Have you ever thought much about Leah? Just think what her life must have been like. (Genesis 29:14-28) Jacob wanted to marry her younger sister Rachel, who was “lovely in form and beautiful.” He worked seven years to win Rachel, but Laban instead gave him Leah, his older daughter, who had “weak eyes”. I’ve always had a bit of trouble understanding how Jacob didn’t know the difference at the wedding, but have chalked it up to lots of veils.
At any rate, when Jacob discovered he had the wrong daughter, he went to Laban and pleaded for Rachel to be his wife. Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.”
That must have been some week! Leah spent her first week of married life with a husband who couldn’t wait for the week to end so he could get the woman he really wanted.
“Jacob lay with Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah.” Then scripture says, “When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son.“
When Michael found out I was pregnant with our third child, he left me and said he didn’t want the baby or me. As my time of delivery grew near, God gave me that scripture. It was how He told me I was carrying a boy. Then He said that his name would mean healer and that he would bring great healing to many in his life. I had to take a baby book and read through name after name to find the one that meant healer—Jason, God’s child of promise!
As Leah continued to have children, Rachel remained barren. One can only read between the lines that Jacob probably spent a lot more time with Rachel wanting to conceive than with pregnant Leah. Her life must have been filled with loneliness and rejection.
Leah’s story may have been a sad one, but it ended well. Rachel died in childbirth and was buried by the side of the road, but when Jacob was dying he gave instructions to be buried where Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried, there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried, and there he buried Leah. In the end, God honored Leah’s position as Jacob’s covenant wife and she was buried alongside her husband in the family burial grounds.
Today maybe you feel like Leah (or maybe Lee if you are a guy), unloved and unwanted by your spouse. Jacob was very overt in his desire for another woman and very clear in his rejection of Leah. No doubt you too have experienced similar treatment.
Yet God remembered Leah and blessed her and honored her. You need to look to the One who truly knows who you are and loves you and desires the very best for you.What your spouse thinks or believes right now is not the end of the story. Just as with Leah, God sees where you are today and the condition of your relationship. He is more than able to bless you along the way.
I have always loved the story of Leah. It gave me hope when things were dark and seemed hopeless. It showed me that God’s love is greater than man’s rejection. And it demonstrated to me that generations can be blessed by the Lord through one person’s faithfulness. Love, Marilyn
“For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.” Deuteronomy 30:16
“He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love.” Song of Solomon 2:4