Photo by Mae Mu
When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he opened her womb; but Rachel was barren.Genesis 29:31 NKJV
Leah is a woman who finds herself in an unpleasant life situation. Her father had given her for marriage to a man who didn’t want her. Leah became Jacob’s bride through trickery. And she bore the brunt of that unfortunate circumstance. Genesis 29
We are not told whether Leah was a willing participant in her father’s schemes, or that she was just a victim. However, we see the sorrow that her father’s bright ideas bring on her. No matter what she did, Leah couldn’t win Jacob’s love because he loved another, her younger sister, Rachel. Rachel was Jacob’s love, and nothing could change that.
But this doesn’t stop Leah from trying to win this man’s love. It seemed that Leah’s ultimate goal was to win Jacob’s love.
You could be reading this and it’s like I’m rewriting the story of your life. You find yourself in pursuit of man’s attention and love like Leah was. Or your pursuit and heart desire isn’t to win a man’s heart. It’s someone’s affirmation or admiration. Whatever it is you can relate to Leah.
We can all relate to Leah in some way; because we all have something we desire more than anything in this life. It might not be love like Leah but it’s important enough to us to do whatever it takes to get it.
Here are some things to glean from Leah’s life:
God’s mercy will find us wherever we are.
God’s mercy traced Leah right in her unfulfilled desire for her husband. We are told God specifically saw that Leah wasn’t loved so he opened her womb and closed up her sister’s.
God gave her something to comfort and console her in her misery. He let Leah know she wasn’t unseen and unnoticed. She was noticed by God. In whatever circumstance you find yourself in. I pray that God will pour out His mercy on you and remind you that you are seen, noticed, and loved no matter who can’t seem to notice your existence. Leah had God’s attention and it was her comfort.
We get to name our blessings.
Leah named her blessings after her desire. 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 29:32
Leah was convinced that a son was exactly what she needed for Jacob to pay her attention. She named her blessings after her desire. We get to name our blessings. We can give them proper names, or we can call them and use them as vehicles to get our desires.
God wasn’t giving Leah a son so she could win Jacob. He gave her a son to comfort her. Leah missed the point of her blessing. Have you missed the point that God has been trying to communicate in your life because you are determined to have a certain outcome? God wants us to enjoy what He has given us and we will only enjoy the blessings if we name them correctly.
Even in our lack, we are heard.
Leah had a second son. And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I am unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” And she called his name Simeon. Genesis 29:33
This time she was right! God had heard her. It feels like Leah had a revelation that God was paying her attention and he had heard her prayers. Well, her greatest prayer was that Jacob would love her, but God answered in the best way He could. God couldn’t force Jacob to love Leah, but God could love Leah and give her what she wasn’t getting from Jacob.
Maybe we can learn from Leah and know we are heard too. Whatever situation you find yourself in. Whether it’s in a loveless marriage. Or it’s in a season where you feel unheard, God has heard you. If you’d look carefully will see just like Leah that He has answered our prayers. our answers didn’t come the way we expected but we were heard nonetheless.
Some things cannot be forced.
Leah was determined to have Jacob’s commitment. She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will become attached to me because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi. Genesis 29:34
Leah desperately wanted Jacob’s commitment and she believed that she had earned it by giving him three sons. We can learn something from her, that commitment cannot be bought or forced. People have to choose to commit to us.
If a man doesn’t want to commit to you, nothing you give to him or do for him will make him want to. Even if we bear them children and give our whole selves to them. Even if we become slaves to their desires and whims and serve them with everything we’ve got. A man will give you his heart and commitment at no cost because he chooses to, not because you win him over.
When God becomes enough.
Leah had tried to win Jacob’s love but found out that she couldn’t. but she had discovered another love and that’s God’s. And this time she finally paid attention to the one who loved her unconditionally and perfectly. 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 was done chasing the affection of a man that couldn’t love her. This time she choose to praise God. She praised God for her blessings. She praised God for His love. She praised God for His plan for her even in her messy situation. She praised God even for what she didn’t have and probably could never have.
God waited until Leah could find her contentment in Him and she did. God could be trying to get your attention by answering your prayers, and the day you do God will be there waiting. The day you decide to stop chasing after lesser loves, God will be right there waiting. He is patient and longsuffering, and His love for us will never fail. But He watches longingly as we continue to chase after things that could never satisfy us.
A man’s love no matter how awesome it is will be imperfect, flawed, and incomplete. But God’s love will fill us to the brim and satisfy our every hunger and thirst.
This is what Leah discovered and I pray you discover it for yourself. And when you do I hope you’ll stop chasing after blessings and things. I pray that God’s love will be enough and you will choose to be content whether you have your greatest desires or not.