Pastor Troy Martin
Text: Genesis 29:31-30:26
The Battle of Wombs
What is the aim of life? Looking across the expanse of Scripture, the Westminster Divines summed up this question by saying, “Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” It is so simple. But today’s narrative is the story of two women who answer this question the wrong way; and turn their lives, and those around them, into a misery.
29:31-35 That phrase, “The Lord saw” signals God’s defense of Leah. To do this, He gives her four kids. Yet Leah’s craving for Jacob’s affection is plain in each birth.
30:1-8 God’s mercy to Leah begets envy in Rachel. So like Sarah before her, Rachel uses her maid, Bilhah, to counter her infertility, and counterattack her sister.
30:9-14 Rachel’s two-kid triumph is short lived when Leah imitates her sister by offering her maid Zilpah. Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. Children are being used as pawns in this chess match between sisters.
30:15-22 The mandrake affair is the lowest point in this battle of wombs. Jacob returns home one day to find that his wives are using him as they use their kids.
30:24-26 The low point, however, becomes the turning point. Jacob yields himself to Leah whose craving quiets. And as for Rachel, she begets her first child: Joseph.
This is a narrative about two women desiring happiness who become completely miserable. How is it possible to aim at satisfaction, and miss the mark so entirely? The answer is seen in a recipe with three ingredients. It is a recipe we can easily copy.
So, If you want to be miserable then...
Be _________________________________. For all the world’s wrong, frustration does not heal or help. Gratitude for blessings and troubles is Christ’s teaching. Learn “in whatever state… to be content” Ph 4:13.
Seek _______________________________. The Bible never tells us to pursue satisfaction, it tells us to pursue righteousness Pr 21:21. Jesus teaches us to build our lives on what He promises, not what is happening to us.
Follow ______________________________. The heart is deceitful above all things” Je 17:9 God never teaches us to listen to our hearts, but to instruct them Ps 42:5, 42:11, 43:5. Our hearts are bad leaders.
Questions for Household Growth
In Pr 28:26, what is the opposite of wisdom? Why?
What is the root word of happiness, and what do the beatitudes teach us about happiness?
What is the aim of life? 1 Co 6:20