“And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister and said unto Jacob, ‘Give me children or else I die.’  And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel and he said, ‘Am I in God’s stead, Who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb’?”

Genesis 30:1-2

     When dealing with others, we should always remember how He’s dealt with us.

     Blaming,  Accusing.  Condemning.

     Such are the actions of those who “sit in the seat of the scornful” (Ps.1:1).  Spurgeon said this seat “is a very lofty seat, but very near to the gates of hell—and those who sit there have received their doctor’s degree in damnation.”
     But, oh how many sit there and think nothing of it!

     In a day-and-age of “experts” on every hand we’d do well to remember He is God and we’re not.  And, today’s Manna reminds us of how strongholds of sin in our own lives will cause us to judge and lash out at others, inflicting great pain and further straining our relationship with them (and God).
     There’s no doubt Jacob loved Rachel.

     From the time he set eyes upon her he loved her (Gen. 29:4-11).  Was it because she was his cousin and always sought to marry someone within their family?  Or, was it because she was “beautiful and well-favored” (v.17b)?
     We don’t know.  But one thing we do know is that he worked seven years for her hand in marriage and “they seemed unto him but a few days because of the love he had for her” (v.20).  What a beautiful love story!
     But, then his uncle, Laban, pulled a quick one on him and substituted Leah for Rachel on their wedding night (vv.22-23).  And, the next morning when Jacob discovered Laban’s treachery and confronted him, the wily uncle cited the fine print in the contract and local customs, telling him he’d have to work another seven years before Rachel could officially be his wife (vv.25-27).
     During these years Rachel remained barren while Leah began repeatedly bearing children (vv.31-35).  In that day-and-age failure to have children was viewed as a curse from God; so that’s partly why Rachel attacked Jacob and blamed him for her barrenness.  Plus, we also see how she “envied her sister,” which shows how envy, jealousy, resentment, hatred, etc., combine to smother love and cause us to act in unloving and condemning ways.
     Jacob’s question (“Am I in God’s stead?”) is a very important one—for it reminds us of Who He is and His place in our lives.  Truly, the Lord is the One is the One “Who gives the increase” (I Cor. 3:7) and the Giver of “every good and perfect gift” (James 1:17; Lk. 11:5-13).  Thus, when we fume, fret or get fed up over disappointments or perceived injustices. . .and began blaming, condemning, seeking revenge, trying to justify ourselves or tear someone else down. . . we forget Who He is and what we are apart from His Grace and Mercy.  Joseph remembered that and that’s why God prospered him in the pit, the prison and the palace (Gen. 39:2-3, 21, 23; 50:15-21).  May the Holy Spirit help us to also remember that today in our dealings with others.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated April 11, 2010

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