Many of us know Rachel from the Bible and how she was mixed up in a weird love triangle with her husband Jacob and sister Leah. Gross, right? But can you even imagine? Here’s your husband-to-be, Jacob, who made a deal with your dad to work seven years for him, in exchange for taking you as his wife. I’ve never seen anyone ask a man for his daughter’s hand in marriage that way! And the worst part is that even after your man works the seven years and hard earns your hand in marriage, your dad deceives him and gives him your sister instead of you! What the heck, Dad! But Jacob loved Rachel so much that he worked yet another seven years for her dad, just to gain Rachel, for real this time. Gotta love his patience and persistence to win Rachel! He must have REALLY loved her! Rachel was in fact a beautiful woman with a heart after God.
Rachel’s family drama aside, her love story with Jacob is so sweet. It’s a classic fairytale-esque story for sure! Rachel was just doing her job- drawing water from the well for her father’s sheep- and along comes Jacob, who no doubt would tell you that it was love at first sight for him. Aw! Jacob actually cried when they met, because he was overwhelmed with joy at how God had perfectly ordained the time that the two of them would be at the well to meet and just wow, look at this beautiful woman, who he knew he would one day take to be his wife. How sweet… I think! This does seem a little fast, Jacob! But wait- fast forward a minute- we know how this story ends- with Jacob waiting FOURTEEN YEARS to take Rachel as his wife! Jacob jumped in to help Rachel that day at the well with watering her dad’s flock and he started sharing his story with her. Rachel was excited and brought Jacob back home with her. What an interesting first date!
While Rachel remained incredibly patient in the fourteen-year period waiting to be married to Jacob, she quickly lost her patience soon thereafter. Can you blame her though? Fourteen years of waiting would take a toll on anyone! Rachel knew she wanted to have children, and was especially jealous of her sister Leah, who had already had six children with Jacob. Spoiler alert though- the Bible tells us that Jacob would favor his sons with Rachel over his sons with Leah. Big surprise… NOT! Rachel was so desperate to have children with Jacob that she cried out to him: “Give me children, or else I die”! Wowza- that’s a bit dramatic there, Rachel- let’s calm down! But the Lord looked favorably upon Rachel and she conceived and gave birth to Joseph. Though tragically, later on, Rachel would die giving birth to her second son, Benjamin.
As I read Rachel’s story, I’m reminded of how patience and faith reap strong rewards and jealousy is nothing but harmful to us. I’m also encouraged by the persistence and romance of Rachel and Jacob’s love story and remember that good things are worth fighting for and waiting for. Read more about Rachel, this patient lover caught in drama, woman of God, and mother of two precious sons, in the book of Genesis.
Story by Shelby Bowers