They were both married to the same husband and she was their husband’s favourite, which could mean that he spent most of his nights with her. In fact, she called the shots on who got the ‘night shift’ (Genesis 30:15). However, the one thing that should naturally spring forth from her solo times with her husband refused to surface. She got his affection, she got his attention, she got his time, she got his love, but there seemed to be no proof of all these—–no evidence to show——she got not his baby!
“Why? Why?? Why??? How could God punish me like this? I’m the favourite, I should get the best!!!”
Then she got frustrated. She got tired. She went to her husband and cried to him, “Give me children, or I’ll die.” Guess what? She got what she wanted, she got children and she also died!
This is the story of Rachael as told in the Bible. She was so desperate for a child and instead of entreating (asking from) God, she resorted to ‘threatening’ Him (although she directed it at her husband, like he was God who gives children). She even tried a few tricks up her sleeves to get what she wanted.
“So Jacob agreed to work seven more years. A week after Jacob had married Leah, Laban gave him Rachel, too (Laban gave Rachel a servant, Bilhah, to be her maid). So Jacob slept with Rachel, too, and he loved her much more than Leah. He then stayed and worked for Laban the additional seven years. When the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, he enabled her to have children, but Rachel could not conceive. So Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “The LORD has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me.” She soon became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Simeon, for she said, “The LORD heard that I was unloved and has given me another son.” Then she became pregnant a third time and gave birth to another son. She named him Levi, for she said, “Surely this time my husband will feel affection for me, since I have given him three sons!” Once again Leah became pregnant and gave birth to another son. She named him Judah, for she said, “Now I will praise the LORD!” And then she stopped having children.” Genesis 29:28-35 (NLT)
“When Rachel saw that she wasn’t having any children for Jacob, she became jealous of her sister. She pleaded with Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!” Then Jacob became furious with Rachel. “Am I God?” he asked. “He’s the one who has kept you from having children!” Then Rachel told him, “Take my maid, Bilhah, and sleep with her. She will bear children for me, and through her I can have a family, too.”” Genesis 30:1-3 (NLT)
“Leaving Bethel, Jacob and his clan moved on toward Ephrath. But Rachel went into labor while they were still some distance away. Her labor pains were intense. After a very hard delivery, the midwife finally exclaimed, “Don’t be afraid—you have another son!” Rachel was about to die, but with her last breath she named the baby Ben-oni (which means “son of my sorrow”). The baby’s father, however, called him Benjamin (which means “son of my right hand”). So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).” Genesis 35:16-19 (NLT)
Many of us are like Rachael. When that thing we’re expecting from God appears delayed, especially when it seems others (particularly those we sometimes – in self-righteousness – consider to be ‘not as good’ as we are) don’t have difficulty laying hold of such thing, we throw tantrums at God and anyone who is unfortunate enough to cross the ‘firing’ line. We threaten God with all sorts…..
“Now God, if you don’t answer me by so-so month, I will stop going to church,” or “I am tired of waiting without end. If You don’t do something now, I will take matters into my own hands and find another solution/seek other alternatives,” or “Hmmm, God, You know if I’m shamed on this matter, it’s Your reputation that gets dragged in the mud and let me tell You now, if that happens, I won’t even defend Your honour, in fact, I will change ‘club’ sef,” or “I’ve served You with everything I have, yet, some who don’t even serve you as much as I do – in fact, who don’t serve you at all – have the best of what they desire. I think it’s high time I reduced my service to You, or what’s the point sef?”….etc. Some of us will even go as far as ‘acting out’!
Is God moved by your tantrums and threats? No! He will do what He will do when He will do it. The downside of throwing tantrums and threats is that instead of staying aligned to God’s plan/remaining rooted in God’s plan, you just might move yourself out of His plan by your careless talks and actions. Patience is never an easy virtue; ask me, I know! Sometimes, I get so frustrated at even the smallest things (e.g. the internet connection on my device decides to go extremely slow when I desperately need to do something online or my PC decides to take its ‘precious time’ to process the information I’m feeding it and I need to get off my desk urgently) and those times, I feel like throwing something?. I have discovered, however, that no matter what I decide to do at such time, I will only worsen the situation if I don’t engage the virtue of patience (imagine me throwing a punch at my PC out of frustration).
Wait on the Lord, wait thou on the Lord. Let your confidence remain in Him. Judge Him faithful enough to keep His word. Rest in the assurance of His promise. Rejoice in His testimonies – He has a good track record; He has an impeccable reputation. Trust in His righteousness – far be it from God to do wickedly. He does not fail. He has not failed. He will not fail. Don’t be grieved to the point of throwing careless utterances at God. Don’t go trying to cut corners. He is God over the moments and the times. He remains God over your situation. It won’t be very long now–just wait…..
AyotundeElegbeleye 2015 (Originally written for ThyPreciousJewels)