This lesson is a good picture of a struggle of the flesh in the life of a carnal believer. You have a woman who wants desperately0 to have a baby and is and willing to do whatever it have one.
When God fails to answer her prayer she will turn to her own schemes to get what she wants. (She is going to help God out)
Life is always difficult and sometimes it is compounded when the desires of our heart, are deceptive and mis- leading. In this chapter Leah and Rachel represent the divided heart, and the impatient flesh. They both want what they want and they want it now. They don’t care who it will hurt as long as they are satisfied.
I. Rachel’s Flesh
1 When Rachel saw that she wasn’t having any children, she became jealous of her sister. “Give me children, or I’ll die!” she exclaimed to Jacob.
2 Jacob flew into a rage. “Am I God?” he asked. “He is the only one able to give you children!”
In this first 2 verses we see a terrible picture of what can happen when the flesh is in control:
Rachel wanted children, and when God did not answer her request she became irate with God and took matters in her own hands.
• The first offense was that she blamed her husband for her bareness
• Rachel was out of control with Jealousy, consumed with envy and filled with wanting what somebody else had.
This consumption came from what she saw that her sister had and that she did not. Leah had children from Jacob, and Rachel did not. (This drove her crazy)
Her frustration came to a head when she blamed her husband for being the cause of all of her problems. She demanded that he fix her barreness!
• Spouses must be careful with blaming each other for things that only God can change.
• Only God can give life and satisfaction in the human heart.
• Spouses cannot change spouses, only God can do this.
• Children come from the Lord, and from nowhere else. (God says how many you will have, and if you will have any.)
There is a powerful principle in this lesson; Rachel puts a impossible request upon her husband. Her expectation of him is unfair. It is overbearing to say the least and it also gives a picture of a wife who is out of control.
3 Then Rachel told him, “Sleep with my servant, Bilhah, and she will bear children for me.” 4 So Rachel gave him Bilhah to be his wife, and Jacob slept with her.
5 Bilhah became pregnant and presented him with a son.
6 Rachel named him Dan, for she said, “God has vindicated me! He has heard my request and given me a son.”
7 Then Bilhah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a second son. 8 Rachel named him Naphtali, for she said, “I have had an intense struggle with my sister, and I am winning!”
It was not uncommon in that time for a servant to be given to a husband as wife. Servants were seen as property of another and less than human beings. (Sarah Abram’s wife did this with Hagar)
So what we see here is that Rachel uses her servant any way that she wants too. However, even though she had a right to use her servant in this manner it was not the will of God. Nor was it ordained by God. (It was a pagan law)
Jacob goes along with it to try and keep the peace, and to try and make his troubled wife satisfied.(This was not good)
1. Here is where we see Jacob as a men pleaser and a weak leader. Like his grandfather he succumbs to the demands of His wife.
2. He has not cultivated a heart for God, nor a conviction to do what is right.
3. He is yet carnal and willing to do things his way instead of God’s way.
One thing that men can learn from Jacob is that they must be willing to make hard decisions in spite of what their wives demand and suggest. If a man is going to be a godly man it will cost him something. (God was going to give Rachel children, but it was going to be in his time and not hers) These extra babies were going to cause trouble in the end, for the child that Rachel will one day have.
• Rachel in this verse uses her servant to get what she wanted
• Rachel in this verse opened her bed to a stranger to please her own desires
• Rachel in this verse brought children into a situation where they would be impacted for the rest of their lives
When we try to take matters in our own hands instead of waiting on God, we too can make terrible mistakes that will impact our families for life.
Rachel represents the child of God who is impatient and out of control. She wants what she wants when she wants it. Nothing or nobody will stop her from getting it.