Resentment is a very interesting feeling. The Merriam-Webster defines resentment as a feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury. It is not one those feelings that come and go, but persists in a person’s life and continues to grow in intensity as we focus on the wrong that has been done.
As we continue to look at the life of Rachel and Leah, Rachel’s lover and soon to be husband was given to her older sister. As I mentioned in the earlier jlog Rachel had resentment to her father and to her sister. As the story unfolds, it becomes obvious that the resentment focused primarily on her older sister. In Genesis 29-30, Rachel was the loved sister and Leah was the one left out. So in the course of time, God gave Leah, the older sister, the ability to conceive and give birth to 4 sons with Jacob, but Rachel was childless. That covers about 5-6 years at least where Rachel was seeing her resented sister being able to bring forth children, while she is childless.
I remember in my early years of life, my late wife Cynthia and I were not able to have children. She went through 10 major and minor surgeries, but none of the surgeries produced biological children. I remember sitting in a young couple Sunday School class and hearing couples announcing that they were pregnant (not the husband mind you) and were going to have a baby. It was a bitter-sweet experience because I was pleased for them, but experienced bitterness for not being able to have children of my own. I remember seeing people who were having children over and over and not being able to care for their children, and here we were wanting children so desperately and not being able to have any. God provided us with three wonderful children through other means, but I can relate to what Rachel was experiencing.
The backdrop of this story lays the foundation for what Rachel decided to do. She wasn’t able to have children, so she lashed out at her husband. “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’ll die.’ Jacob became angry with her and said, ‘Am I in the place of God, who had kept you from having children?'” (Genesis 30:1-2)
Rachel’s anger and resentment became directed at Jacob, her husband. She was assuming that he was the one who had the ability to give her children so she told him to give her children or she would kill herself. Her accusation to Jacob, caused him to become angry directed her anger at the person that could give her children–God.
It becomes easy to accuse anyone and everyone who come into our vicinity for the emotional hurt we are feeling. If we take this root to try to resolve our resentment, it will only grow in it’s intensity. Our accusations of others causes those relationships to pull away from us and disconnect. The more resentment we feel, the lonelier we get.
On this journey, resentment is not a road that will produce positive experiences for us. We need to deal with and resolve this resentment before it grows and matures.