Genesis 29-30; 35:16-29 (Jacob, Leah & Rachel); NLT
The story of Jacob, Leah, and Rachel is a difficult, complex relationship with many intertwined connections of families, motives, and emotions. Jacob, was a man that was a consumed with manipulative motives. Jacob planted seeds of manipulation by conspiring and overtaking the blessings of birthright intended for Esau. Trickery and lies were of no surprise to Jacob. In fact, it was imbedded in his character and haunted him for life.
Jacob attempted to escape the consequences of his manipulative choices, but actions always have reactions. Trickery would find its way upon Jacob in the search for love. When Jacob came into a new land, he found love at first sight and was smitten by the beauty of Rachel, the youngest daughter of Laban. He, again, showed his selfish character by asking Laban what he must do to gain access to Rachel. Rachel was given no choice. Laban beat Jacob at his own trickery by committing Jacob to seven years of service without keeping his word of giving his beautiful daughter in marriage. The master of manipulation had suffered defeat at Laban’s lies and was married to the non-favored daughter, Leah. After seven more years of servitude to Laban, he gained Rachel as a prized wife, but also maintained Leah without loving her as she deserved.
Though Leah lacked beauty, she was productive. God gave her children to compensate for the lack of love. Rachel was desired, but God denied productivity. Rachel and Leah continuously became bound in infertility and manipulation of each other. The women showed love by birth. After heartbreak and infidelity with maids and despair, Rachel conceived. She accomplished the goal of being productive, but died during childbirth. Often, we do not understand the methods of God, but they are always for a purpose. Though we are messy in sin and action, God can show us love and use the challenges to teach us and shape us for the development of the future. A family so ridden with sin, suffering and manipulation was unified under the purpose of building God’s kingdom.
- Actions always have reactions. What choices we make in relationships and life are directly linked to the consequences and productivity of our purpose.
- Relationships are not successful without commitment and faithfulness. Someone will suffer where there is no commitment and love.
- Be aware of manipulative individuals. They can be identified by their motives and selfish behaviors and have no desire to create mutual benefits in relationships.
- Children are products of love, but they are not creators of love. Having children will not make a relationship successful and produce love and commitment.
- Generational curses can be broken. Bad relationships can be used to glorify God. Though children were produce out of love from multiple women, Jacob’s children were the leaders of the Tribes of Israel set out to build God’s kingdom.
Dear God, reveal to your people the hidden motives that are sent to destroy or manipulate their hearts. Give wisdom to know what connections are in need of severing because they are hindering our growth. Build confidence in those that feel overlooked because of physical appearance, and help them see the core of themselves as you see them. Elevate our productivity so that we may receive each promise that you have prepared. Help us not to define ourselves by our past, but by our purpose. For parents with fears of generational curses, give power to pray and achieve freedom for the chains of the mistakes of the past and propel their children into success over all challenges and difficulties created by ancestors. Most of all, develop us holistically so that whoever is connected to us is better for having been in our presence because you are in us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
By: Dedria Ward
Dedria Echols Ward is a resident of Tuscaloosa, where she received a Bachelor’s of Science in Music Education from the University of Alabama in 2011. She currently teaches elementary music in the Tuscaloosa City School System. Previously, she has serviced Jefferson County and Jasper City school districts in Alabama.
She is enjoying the early, yet extraordinary stages of marriage and parenting with her husband, Marlin Ward, Sr. After conquering infertility, Dedria and her husband proudly welcomed their triplets, Lailah, Gabrielle, and Marlin Jr. on February 12, 2015.
Dedria’s mission in ministry and “mommyhood” has called her to encourage and mentor women of all ages that encounter parenting, marriage, and management and self-esteem issues. She is the founder her website and blogs Trials of a Triplet Mom and Disclosures by Dedria. She is currently working on various collaborative publications in addition to her own personal story of infertility that will inspire and renew hope to others in similar circumstances.