I’m studying through Genesis again and once again I’ve been captivated by the unfolding of His word. I’ve read the account of Leah countless times and missed it every time, that is until this morning. The Holy Spirit turned it as a precious gem revealing yet another facet.
Jacob has just worked seven years to earn the right to marry Laban’s beautiful daughter, Rachel. After the wedding night he discovers he was given Leah, the older, presumably less attractive sister of Rachel. Seven days later he is given Rachel as well. The compassionate heart aches for Leah as she’s seen married through trickery and unloved by her husband. It is quickly revealed that our surpassingly compassionate Father is not unaware of her plight:
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
Leah, longing for the affection of her husband, is hopeful the birth of a son will win it but she is undoubtedly soon to be disappointed. Leah longs to be loved, and still it is withheld from her. A second and third time she is hopeful that through giving him sons Jacob’s heart will be turned to her.
She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Because the LORD heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon. Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” So he was named Levi. Genesis 29:33-34
At this point something very interesting happens, it’s the facet I’ve missed every other time:
She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the LORD.” So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children. Genesis 29:35
Leah’s focus has changed, she’s shifted from pining for the affection of her husband to praising her God. Pay close attention to who this son is, “Judah.” Lest you miss it, remember our Lord and savior is the “Lion of Judah” born from the line of Judah. Jacob didn’t choose Leah, but God chose Leah for an awesome blessing. Her earthly eyes didn’t see it’s fulfillment, but I’m certain her heavenly eyes have. Through her we are given our precious Savior. Her focus shifted from her earthly desires to her heavenly Father and she is found in a place of honor, loved by her Father and playing a role to usher in the Savior of the World.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Lord I thank you for the unfolding of your Word, for your faithfulness to meet us every day and teach us through the guiding of your Holy Spirit. Thank you for recording and preserving this beautiful account of your unchanging character and love. May my focus always be set on you, that you may use me for your glory.
Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
he rises to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him! Isaiah 30:18