oh let us be faithful in the here and now, in the small and mundane. Let us trust God to enlarge it for His purpose and His glory. Let us acknowledge that our story is part of His story and it is always grand. Let us be grateful that we are His with whatever role we are to play in His epic love story.

  6. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I loved this study!! I have a lot of expectations about how my life should go and what should happen. I want to trust God in the midst of my dashed hopes and unrealized expectations. I want trust that he knows best!

  7. Lori Wat says:

    Kristen- what a beautiful testimony. I love how God uses the hard things to bring life and how that is still playing out in your life.

  8. Mari V says:

    God used all these lives despite their mistakes!! My mistakes. Your mistakes. HE can and will use it. I’m so encouraged this morning.

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