Please welcome Angela Joseph to Peacefully Imperfect. Angela has just released her first novel, Coming Out of Egypt, and it is available on Amazon and other retailers. She and her husband reside in Florida, and when she is not writing, she is busy with her job as an occupational therapist.
So thankful for her post today as she shares the story from the book of Genesis about Rachel and Leah. This story serves as a reminder to avoid comparing ourselves to others and to appreciate what is right in front of us. God has created each of us and He doesn’t make mistakes.
Blessings & Hugs for the week ahead. I’ll be praying for you.
“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” Remember this line from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs? You may not speak to your mirror the way this queen did in the story, but you may wish your mirror could speak to you and tell you what you would like to hear. No matter how beautiful or accomplished you are, chances are you can always find at least one feature that you are not proud of.
As women, we tend to compare ourselves with others, and more than likely, we are not satisfied. We are too short or too tall. Too fat or too thin. Our nose is too big. On and on we go, until we have convinced ourselves of our unattractiveness. If we are married, we get nervous if our husband so much as glances at another woman, and if we are single, we think we will never get married.
A woman in the Bible named Rachel suffered from great insecurity, even though the Bible tells us “she had a lovely figure and was beautiful” (Genesis 29:17). Rachel was the younger daughter of Laban and she later became the wife of Jacob, Abraham’s grandson. From the moment Jacob laid eyes on her, he fell in love with her and made Laban an offer he could not refuse. He said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel” (v 18).
Laban agreed and “Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her” (v 20). At the end of the seven years, Jacob approached Laban to get his bride. And this is where the story gets interesting. Laban threw a big feast and invited everyone to the wedding, but the Bible says, “But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob made love to her” (v 23).
I have read many accounts explaining this faux pas, some reasonable, others downright hilarious, but suffice it to say, Jacob and Rachel were given a curve ball. Angry as Jacob was, he once more agreed to Laban’s convoluted suggestion to finish out the bridal week with Leah and he would give him Rachel. Of course, another seven years’ work was tacked on to this agreement. So, Rachel is finally married to Jacob. But, is she happy? No, because her sister Leah has borne Jacob four sons and Rachel is yet to become pregnant.
One night in desperation, she cries out to Jacob, “Give me children or I’ll die!” (30: 1) A desperate woman will do desperate things. So she gives her servant Bilhah to Jacob, Bilhah conceives and bears Jacob a son and then another. Rachel is pleased, but only for a time. She is still comparing herself with Leah, and when Leah’s servant bears Jacob two sons, desperation rises up in Rachel once more. She sees Reuben, Leah’s oldest son coming from the fields with some mandrakes. Rachel’s jealous mind immediately goes to work. She asks Leah to give her some of her son’s mandrakes. Now this plant was supposed to aid in fertility.
Leah lashes back, “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” ( v 15). Little does Rachel expect this deal to backfire, but that is exactly what happens. Leah conceives and gives birth to a son, then another son and finally a daughter. Only after all this, does Rachel conceive. She bears Jacob a son and calls him Joseph. Much later, she dies giving birth to Benjamin.
What a sad story! What would have happened if Rachel had been content to just bask in her husband’s love and accept God’s will for her life? Are you content? Do you constantly compare yourself with others? Do you wish you were more beautiful, had more money, a bigger house? Know this: God made you and He loves you just the way you are. He loves Leah, the Plain Jane, and He loves Rachel, the Beauty. And He has a plan and a purpose for everyone.
1 Timothy 6: 6 says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” Leah was not beautiful, but look at the way God blessed her. Because she was willing to wait on the Lord, He blessed her more than she even expected. She may have never had the love of her husband, but which is more important, God’s love or man’s?
From Rachel’s story we see that outward beauty may bring us the admiration of man, but we may not meet God’s approval. The Bible says, “People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16: 7). Get right with God first and “He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37: 4).
About the Author:
Angela’s first novel Coming Out of Egypt, Book 1 in the Egypt series has just been released. She is also the author of Women For All Seasons, a Christian non-fiction book. When Angela is not writing, she works as an occupational therapist in behavioral health. She is also a freelance writer and lives in Florida with her husband. Angela tries to keep her life in divine perspective: God first, family second and healthful food third. Her blogs can be viewed at https://quildonwrites.blogspot.com and https://angelasfreelancewriting.com
My author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/angelajoseph