Day 10

Leah



Genesis 29:16-35, Psalm 63:1-4

BY She Reads Truth

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?”
(Genesis 29:25)

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.

Psalm 63:1-3

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Post Comments (198)

198 thoughts on "Leah"

  1. Dontyonna Oats says:

    This reading hit spot on for me. I was feeling like Leah was but to see what God did for Leah I KNOW He can and will do it for me.

  2. Kristi says:

    I love when God illustrates the same feelings I have today in the Bible. I have days where I am confident but more often than not, I have days when my confidence is nowhere to be found. I cannot imagine the pain Leah felt when her husband desperately wanted her sister over her. Comparison is such a hard feeling to just “get over” and I am so proud of Leah for her strength and courage while facing it head on. I hope the next time I feel the need to compare, I realize that God sees my heart and not just my outward looks. I pray that God continually reminds me that I am loved no matter what- even on the harder days.

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  4. Nicole says:

    I love verse 35 in this passage — Leah gives birth to Judah, decides to praise God and stops having children. She really wholly gives herself to the Lord and stops viewing his blessings as something to prop herself up in her tragic marriage. However I don’t agree that Leah should be an inspiration for women in loveless marriages in her fidelity — times are different in 2017. Women aren’t married off in order of birth without any say or agency in our particular context. But I think Leah offers an important example in fidelity to the Lord — THAT fidelity *is* inspiring. I was hesitant to take up this study of women in the OT because I felt like, what could a 26 year old working woman pull from these stories? And the answer is — timeless truths of God’s faithfulness in the face of human folly. Human beings constantly muck it up but God sees us and is faithful.

  5. Mary Beth says:

    This reflection spoke to my heart in ways I wasn’t expecting considering that at first read I really wasn’t sure what inspiration I was supposed to pull from Leah’s story. Then I sat back and realized how many times in my life I have been Leah – craving the love of man in my life that seems out of reach; falling under the shadow of others and trying to be happy for my friends who seem to always find the love I want more than life. It’s hard being a woman. The verse “now my husband will love me” truly struck a cord. How many times as women do we try to put ourselves into a mold we think men want? Fighting for the attention and affection of a man and often losing pieces of ourselves along the way? I’ve sure been there more than a few times. I can’t help but feel bad for Leah in this story, but on the other hand I also really don’t feel bad for Jacob who after laboring 7 years for the woman he claims to love…fails to recognize he’s married to/sleeping with her less attractive sister? This story truly doesn’t say much about the goodness of men, but more of the integrity of women and their endurance in suffering. Poor Rachel I’m sure felt cheated out of the man she’d been so patient for, while Leah I’m sure was humbled by the chance to experience love. Her fidelity to her husband within a loveless marriage should be an inspiration for thousands of women today in the same situation. Leah praises God in the midst of tremendous suffering, when I’m sure faith in His goodness must have been a hard concept to grasp. She chose faithfulness and trust. I’m blown away by her strength. May we all be blessed with the faith and steadfastness of Leah.

  6. Nina says:

    Sometimes is difficult to see the masters plan in the midst of the storm. God always knows better than we do…

  7. Andrea Z. says:

    I have overlooked Leah’s story so many times because I mostly focused on Jacob and Rachel. But to see how God loved Leah so much that he gave her children and used her children to fulfill his ultimate plan is such a powerful honor. It is much more satisfying to see God above people, because people will fail you time and time again but God never will.

    1. Abbey says:

      Andrea, I thought the same thing as I read this!! “How many times have I overlooked the pain that Leah must have felt and the anguish she must have gone through.” Yet, God still saw her, loved her, and blessed her immensely with children who would impact the world in ways she couldn’t even imagine! Loved this lesson today.

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