Leah and Rachel were sisters and daughters of Laban. When Jacob first came to Haran, he fell in love with Rachel. He promised to work 7 years for Laban in exchange for Rachel as his wife. After 7 years, Laban did not keep his word and gave Leah as his wife instead. Jacob slept with her without knowing that she was actually Leah. When daylight came, he realized that he had married Leah instead of Rachel and he complained about the issue to Laban. Laban explained to Jacob that it was the tradition to give the older daughter in marriage first. Laban promised to give Rachel in marriage to Jacob in exchange for another 7 years of work. Jacob loved Rachel and the 7 years seemed like just a fleeting moment. After 7 years, Laban gave Rachel in marriage to Jacob.
Leah had 6 biological children including Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun. Leah also had 2 children through her maid Zilpah including Gad and Asher. At first, Rachel was barren but she later gave birth to two biological children including Joseph and Benjamin. Rachel also had 2 children through Bilhah including Dan and Naphtali.
Leah and Rachel were always fighting for the same husband. Since Rachel did not have any children, she felt jealous of her sister Leah and quarrelled with her. Rachel and Leah also did not like their father because he gave them into marriage to Jacob for his own profit (Genesis 31:14-16). Laban made Jacob work for 14 years for his 2 daughters. He purposely did not give Rachel in marriage to Jacob first as he wanted him to work for another 7 years. Rachel and Jacob could have been a happy couple together but the action of Laban ruined this. As a result, Leah and Rachel had bitterness towards each others.
Bitterness create strife, jealousy, and hatred. We must be careful not to let bitterness enter into our hearts. Rachel died when giving birth to her second son. Before she dieid, she gave him the name Ben-oni, which means, son of my sorrow. The name Rachel gave to Benjamin reflects the strive she had with her sister in fighting for the affection of their husband. However, God can turn around this situation so that you will go through the issue victoriously. We must learn to forgive and let go. God can give us grace to forgive. After getting right with God through confessions, you can pray for God to turn around and restore the situation.
The strife between Leah and Rachel also shows that polygamy creates problem in the family. Polygamy is not the will of God. Each person should only be married and devoted to a single spouse.
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:31-32 KJV)
Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee. (Proverbs 20:22 KJV)
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15 KJV)
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled. (Hebrews 12:14-15 KJV)
Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins. (Proverbs 10:12 KJV)
Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17-21 KJV)
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2 KJV)
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8 KJV)
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity. (1 Timothy 3:2-3 KJV)
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. (Genesis 2:24 KJV)