Friday, October 24, 2008

Rachel - Political Candidate?

Genesis 30:4-21 So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife. Jacob slept with her, and she became pregnant and bore him a son. Then Rachel said, "God has vindicated me; he has listened to my plea and given me a son." Because of this she named him Dan. Rachel's servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Then Rachel said, "I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won." So she named him Naphtali. When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her maidservant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. Leah's servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son. Then Leah said, "What good fortune!" So she named him Gad. Leah's servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. Then Leah said, "How happy I am! The women will call me happy." So she named him Asher. During wheat harvest, Reuben went out into the fields and found some mandrake plants, which he brought to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, "Please give me some of your son's mandrakes." But she said to her, "Wasn't it enough that you took away my husband? Will you take my son's mandrakes too?" "Very well," Rachel said, "he can sleep with you tonight in return for your son's mandrakes." So when Jacob came in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him. "You must sleep with me," she said. "I have hired you with my son's mandrakes." So he slept with her that night. God listened to Leah, and she became pregnant and bore Jacob a fifth son. Then Leah said, "God has rewarded me for giving my maidservant to my husband." So she named him Issachar. Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son. Then Leah said, "God has presented me with a precious gift. This time my husband will treat me with honor, because I have borne him six sons." So she named him Zebulun. Some time later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.

After reading these verses, I feel like I've just watched a political debate. Back and forth, back and forth. It's exhausting and dizzying.

The statistics of sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise. While education of these diseases certainly do decrease those that get infected, people continue to live a lifestyle that could lead to an STD. In 1999, the number of people infected in the world were 3,040,000,000. This does not include AIDS or the HIV virus.

Jacob was sleeping with four different women. During this time, we don't hear mention of any physical sexual diseases, but we see the way it has taken hold of two sisters and torn them apart. We don't get any insight into what the handmaidens are going through, but you can imagine what's going on in their minds. They have no choice, they are slaves and are being given for the sole purpose of child bearing - but at this time in history, there's only one way to get that child to bear. The heartache that has torn this family apart, the feud that has put two innocent women into motherhood without their consent. For what? The love of Jacob?

These women claim that God is somehow favoring one over the other through child bearing. Only once does the Bible claim this, when He allows Leah to become pregnant because "she was unloved". But I think Leah got it all wrong, God didn't give her that first son so Jacob would love her - He gave her a son so that she could share her love with someone else.

Many times we are like Rachel and Leah, we are doing everything we possibly can to gain someone's love. Even things that make no sense. God tells us that if we stop worrying about "us" and start caring for others, then all that falls in line. If you feel weak, be strong for someone else. If you feel sad, show someone else happiness. If you need help, go help someone else. Jesus didn't ask anyone else to save Him from being put up on that cross, He came to earth and was a Savior to all of us. We can follow that example.

3 wonderful insights:

sailorcross said...

This is an awesome post--education about STD's and insight into what all of these women are feeling.

I can help but think that they must have felt used, and what about Jacob--being told you must go sleep with this person and that person? He was being used also!

And in your last paragraph--I have experienced this in my own life--when I'm feeling "unloved", alone--reaching out to someone else who is also suffering these same conditions (or even worse) changes my whole perspective.

In this way, God is using me to fulfill His purpose and also helping me along--encouraging me out of my discouragment. A win-win situation!

Love this post, Dorothy!!


Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

I cannot even imagine. I am so thankful to live in our time. I feel for all of them.
Much love,

Mariel said...

wow...what a timely illustration. Praise the Lord for His living Word! (and for a sweet servant to dig into it ;)