Discontentment and jealousy within the family, even among church members, ministry colleagues and business partners are today very common. Jealousy is definitely a killer of friendship and relationships. Is not jealousy a dissatisfaction and disapproval of God’s providential arrangement of our life? Jealousy is often based on inadequate sense of our identity in Christ. Our thought for reflection this morning is, “Our God Does not Want Us to be Jealous of Others but to be Contended in Any Situation.”
When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, “Give me children or I die”
The cause of Rachael’s discontentment, frustration and jealousy, was her sister Leah’s ability to produce four children and her own barrenness. That caused serious tensions within Jacob’s family. Rachael probably thought that there was something Jacob was not doing as a man that he was supposed do so that she could conceive. Jealousy has two serious consequences:
Where there is jealousy, there, not only cordial love relationships are threatened but results in conflicts. There was already a serious conflict between Leah and Rachael because of their attempt to win over their husband Jacob’s love. But that conflict worsened due to Rachael’s jealousy due to Leah’s success in bearing four boys when she could not bear even one. Due to Rachael’s jealousy, her relationship with her husband too, was affected. She demanded from Jacob, “Give me children, or I die!” The Bible says that Jacob became angry with Rachael too (Genesis 30:2). Have our relationships with our spouses, siblings, colleagues and friends been seriously affected due to our own discontentment andjealousy over their successes?
2. Jealousy ACTS irrationally.
Where there is jealousy there will be competition. Rachael, in order to win in her competition with Leah, acted irrationally by asking her husband Jacob to sleep with her servant Bilhah so that she could bear children for her (Genesis 30:3). When Bilhah conceived Rachael felt as if she had defeated Leah in the competition. She said,
“I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won”
Not only Rachael, Leah too acted irrationally by asking her servant Zilpah to sleep with Jacob. Have our irrational acts due to our discontentment and jealousy, widened the gap between us and someone else?
Charles Finney says,
“When there are dissensions, and jealousies, and evil speaking among professors of religion, then there is great need for a revival. These things show that Christians have got far from God, and it is time to think earnestly of a revival.”
“Dear Lord, revive me and forgive my jealousy and discontentment which have affected my relationship with others. I know that the cure for the sin of jealousy is finding contentment in you. Help me to learn to live with contentment in any situation. Help me to be satisfied with anything that you have provided and give me the contentment and patience to wait for your time to give what I am longing for. Give me the grace to rejoice over the success of others. In Jesus’ name,... Amen!”