‘When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister’

Genesis 30:1 NIV

The story of Rachel and Leah (found in Genesis 29 and 30) is a story full of comparing. When Jacob first arrived at his uncle’s farm, he knew he wanted Rachel to be his wife. But his uncle tricked him and he ended up marrying Rachel’s oldest sister Leah. A week later, his uncle also allowed him to marry Rachel, in exchange for another seven years of work. These two sisters compared themselves, just as we do today. Leah knew she wasn’t Jacob’s first choice, and probably resented her sister. She compared the love Jacob showed to Rachel with how he treated her. When Leah’s first son was born she said: ‘Surely my husband will love me now’ (Genesis 29:32 NIV). Her desperation to be loved like Rachel was is clear. Then Rachel was unable to have children, while Leah had many. We’re told that ‘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!”’ Her words to Jacob seem quite dramatic, but they show how comparison can lead to extreme jealousy. We can probably all relate to this. We scroll through endless social media posts and compare our lives. We see other people’s relationships, families, houses, and jobs, and we feel ours don’t measure up. If we’re not careful, comparison can destroy our relationships with others, just like between Leah and Rachel. It can also cause us to become jealous and envious of others, even to the extreme that Rachel did. We need to be fixed on the blessings and journey God has for us, not the things He has planned for other people.

What now?

Next time you’re scrolling through social media, try praying for each person who has posted something positive about their lives. Thank God for blessing them.

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