Unchecked envy drives people to unhealthy competition (v. 29: 31-35). It was obvious to both Leah and Rachel that Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah. The Bible tells us that God saw this, and so He blessed Leah with children. How did Leah respond to God’s blessings? What are the results when you try to compete with someone with whom you feel envious? Discuss how you should react when God compensates your lack of something with something else.
Unbridled jealousy often results in unjustified sin and misguided theology (v. 30:1-8). Rachel was envious that she is unable to give Jacob children. What did she declare because of her jealousy and why was what she said wrong? What did Rachel do in reaction to her uncontrolled jealousy? Was what she did acceptable? Did God approve of that practice? Discuss how even Christians react with misguided theology because of envy or jealousy.
Senseless rivalry causes one to follow other’s sinful ways (v. 9-13). After Rachel had children, Leah was worried that Jacob would love Rachel even more deeply. Envy had turned into a rivalry of who had more kids. What did Leah do that showed how she stooped down to Rachel’s level of pettiness? Discuss how rivalry could cause someone to pursue something that is sinful just to be level with the person he/she is competing with.
When one accepts the prerogative of God to give and bless as He chooses, then envy and jealousy have no place in our lives (v. 14-24). Both Leah and Rachel had more kids, not because of any manipulation on their part, but because God gave and blessed them with kids. How are both children and adults affected by rivalries, jealousies, and manipulations in the family? On the other hand, how does accepting that it is God who chooses to give and bless as He sees fit would give you a better perspective on how God works? Why is being thankful an antidote to envy and jealousy?