Meditate on Genesis 29:35 “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.”
Jacob arrives in Paddam Aran and meets Rachel his uncle’s daughter. He falls in love immediately with her beauty. Jacob and his uncle Laban arrive at a deal that Jacob can work for him for seven years and then he can have Rachel as his wife.
Much to Jacob’s despair, his uncle deceives Jacob and instead gives him his daughter Leah as a wife. Jacob makes it very clear he does not love Leah and works another seven years to secure Rachel as his wife.
However, God saw that Leah was not loved and He blessed Leah with children while her sister remained childless. We see Leah’s emotional wrestling with the Lord through this hardship in the names that she assigns her children. Finally, as she conceives her fourth son Judah she praises God instead of putting her hope in the possibility of gaining Jacob’s love.
Leah was unloved and unaccepted by Jacob, and probably often felt very used. She, like many of us, spent a lot of time and energy trying to gain love from the world (her children & her spouse). It left her empty and bankrupt of the very thing she craved. But God did not leave her there. He continued to pursue her even though she was deemed unlovable. He blessed her womb with the very child that our savior would descend from. Finally, we see Leah surrender her striving and praise the Lord. We can trust that when we feel less than loved by the world around us we have a savior who deliberately pursues and chooses us. He thinks we are absolutely to die for.
Prayer: God thank you that you don’t think I am unlovable even when the world says I am. Thank you that you pursued me all the way to the cross so that I could be reunited with you. God forgive me when I slip into my old ways of trying to find love and fulfillment in the things and people of this world. They always leave me feeling disappointed Lord. Nothing satisfies me like your love. God help me to use my disappointments as a prompting to turn to you and praise you, Lord. Fill me with your love. In Jesus’ name, amen.
What can we tell from the names of Leah’s first three son’s names what she thought about Jacob and the Lord? ( Reuben- the Lord has seen my misery, Simeon-the Lord has heard I am not loved, & Levi- now, at last, my husband will become attached to me)
Has there ever been a time that God has denied you something you desperately wanted?
What did God give Leah that was much greater than what she was seeking for in her husband Jacob and her children?
Memorize Jeremiah 17:7 “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.”