Rachel & Leah - Women of the Bible
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Genesis Chapters 29 - 35
Rachel and Leah were the wives of Jacob. After running away from his sins (Genesis 27) Jacob arrived at Laban, his mother's brother place. Rachel and Leah were the daughters of Laban.
Rachel was more beautiful than Leah. Jacob fell in love with Rachel and agreed to work for Laban for seven years in exchange for marrying her (Genesis 29:15-18).
This was the beginning of Rachel's problems. Laban, her father, was not a trust worthy man and after seven years he deceived Jacob into marrying Leah instead of Rachel as promised (Genesis 29: 21-28).
Rachel and Jacob were very much in love but the deception of Rachel's father had hurt her badly. It produced hurt and bitterness in her heart that she never really overcame. Bitterness is like poison to the soul. It destroys a person.
Women of God need to be careful of the hurts and emotional wounds that may follow them from their backgrounds and childhood. These need to be dealt with. Only Jesus can heal these kinds of aliments.
Laban's dowry from Jacob (14 years of labour) was quite expensive. Rachel rightly thought that she had been exploited and sold. She never forgave her father for this (Genesis 31: 4 -18). The same can be said of Leah.
Because of her fathers actions in deceiving Jacob into marrying Leah, Rachel had to share her husband with her sister. Her fathers sins affected her life. There was constant trouble in the home. Both sisters struggling for the attention of Jacob. Child birth was used as the main weapon (Genesis 30).
Rachel had problems in bearing children and Leah used this to her advantage. Maybe the bitterness in Rachel's heart contributed to her problem in child birth. God eventually gave her a child (Genesis 30:22)
Women (and men) need to make sure that they do not allow curses which have been set lose by the actions of past generations cause havoc in their lives. Sometimes problems in your home maybe due to curses made, directly or indirectly, by other peoples actions. This was the case for Rachel and Leah.
The lesson we learn from here is that we cannot afford to harbour unforgiveness in our hearts. It will only destroy us.
The remarks of Rachel and Leah in Genesis 31: 14 - 16 and the actions of Rachel in Genesis 31: 19, 35 showed the disgust she had for her father right to the very end. This again could have been the reason for the tragedy that befell her in Genesis 35: 16-19.
Rachel had every cause to be annoyed with her father. He had done her wrong. She and Jacob were very much in love and could have made a wonderful couple. Her fathers actions destroyed this.
However, things did not have to go the way they did. Rachel's life stands out as an example and warning of how generation curses can affect us.
God can turn these kind of situations around for us today if we serve Him and love Him with all our heart (Romans 8:28). If you love God you will forgive those that have hurt you and refuse to harbour bitterness in your heart against them. Bitterness destroys (Hebrews 12:15). It is in your own interest that you forgive. By God's grace and your will power you can forgive.
After getting your heart right with God, you can then pray and break the curses that might have been let lose in your life. It might be helpful to ask other believers to pray with you. Ask God for healing and a restoration of all the things that satan has caused.
Remember, many times curses are let lose in our lives due to no reason on our behalf. Nevertheless it is within our authority to break them once we get our hearts right with God. Let Rachel's life be an example to your life and not a mirror of it.
1.Mention some of the troubles that Rachel and Leah faced in their home?
2.Can past actions of our parents still affect us today?
3.How can we prevent this?
4.What were the weaknesses of Rachel?
5.How many children did Rachel eventually have?
6.Can God bless us despite our background?
7.Why is it so important to forgive?