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Archive for January 11th, 2023


Genesis 29-35: God’s Yardstick – Rachel

Persistent Hope

William Dyce: Rachel and Jacob

William Dyce: Rachel and Jacob

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

In these opening days of a new year, we look for ways to better see God’s yardstick in our lives, and for ways to leave the world’s yardstick behind.

It is a great irony that Jacob, who duped his brother Esau, is duped by his uncle Laban who substitutes the older daughter Leah for the younger daughter Rachel on Jacob and Rachel’s wedding night. Jacob served Laban for seven years in the hope of marrying Rachel whom he loved. The veiled Leah is ushered into the marriage bed by her father. Jacob must work an additional seven years in order that he might also marry Rachel. This quick summary tells about the facts as described by the writers of Genesis but it leaves to our imagination the sentiment between these people. We can only imagine the emotional roller coaster of each person in this story. Today we reflect on Rachel and the yardstick she must have used to manoeuver a path through her complicated life.

When we find ourselves embroiled in family arguments, we remember that God will always heal great wounds.

So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, yet they seemed to him like a few days because of his love for her. (Genesis 29:20)

When we feel that life holds no promise or grace, we remember that with God all things are possible.

Then God remembered Rachel. God listened to her and made her fruitful. She conceived and bore a son, and she said, “God has removed my disgrace.” She named him Joseph, saying, “May the Lord add another son for me!” (Genesis 30:22)

When we find that life and death occupy the same space and time, we remember that God is the author of all life, of life eternal.

Rachel went into labor and suffered great distress.  With her last breath—for she was at the point of death—she named him Ben-oni (son of my vigor); but his father named him Benjamin. (Genesis 35:16-18)

When we feel that our existence on earth has had little or no meaning, we remember that with God there is always healing and inversion.

Francesco Furini: Death of Rachel

Francesco Furini: Death of Rachel

Thus Rachel died; and she was buried on the road to Ephrath (now Bethlehem). Jacob set up a sacred pillar on her grave, and the same pillar marks Rachel’s grave to this day. (Genesis 35:19-20)

When we are unclear about how to move forward through great adversity . . . we remember the story of Rachel, and we see God’s yardstick in her life.


When we use the scripture link to compare various versions of this story, we allow these verses to show us God’s yardstick in our own lives.

To learn more about Rachel, click on the images above, or visit: http://www.womeninthebible.net/1.4.Rachel.htm

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