God Offers Mercy [Genesis 30]

1Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she became jealous of her sister; and she said to Jacob, "Give me children, or else I die."  2Then Jacob's anger burned against Rachel, and he said, "Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?" 3She said, "Here is my maid Bilhah, go in to her that she may bear on my knees, that through her I too may have children."

22Then God remembered Rachel, and God gave heed to her and opened her womb. 23So she conceived and bore a son and said, "God has taken away my reproach." 24She named him Joseph, saying, "May the LORD give me another son."


Rachel, who was loved by her husband, also struggled with jealousy. Her sister Leah was able to conceive easily, but she was barren for years.  In this story you see bitterness, anger, control, manipulation.  Even though she had the love of her husband, her life was miserable.  But God was there in the midst of it and He never forgot Rachel.  He let her flounder in her ungratefulness and then at just the right time "God gave heed to her and opened her womb."  She recognized that it was God who had done the work and put her hope in Him. "May the LORD give me another son." God understood her weaknesses and knew how to gently deal with her. 


This reminds me of what I have been studying in Hebrews.  Jesus is my faithful High Priest who sympathizes with my weaknesses.  He was tested in every way as I am (yet didn't sin in those tests).   Because He has experienced all the same tests and trials that I have, He is able to deal gently with me when I am ignorant and go astray.  (Hebrews 4:14-5-3) He understands!  He knows my hurts and frustrations.  He invites me approach the throne of grace with boldness and confidence to receive mercy and to find grace in my time of need.  (Hebrews 4:16)


I praise You, Jesus, for giving me Your life.  You came to earth, struggled and suffered for my sake.  You gave Your life, once for all, so that I could receive your love and forgiveness.  You took care of my sin and offered Your power (grace) for my time of need.  Thank You for your mercy which is exemplified in this story.  (The definition of mercy: "A special and immediate regard to the misery which is the consequence of sin.")  Cause me to receive Your mercy today as You offer it.

Verna McCrillis, 1/31/2010