Meet Leah, the unloved,undesired, and unsought elder sister of Racheal. She was handed over to Jacob instead of Racheal due to the customs of those days.(Gen.29:16-30)
Though unloved,But God decided to turn to her and opened her womb. Not once,but at least seven times.Each time she held a tiny new life in her arms and named the child,we get a glimpse into her mind,into her heart,into her needs.
In Gen.29:32,cradling her first born,Leah named him Reuben,for she said,”It is because the Lord has seen my misery.Surely my husband will love me now” Soon after,she conceived again and this time,she named him Simeon. ” Because the Lord heard that I am not loved He gave me this one too”
As if two sons were not enough,She conceived again and when she gave birth to a son,she named him Levi. “Now at last my husband will be attached to me,because I have borne him Three sons(v.34).
Three sons,is that enough? Apparently not.She conceived again and when she gave birth to a son,she named him Judah. ” This time I will praise the Lord. Then she stopped having children.
Four little boys all in a row. Can you see Leah outside her tent on a hot Mesopotamian summer day calling “Reuben! Simon! Levi!Judah!.Listen to Leah’s understanding and her faith as you hear those names.
Leah had hoped that each new little son would make a difference in the marriage that somehow Jacob would begin to love her as he loved Racheal .She still hoped for equal if not first place in his heart. With the passage of time after the birth of each little boy,hope was deferred and then dashed to the ground.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast.
All her efforts in winning Jacob’s love with God’s help were fruitless.He still had eyes only for the beautiful but barren Racheal.
Fast forward,When Leah realised she wasn’t getting what she actually desired out of life, she decided to change her focus from What she lacked to what she had. True,nothing had changed with Jacob. He was still starry-eyed over Racheal.Leah could not change him but she could change herself;her focus.She could recognize the hand of God in her thus giving her significance.
The Most important step towards joy in a loveless relationship is to change our focus from what we do not have to what we have.
Leah had four sons in a day when sons were everything.She woke up to the richness of her situation and said ” This time I will praise the Lord.”
She was becoming more realistic about what would or would not happen in her marriage.
Godliness with Contentment is great gain.
Like Leah,the plain older sister of beautiful Racheal lived in a very difficult situation and survived. Life seldom,if ever, comes to us in a way that is fully satisfying. Most of the time it comes with an edge of dissatisfaction- not quite enough love,not quite enough care,not quite enough honor,not quite enough esteem. Almost perhaps but never as much as we ‘d like.
However,seeing God through every challenges brings eternal peace.