(Bible reading: Genesis 29)
I’ve always been pro-Rachel. Fact is, if I would be totally honest, I knew I had secretly felt some kind of disdain towards Leah (or women in similar plight). I thought that the one who’s loved is always the heroine and the one to be admired. (I know there are dark crevices in my heart but I’m depending on the Lord’s light that it can penetrate even through them). Until I read a precious comment from one of my blog followers, one beloved Joanne Potter.
Her comment, though short, penetrated to those dark crevices in my heart (that I wasn’t aware I had, in particular, concerning Rachel and Leah’s story) and it got me thinking deeply. It haunted me for weeks, until I knew I had to write about it. She said in her comment that Leah is her favorite Bible hero.
I always knew that I was my husband’s Rachel, and that is true. But I have also known how to be hurt by my Jacob. A kind of pain and confusion that finds no solutions but to seek sanctuary in God. And this is the thing that followed me for weeks ever since I read that comment. What if being a Leah didn’t only mean that her Jacob had a much beloved Rachel, but that she didn’t feel loved by him? What if a wife were the only woman in her husband’s life but she lived in painfulness more than in love and happiness? Wouldn’t that be like being in Leah’s predicament – hoping and waiting for love that soothes, inspires, nurtures and heals?
Leah lived longer than Rachel. When I read this part the first time, I wished Rachel didn’t die young. My eyes were always on her. But that is exactly the difference between God and man, He sees what we do not see. And when Jacob, and most women in this present-day who read their story, had only his eyes on and affections for Rachel, God’s eyes were on Leah.
God’s compassionate heart wanted to comfort her so He gave her sons and a daughter. When Rachel was gone, did Jacob love Leah then? I believe not. And nowhere in the Bible tells it so.
When you feel like you are a Leah, unloved and hurt, know that there is One who loves you with an everlasting love. Everlasting means He has loved you even before the foundation of the world, and will always love you. You cannot make someone love you, just like Leah didn’t succeed in making Jacob love her, even if she gave him children. But there is One who loves you just the way you are, and you don’t have to do anything to make Him love you or love you even more. His love is constant.
The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” (Jer. 31:3)
The Lord Jesus Christ is not only our Savior, but our Bridegroom whom we eagerly await. We are His beloved Bride and He is coming back for us and we’ll be married to Him: the marriage of the Lamb and His Bride (Rev. 19).
For your Maker is your husband,
The Lord of hosts is His name;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel;
He is called the God of the whole earth. (Is. 54:5)
If in this life, we hunger for love, acceptance, and nurturing, we know we have a refuge in the Lord Jesus Christ. We can run to Him and we know He will always love and uphold us, just as He loved and upheld Leah. And His love is enough to sustain us until the day that we will be united forever with Him.
Related: First Love
(If you haven’t received the Lord Jesus Christ in your life and are not sure if you are saved and heir of eternal life, know the keys of salvation here).
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