Rachel: A Mother’s Love
The Bible doesn’t always tell us all we’d like to know about some of its major players. We’re often left to draw conclusions from their behavior, and the outcomes of their life stories. This is the case with Rachel. We know she was dearly loved by Jacob, but that love didn’t guarantee her a happy life. Fortunately, Jacob’s love for her had far-reaching results neither could have imagined.
We first meet Rachel at the exact moment Jacob falls in love with her. She has come to the well on a routine errand of watering the sheep, little suspecting she will become one of the Matriarchs of the emerging Israelite nation.
Jacob’s love for Rachel, sparked at that moment, carries on throughout his entire life.
Rachel may have once loved her sister Leah, but that is certainly destroyed when her father gives her older sister to her beloved Jacob. However, Jacob’s love is unwavering, and he readily agrees to a second term of servitude to her father to gain her hand in marriage.
The family tension increases as God favors Leah with several sons, precisely because she is unloved. Rachel, in the meantime, remains childless.
Unfortunately, as we learn later, Rachel also loves her father’s gods. She smuggles them out when Jacob leaves with his family and possessions. We don’t know when she turned to Jehovah, but we know He listens to her plea and gives her a child. Released from the humiliation of barrenness, Rachel must have poured out her mother’s love to Joseph in a myriad of ways. Perhaps she kept him close to her side, teaching him about her new-found God.
Jacob’s continuing love for her and his favored son is displayed once again as he prepares to reunite with his twin, Esau. Concerned about Esau’s intentions, Jacob places Rachel and Joseph in the most secure place.
Joseph emerges as his father’s favorite, perhaps because he was the firstborn of the love of his life. That very favoritism leads to the alienation from his brothers and his eventual deportation to Egypt.
Alone and abandoned in a foreign country, his walk is steadfast and pure. Where did he gain this strength of character? Could some of that honor and courage been built into him based on his mother’s teaching? When we compare him to how some of his half-brothers turned out, we could easily assume that some of that integrity came from his mother’s instruction.
Jacob’s love for Rachel continues long after her death. While blessing Joseph’s sons in Egypt, he is reminded once again of his great love and speaks of his sorrow at leaving her behind.
And God’s love for Rachel is demonstrated in an undeniable way: He chose her son, Joseph, to save the entire Hebrew nation from certain destruction during the years of famine.
Jeanette is a semi-retired college English and Spanish instructor and a published author and indie authorpreneur. She has helped over a dozen beginning writers take their project from idea to finished book. Now she is developing online courses and expanding her website and blog to take new authors from aspiring to avid. Declaring herself as “Chaplin by birth; chaplain at heart,” she also writes inspirational articles and blog posts, especially about the lives of Bible women.