The basic setting is, that Jacob is more fond of Rachel, but Leah is the one who bears children to Jacob, and in their nomadic society children were an asset, not a liability as they these days seem to be. What can we learn from them?
One thing that came to my mind is, that we live in a society that rates everything; it seems our most favorite TV shows give people an opportunity to rate people by phoning in, and usually there is a game where someone always is discarded as unfit, for not measuring up to this or that requirement.
In a word, people tend to be treated as “things” with “production value” rather than unique individuals, who have talents that are unique and perhaps different, but not of more or less value than the next person. Have we not been told that God is not a respecter of persons?
I remember that from both ancient and modern holy writ. Find it, it’ll be good for you.
What the story of Rachel vs. Leah teaches me, is that a person can have both popular and unpopular talents/characteristics/abilities at the same time, but by singling out a single talent/quality, we make the person disappear. For example, you know for sure that I write a blog, but that is not the whole story of me; that is not what I am.
In the end, both Rachel and Leah had children, and presumably were loved by their husband but Rachel gets a more favorable treatment, because
Joseph [edited Apr 20 to fix the oops in the name], the heir of the birthright Abrahamic covenant, was the fruit of her womb. You can take that as vindication if you like, but you can also take it as the history of the “winner”, which naturally shows Rachel as vindicated in the end.
As for me, this story is reason enough not to wish for polygamy to be the order of the day… I find it difficult to believe in my ability to stretch that far.
However, what do you think we can learn from this story? Why is someone popular while someone else is ostracized?
For me, our personal failings are a welcome reminder of our fallibility and need to grow, just like natural disasters are in my mind Lord’s reminders to us that we can never make our lives predictable; we are supposed to walk by faith, and this world certainly requires one to have faith in something, be it God or Astrology…