In this continuation of Jacob’s story, envy takes center stage as sisters long for what the other has: Leah for the love that Jacob has for Rachel and Rachel for the children that Leah is able to provide to the husband they share. Leah knows that Rachel is loved in a way that she is not and Rachel watches her sister have child after child while she remains alone. The internal effects of envy can be debilitating. Proverbs 14:30 says, “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”
Rusty mentioned Monday that polygamy was not God’s plan and it’s pretty easy to see why. The story is exhausting to read! How much more exhausting must it have been to live? Jacob is building a family with two women that are deeply desirous of what the other has. The picture I get while reading this is of a constant daily struggle to “win” at all costs.
Comparing ourselves to others is never a good thing and is not what God intends for us, but it’s so easy to fall into. Often when I look at the lives of others, I find myself lacking somehow. Comparison and envy are the complete opposite of gratitude and thankfulness. Comparison and envy say, “I’m not enough. I can never have enough” while gratitude and thankfulness say, “All I have is a gift, even my very life and it has all been given to me by a gracious Father who loves me.”
Rachel was not content to have the love of her husband. All she could think of was what was being denied her. Leah, on the other hand, was not content to have the blessing of children, but could only think of the love that was out of her reach. I want to shake my head and wag my finger at these belligerent women, and then I get a glimpse of myself in the mirror. In that moment, I realize how often I do the same thing. How many times do I miss the blessing because I’m too busy comparing myself to others? Father, help me to see the blessings and gifts from your hand that are all around me today. Guard my heart from comparing myself to others and help me to be content.
Kim Feld Director of Small Group Ministry