Devotional Bible Reference: Genesis 29 – 30:24
In this passage I have included for today’s message, I noticed a theme of how people in Jesus’ time struggled with addiction of approval just as we we do today.
For some background: A man named Jacob had two wives (who happened to be sisters), Leah and Rachel. He fell in love with Rachel so he told her father, Laban, that he would work for him for 7 years for her hand in marriage. Unfortunately, Laban tricked Jacob into marrying Leah instead, and he ended up having to work 7 more years to marry her sister, Rachel.
That's quite the determination and act of love, right?!
The passage explains that the Lord noticed that Leah was unloved so He blessed her with the ability to have children, whereas Rachel could not at this time. After giving her four sons, she stopped having children, and she praised the Lord for providing for her. However, when Rachel started having her servant sleep with their husband, Jacob, to have children, Leah became discontent with her barrenness. Leah’s discontent led her to convince her servant to sleep with Jacob as well.
The first thing I noticed when I read this was how Leah, before comparing her situation to Rachel’s situation, was content with giving birth to four sons. However, the moment she stopped praising God for what she DID have and started complaining about what she DID NOT have, she was unsatisfied.
Similarly to Leah, once we take our eyes off the Lord and onto our present situation, we become dissatisfied. I believe this dissatisfaction happens because we are limited in our wisdom and we do not have the ability to see the FULL picture as God does. We can only see the present, whereas He is able to see the past, present, AND future all at the same time! As a result of our limited perspective, we begin to question God’s goodness.
If only these sisters would have trusted the Lord with their circumstance – they wouldn’t have had to compete with one another or have their servants sleep with their husband, Jacob. The passage goes on and the Lord displays His goodness in verse 22 when He remembered Rachel’s struggle to have children and gave her a son of her own.
A passage that I really like in Scripture that relates well to this is Jeremiah 18:1-6. “1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD : 2 "Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message." 3 So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. 5 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 6 "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD. "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.
Rather than worrying about everyone else and comparing our “pot” to others, let us fix our eyes on Jesus and be satisfied, for He knows what is best for our individual situation.
May we desire to please Him alone.
“Hands of the Potter” by Caedmon’s Call