Rachel: Looks Aren't Enough

Verlyn Verbrugge

READ : Genesis 30:1-24, 35:16-20

Rachel was graceful and beautiful . . . she said to Jacob, “Give me children or I shall

die!” (29:17; 30:1 NRSV)

Rachel would do well in the Hollywood crowd. She was gorgeous and she knew it. Jacob
was swept away by her charm and physical beauty. He was even willing to be saddled with
her less attractive sister to gain her as his wife.

But Jacob got more than he bargained for. Rachel could be a monster when she didn’t get
her own way, and even when she did. She had a horrible fight with Jacob when he couldn’t
make her pregnant, demanding that he give her a son (Gen. 30:1). She schemed to get
children through her handmaid. And when the Lord finally did bless her with Joseph, her
first words were: “I want another one” (the meaning of “Joseph,” 30:24).

So the Lord opened her womb again. As she was giving birth, she realized she was dying,
so she named this son

“Ben-oni,” meaning “son of my sorrow” (35:18).

Rachel had so much going for her, including a husband who adored her. But she was
angry, deceitful, spiteful, and jealous, a deeply unhappy woman. Her exterior beauty hid
an interior discontent. She was without peace. We, too, easily look at the surface of
things, but it is the heart that matters. Peace within can only come from the Prince of
Peace, who gives us the peace that passes understanding to guard our hearts and minds in
Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:7).


Lord God, don’t allow me to live on the surface; rather, let me develop a deep

relationship with you. Amen.