Squinting, she glanced at the couple holding hands leaving the pool house together. It can’t be she thought. Before she knew what she was doing she called out to them, “Hi, Leah and Jacob!” Slowly, they turned around and looked at her as their steps faltered. Her mouth fell open and her eyes blinked once, twice, and a third time. It was them! Together! Holding hands! Why? He was supposed to be betrothed to her, Rachel! She was the one he held in high esteem. She was the one he thought of day and night! She was the one he whispered sweet endearing words full of love and hope to. Crestfallen, with dull eyes, and a look of dismay as she approached them she asked, “Is there something you two want to tell me?” Ladies, imagine that scenario happening to you? It happened in real life. Maybe, it did not play out in those exact circumstances, but it happened to two sisters known as Leah and Rachel.
Now Laban had two daughters. The older daughter was named Leah, and the younger one was Rachel. There was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes, but Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face. Since Jacob was in love with Rachel he told her father, “I’ll work for you for seven years if you’ll give me Rachel, your younger daughter, as my wife.” Gen 29:16-18 NLT
One of the most enticing relationships noted is the one between these sisters. Two sisters married to the same man, with children that were siblings/cousins, and a deceptive father. Can you imagine first how Leah felt? She was the eldest, still unmarried, and unbecoming. Her father had to trick Jacob into marrying her. Day in and day out she had to live with him, knowing he did not love her and that he would only truly belong to her sister, Rachel. Oh, he guilt that must have quaked inside of her heart at that thought.
Then there was Rachel: the youngest, barren, petty, and most beautiful. Her loveliness could not be denied. What did it feel like to be the second wife, although she was first in his heart? She knew she was loved by Jacob, but for her it was not enough. She wanted children. The one thing Leah was able to give him that she couldn’t. The jealousy that bounced back and forth between these sisters had to be tangible. A rivalry of the ages. Both a part of the same household and family. Neither content with their lives. Leah watching Jacob choose Rachel’s tent night after night. Rachel seeing Leah give birth to son after son. Each sister wanting the part of Jacob the other sister possessed.
These sisters were manipulative just like their father, constantly hurting one another and using each other for gain. Sometimes, the ones we are related to can hurt us the most. They encouraged Jacob to sleep with their maid servants and nagged him all the time. They bartered with one another for his affection and the goods of the land. Sounds like a soap opera. Their family unit was so dysfunctional it was no wonder their sons grew up and sold their own brother into slavery. Look at what they experienced at home. Leah kept thinking after she bore Jacob son after son it would deepen their connection. Rachel was well loved by Jacob and she wanted children more than she wanted him. Each sister wanted what the other one possessed.
The women chose to focus on their faults, instead of the positive aspects of their lives. Not the best situation to be in, but they still had one another around to lean on when needed. Instead, they chose selfishness over the good qualities that connected them to one another and God.
We serve a God who is alive, thriving, and craves a connection so much he created humanity. Us. Completely new beings created for fostering relationships. For this reason, we crave the need to connect to each other and to God our father! We inherited it from our daddy! We do not have to put forth effort to create these connections because the need is ingrained in the blueprint of our spiritual DNA! We, however, have to put in effort to maintain all of the relationships in our lives. They should all be growing and doing well.
When we focus on things that connect us together that’s where treasure is found. Growth occurs, relationships become more nourishing, and fulfilling. When discord is sown into your relationships be quick to mend and heal those connections. Think about Leah and Rachel’s relationship: After all, at least you do not have to share a husband or children with your sister!
Featured Image By: Allison Mims