I wish that I could dig through the Bible and find every mention of the word fear, and that every one of them would be uplifting and positive and leave us feeling like we are ready to go out and conquer the world. If I did that, then I would be dishonest.
Take the verse above. By itself, it seems uplifting and positive. Keep reading, though, and you discover that Rachel delivers a boy named Benoni, or Son of My Sorrow. She did so because she was dying. It’s difficult to find inspiration in this passage, for she died soon after delivery.
While we may not draw inspiration, we can paint a lesson. Five chapters earlier, Rachel was concerned that she had born no children for her husband, Jacob. “Give me children or I will die,” she told him, and demanded that he father a child with her handmaiden. Instead of taking her problem to God, she took her problem into her own hands.
God, though, had a different plan for Rachel. Sometime later, she gave birth to Joseph, not because of her threats, but because “God remembered” her. We don’t know for sure, but it may not have been His perfect plan for her to have a second son. On her death bed, during the birth of Benoni, she declared that God had judged her by giving her such a difficult delivery.
It’s never a good idea to lose patience with God, make threats, scheme, and act immorally. Many bible commentaries speculate that, had Rachel waited on God to give children in His own time, that she wouldn’t have faced judgement and death. God gave Rachel her heart’s desire, and gave her two boys, but, because of her schemes, she didn’t live to enjoy them.
Fear Not, but instead of taking matters into your own hands, take them to God.
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