Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Life Lessons | Leah

Growing up, I never cared much for the Biblical character Leah.

When you read the Bible's account in Genesis of how Jacob and Rachel fell in love and then on their wedding day, the switch happens and Leah has the wedding that Rachel and Jacob had looked forward to for 7 years (which as an adult I realized wasn't Leah's fault), it is easy for the romantic side of us to resent this poor woman who was forced into this situation by the custom of her time.

Addie and I had been reading through The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every story whispers His name, and came to the story of Leah. I found it odd that her story would be put into this Bible for kids until I read the selection for the day.... and then I fell in love with this character in the Bible that I had resented since my teen age years (when you are single and waiting for "the one", anyone who interrupts a "love story" naturally gets resented).

The chapter began with the title "The Girl No One Wanted." We know that the Bible describes Rachel as being lovely in form and beautiful, and Leah as having weak eyes. Many times we assume that means that Leah was not beautiful at all. And because she was still single, we could also assume that no one had ever chosen to love her.

From reading the account in the Bible, we also learn that her own husband didn't love her. He just fulfilled his husbandly duties towards her, but his heart was with Rachel. Even when they were facing possible danger (meeting Esau after many years), Jacob put Leah and her children in front of Rachel and Joseph to give Rachel and Joseph a better opportunity to escape from harm.

We can imagine the feelings Leah may have felt. The hurt. The resentment. The bitterness. The sorrow. The following is taken from the Jesus Storybook Bible.

     "No one loves me," Leah said. "I'm too ugly."
     But God didn't think she was ugly. And when he saw that Leah was not loved and that no one wanted her, "god chose her- to love her specially, to give her a very important job. One day, God was going to rescue the whole world- through Leah's family.
     Now when Leah knew that God loved her, in her heart, suddenly it didn't matter anymore whether her husband loved her the best, or if she was the prettiest. Someone had chosen her, Someone did love her- with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.

(excerpt taken from the Jesus Storybook Bible)
Wow! To think that God chose Leah over Rachel. Judah was one of Leah's sons, and he is the son through which Jesus eventually came into the world. I love that God looks beyond our outward appearances. He does not judge us based on what the general consensus is. He bases His love for us on..... His love for us.
I am left in awe..........


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