Or Else I Die!
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. ~Genesis 30:1
Have you ever been threatened by someone who said to you, “Do this, or else?” If so, you may have felt like an unreasonable demand was placed upon you. You may have felt pushed against a wall and faced incredible pressure to do something that requires more than just you to get it done. Rachel made a strong demand of her husband, Jacob. She said, “Give me children, or else I die.”
We see the affliction.
“And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children....” Rachel could not bear children. For a woman to be infertile in that day was considered a stigma and great misfortune. A woman’s greatest joy, next to being married, is conceiving and giving birth to children. Rachel was barren, and there was nothing she could do on her own to correct this. She could accept her condition or she could languish the rest of her life. Is there something that you do not have or cannot do that has made you feel insecure and unacceptable to other people? Are you facing a situation where you feel like you are going nowhere in your life, your marriage, your job, or in your relationships? Are you at a place where you feel empty and barren like Rachel?
We see the animosity.
“Rachel envied her sister.” Rachel’s reaction to her plight was to blame her sister. She was angry, bitter, and resentful towards Leah. It was not Leah’s fault that Rachel could not bear children, but Rachel developed a strong resentment and, perhaps, hatred against Leah. A soured relationship can make us bitter. Being passed up for a promotion or job selection can make us bitter. An adverse reaction by someone else towards us can make us bitter. Bitterness will occur when an event or a decision overcomes our outlook, instead of us being in control of our outlook. Are you living in bitterness and animosity towards someone you feel is the cause of your situation?
We see the appeal.
“...And said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.” At the height of her emotional distress, Rachel told Jacob, “Do something about my problem, or I will just die!” Have you ever threatened God because things did not turn out the way you think they should have? Have you abandoned the church, your family, your pastor, or anyone else because you didn’t get what you thought you deserved? Rachel made a strong demand of Jacob. She wanted him to solve this problem, or she would just die.
We see the application.
There are powerful applications for us in this story. First, we must realize that our greatest disappointments and setbacks are opportunities for God’s will to be done in our life. We must hold to the principle of Romans 8:28 that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” God has a divine purpose that He wants to accomplish in us. Let God arise in your situation, and let the enemies be scattered. Second, there is a soulwinning application. If you are facing days and weeks of barrenness and feel like a withered branch, it is time to pray earnestly and desperately for God to change what you cannot. As soulwinners, we need to pray for children, or else we die. We should be sincerely earnest with God to use us to win souls to Christ. Urgent prayers move the mighty hand of God. May God move us from being lethargic to being fiery and earnest.
Have a zealous God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Hebrews 7-10