Her name means “ewe.” Raised in a culture where sheep and shepherding were predominant, ewes were prized as the heart and life of the flock.
Her story: Genesis 29:6-21, 29:34, 33:1-7, 35:16-25, 46:19-25, 48:7
Rachel was a shepherdess who met Jacob when he first arrived at the well where she watered her sheep. It was possibly
love at first sight, because Jacob agreed to work seven years for her hand. Her father gave her sister as the bride instead. Jacob spent a week with Leah and then agreed to work seven more years for Rachel. When Leah began having children and Rachel could not conceive, she gave her maid to Jacob to have children for her. Eleven children were born before Rachel finally had a son. Joseph quickly became the favorite son of the favorite wife. When Jacob’s brother-in-laws became jealous, he decided to return home to Canaan with everything he had earned. When they left, Rachel stole a household idol and her father came after them. Laban searched the camp but couldn’t find the idol. To maintain peace, he and Jacob agreed to stay away from each other. Before the family reached Canaan, word arrived that Esau was coming to meet them. Jacob feared Esau would kill him, so he divided his family into little groups to go ahead of him. Because Rachel was so loved, she and her son were the last group. After the family was in Canaan, Rachel had a second son. She named him Ben-oni, “son of my sorrow,” and died in childbirth. Jacob named the boyBenjamin, “son of my right hand” (another reference honor and strength). Rachel was buried near Bethlehem. She is considered the fourth of the fore-mothers of Israel.
Her legacy for us: Rachel’s name describes how others saw her. She was the beautiful, beloved wife of a rich man. However, instead of working to make her family peaceful, she fought and complained about things that were beyond her control and what she didn’t have. She failed to recognize the blessings around her.
Our response to Him: What in me needs to change so I act and speak in a manner consistent with what You say about me? What would help me be grateful for Your blessings to me?