Today we read about the story of Rachel. Rachel’s story can be read in Genesis chapters 29-31, 33 and 35:16-20.
Rachel was “the girl”. She was the pretty sister. Rachel’s described as “…beautiful of form and face.” The love that Jacob had for Rachel could definitely be described as ‘love at first sight’ and on top of that he was willing to work seven years to have Rachel as his wife. Rachel appears to be the girl who has it all. But does she? Not really. We can read from the story that Jacob did love Rachel deeply, but this love did not eliminate her from struggles. She dealt with the pain of infertility. She experienced jealousy toward her sister. She received rebuke from her husband Jacob. Even though Rachel received the beauty award and the love of a man this did not remove pain from her life.
Digging into the story of Rachel, we learn that the world’s standards of happiness – physical beauty, a passionate love, a wedding ring, and riches is a false standard. Acquiring any of those things does not eliminate physical struggles, heartache, or pain.
The story of Rachel can be perceived as a fairy tale love. The most beautiful girl in the land noticed by a the new guy in town, falling instantly in love with her and willing to do whatever to marry her. But that’s it for the fairy tale in this story. The account of Rachel certainly didn’t end with the “happily ever after”. Instead what happened was a tale filled with deception, jealousy, and anger. This fairy tale life comes with a huge dose of real world heartache.
Rachel’s story reads more like a Shakespearean tragedy. In the story we read about betrayal, deception, anger, and envy. We learn that beauty and marriage did not bring happiness for Rachel. Although, Jacob obviously loved Rachel the most, this did not stop Rachel from experiencing jealousy and heartache. It did not prevent her from wrongdoing. No, Rachel still longed for more than being the beauty and having the love of Jacob. The story about Rachel teaches a beautiful lesson about love, but it goes beyond the love story of Jacob and Rachel. The real love story comes from the love that God bestowed upon Rachel, her sister Leah, and Jacob. It tells a story of how God’s plans are established and how He used human weakness to establish the twelve tribes of Israel which brought to the world Joseph, one of the most important figures of the Old Testament, and Judah the forefather to Jesus Christ.
Rachel struggled with many things and obviously at times looked in the wrong place for peace and comfort. But I believe her life shows a woman of high character. She raised a son, Joseph who would become a great leader and save the nation of Israel during a famine. Rachel stood by Jacob, her husband during her father’s deceptions and remained a faithful wife to him. She also exhibited a faithfulness and gratefulness in God during her despair. “And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. And she conceived, and bare a son: and said, God hath taken away my reproach: and she called his name Joseph, saying, Jehovah add to me another son.” Genesis 30:22 – 23.
Until next time