Two sisters. Same husband. One loved. One hated. One bearing sons. One barren. Sounds complicated! Very complicated. And painful. But this was the beginning of the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people. God’s love and His plans and purposes overruled from the very beginning. I wonder what we’ll learn about Him as we take a look at their stories?
LEAH – Honestly, my heart breaks for her. No matter how the whole scene went down, she was thrust into a marriage with a man who didn’t want her and didn’t love her. I can’t even imagine how painful that must have been. But I love that she continued to see the hand of God in her life, appreciate His blessings and seemed to grow more and more content looking to Him alone for her sense of value and love.
Leah didn’t know that she would become the mother of the priestly and the Messianic lines, a matriarch of God’s chosen people, the nation of Israel. But she trusted God, one day at a time. That would serve her well when Rachel died in childbirth and Leah was called upon to be mother for all of Jacob’s family (Jacob spoke to Joseph later about his “mother and I,” referring to Leah).
In Leah’ story, we see that God sees, He knows us personally, He feels our pain, He brings blessing and victory and deep soul growth out of sorrow, and He touches our lives in ways that no human ever could.
I just want to give Leah a hug… and thank her for reminding me that when my true provision and assurance come from God, I am free to bring my best into whatever situation I am placed. With God’s help, I can faithfully love my husband unconditionally and enjoy the Lord’s blessings as I honor Him.
RACHEL – Hmmm… on the heels of me wanting to give Leah a hug, I noticed someone else’s comments that they just wanted to hug Rachel! Those few simple words spoke volumes to me, reminding me that no matter how favored we may think some people are, they have their own very real and personal struggles, challenges and insecurities.
Just like Leah, Rachel needed to learn that her value was not in the beauty others praised (including her husband), or in the children she wished she could give her husband like her sister, but in the eyes and heart of her Creator and Redeemer.
Rachel and Leah were given very different “lots.” But their struggle to find peace and value was the same. It is no different for me. The question really boils down to this: do I accept from the hand of a loving heavenly Father His “lot” for me (position, calling, placement)? Do I look to Him to help me embrace it with joy rather than struggle against it? Do I look to Him to help me thrive within it rather than droop in weariness – to find His vision for the best version of myself He hoped I would bring to that role? Do I trust His best and His timing for it?
I can’t help wondering (of course, knowing the end of the story) if it wasn’t the Lord’s blessing that Rachel did not conceive right away, knowing that she would lose her life giving birth? Her barrenness actually gave her more time with Jacob and their growing, expanded family. Did she cherish it while she had it or was she too distracted by what she thought she wanted to enjoy what she had already been given?
These meandering thoughts lead me to PRAY… pray for the Lord’s help to see things His way – to value, really value all He has already given me, to notice quickly when a seed of discontentment is growing inside me and to desire to surrender that discontentment just as quickly so I will not miss out on the blessings He has already perfectly planned and provided!
And yes, I want to hug Rachel too… and tell her to fret less, trust God, and love her hubby (words I need to hear just as much!!).
Read more here! – Genesis 29 & 30, Genesis 35:16-20 – I Corinthians 13