“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. She named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.
– Genesis 29: 31-32
Lately I’ve been reading about Jacob/Rachel/Leah - and I think my jaw has dropped quite a few times. I’ve read their story before, but never really grasped the amount of sin, jealousy, revenge, deceit, pride and lack of acceptance it held. And as you continue reading how it affected all the brothers and ensued generations of hatred. There is so much to learn from their situation, so I will be splitting it up and covering different topics today and the next couple weeks. Today, we are going to talk about Leah. My heart went out to Leah. I’m a huge sports fan and if I’m watching a game that my team isn’t playing in, I always cheer for the underdog. When reading this scripture, that’s what Leah felt like to me - the underdog of this story. How hurtful for her to experience not being wanted or chosen and it wasn’t even her doing. Her father gave her away to Jacob. A man that didn’t want her, a man that wanted her sister and made sure everyone knew it. Leah begged God to give her a child in hopes it would help Jacob fall in love with her. Heartbreaking, isn’t? Have you ever felt unwanted? I have. It’s not a good feeling. When I look at Leah and examine her life, I can’t help but notice that she looked to others for her self-worth and favor on her life. But God tells us in Proverbs 8:35, “For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord.” Makes me pause and examine my life a bit. Where am I finding my worth? In my husband, kids, writing success, my home, who my friends are, what strengths I have to offer? How about you? Let’s backtrack a bit in Proverbs to 8:17-21, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasuries full.” A couple things I took from these verses. 1. Leah thought she needed a son to have worth and be accepted (notice she kept having children, but it never filled that gap, that longing to be accepted). But in God we find our riches, worth, and prosperity. God doesn’t love us because we have or haven’t done something. He simply loves us because WE ARE HIS. 2. God says that His fruit is better than fine gold. What God pours into us will always be enough. Always. We should never have to look beyond God to others or “positions” to fill any holes – God wants to make our treasuries full with the love of Him alone. The great thing about being a follower of Christ is that we are always wanted by the King. We never have to wonder. So on days when my heart is hurt and I try to grasp onto other things for my worth, I can rest in the joy that I am wanted and loved and in God I find where I belong!
Heavenly Father, you have created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well (Psalm 139: 13-14). Amen.