Give me children, or I’ll die!

When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!”

Jacob became angry with her and said, “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?”

Genesis 30:1-2

Pregnant_womanIs there something you’d really like in your life right now? Maybe you’d like a new job, one that is better paid and more fulfilling. Perhaps you’d like a partner to share your life with. Maybe you’d really like to have a child. I guess the truth is that whatever our situation, there’s always something that we would like in life. If we want something enough, we’ll do anything in our power to obtain it.

That’s what we see in the verses above. At the end of Genesis 29 we saw Jacob marry two of his cousins. He was desperately in love with Rachel, but his uncle, Laban, deceived him and he ended up marrying Rachel’s sister, Leah. In return for working for Laban, he was also given Rachel’s hand in marriage. Now we see Jacob beginning his own family. Leah had borne Jacob four sons, but Rachel had been unable to get pregnant. Not unexpectedly, she “became jealous of her sister.” Jacob could not bear to see Rachel plagued with jealousy, and “became angry with her.” Jacob understood that children, like all that we have, are a gift from God. Only God can determine if and when someone is to have children. Perhaps rather than becoming jealous, Rachel would have been better off praying to God, and asking him to bless her in the same way that he was blessing her sister Leah.

We often find ourselves getting angry because we haven’t got something that we’d like to have. Perhaps we too need to see our situation as Jacob sees Rachel’s here. Maybe rather than getting angry, we too should bring our desires to God in prayer. After all, as James writes in his letter, “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).

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