Open Your Bible
Genesis 29:16-35, Psalm 63:1-4
What woman hasn’t felt like Leah at least one day in her life?
Who hasn’t had the best friend who became homecoming queen? Who hasn’t sighed when she looked in the mirror, desperately trying to camouflage her flaws? Who hasn’t felt overlooked, unneeded or simply unloved? Who among us hasn’t longed to be seen and celebrated for who we truly are?
Rachel, Leah’s younger sister, was the head-turner of two girls—Rachel’s name meant “ewe” and Leah’s, the far less complimentary “cow.” Rachel was the one whom Jacob merely had to lay eyes on to decide he didn’t care how long it took—he must make Rachel his wife. But it’s Leah who, whether by guise of night or veil, gets thrown into the bride’s role at the last minute, her father’s shady but successful attempt to marry his older daughter off… somehow.
And what did the groom have to say about his new father-in-law’s scheme?
“What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve you for Rachel? Why have you deceived me?”
Not only was Leah spurned by her new husband, but it seems her own father found her so lacking he believed he had to trap a man into marrying her. Imagine the sting of that kind of rejection.
But the Lord, in His infinite wisdom and compassion, saw Leah. He saw her “not as man sees” but as God sees—He saw her heart, He saw the woman she really was (1 Samuel 16:7). Leah may not have been as “lovely in form” as her sister, but as it turns out, she was exactly who God would use to establish the house of David and the lineage of Christ.
Both Leah and Rachel married Jacob, and both produced sons, but Scripture tells us God “opened Leah’s womb” first. Each time, Leah recognized her children as blessings from the Lord. Despite the pain of rejection and her unquenchable desire to be loved by her husband, Leah praised God (Genesis 29:35). Her hunger for love and acceptance was met not by a man, but by the steadfast love of her Heavenly Father (Psalm 63:3).
Leah gave birth to several of Jacob’s sons, including the two who would become the priestly line of Levi (Gen. 29:34, 1 Chron. 6) and the messianic line of Judah (Gen. 29:35, 49:10). The “unloved wife” was actually a beloved daughter, chosen by her heavenly Father for unexpected and honorable Kingdom purposes!
It’s not hard to imagine what it felt like to be Leah. We’ve all longed to be seen and loved. We’ve each faced the realization that, not only will other people fall short of our expectations, but we’ll also fall short of theirs. And we’ve all been given the choice to trust in God’s goodness, believing His ways are better than ours and His plans promise us a hope and future (Isa. 55: 8-9, Jer. 29:11).
Friends, hear this truth from God’s Word today: You are God’s masterpiece, created for a purpose (Ephesians 2:10). When you and I find our identity in Christ, we can put aside the world’s definition of beauty and worth and remember the beauty and worth He has already created in each of us.
The world’s love and affirmation will fail, but His love never fails. Let’s join Leah in praising God for His good gifts, for His love indeed is better than life.
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.