Leah the Loved

Have you ever felt like Mindy in the Nationwide commercial?

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Nobody sees me, so I might as well do whatever I want.

Or perhaps no one seems to see you because of a sibling. You know. The perfect one. The one that everyone loves. The one that gets everything they want and everything you ever wanted but never got.

That could be a way to explain Leah’s marriage to Jacob.

Jacob met Rachel and it was love at first sight. Jacob agreed to work for his Uncle Laban seven years in exchange for Rachel as a bride. However, at the marriage ceremony seven years later, there’s a switch. When Jacob wakes up the next morning he finds the bride he has married and consummated the marriage with is none other than his beloved Rachel’s older sister Leah.

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I’ve never contemplated this story from Leah’s perspective. It seems easy for me to empathize with Jacob and Rachel. How unfair that two people so in love find themselves victims of a father’s commitment to uphold status quo by marrying off his eldest daughter first.

I don’t have to think too hard, however, to imagine how it might feel to be the sister that everyone felt sorry for, that everyone viewed as less, that no one wanted for their own.

We’ve all experienced the fear of being unwanted. In a group, in a workplace, or by an individual. Many of us have even experienced the reality of being unwanted–by parents, family, spouses, children, communities, and even churches.

Never chosen first–only chosen if forced.

Can you imagine getting married because your dad tricked someone into marrying you? And due to the veil rules of the time, your husband wouldn’t even know it until he woke up the morning after the wedding. What would that reality do to your self-confidence?

Then the next morning your new husband goes and demands that your father explain why he is married to the wrong sister. I’m thinking I would never look either man in the eyes again.

But wait. It gets worse. Your own father promises to let your brand new husband go ahead and marry your younger sister too if he will stay and work another seven years. And your husband agrees!

Sisterwives: way more than a 21st Century reality tv show.

Leah, however, wasn’t unloved. And unlike me, she didn’t become overly angry and bitter.

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Leah may have felt unloved by her father, her husband, and possibly even her sister, but God had not forgotten nor abandoned Leah. God blessed Leah and allowed her to bear sons for her husband Jacob before Rachel.

Sometimes we get so focused on finding love from the people in our lives that are “supposed” to love us, that we forget we are loved by the One who does love us because He created us to love.

He enabled her.

I wonder what God is enabling us to do in the face of our unloved state? Have we turned to Him or are we still chasing those who have turned their eyes away from us?

One comment

  • I love this! We named our daughter Leah. I’ve always thought Leah was such a good and faithful servant of the Lord and such an important matriarch; yet so often her only mention in sermons is that she was ‘ugly.’ Thanks for the great read!