When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he made her fruitful, while Rachel remained barren… and she said, “God has brought me a precious gift.”(Genesis 29:31, 30:20, NAB)
Leah was Rachel’s older sister and not as pretty as Rachel. She must have had a part in her Father’s plan to trick Jacob and take Rachel’s place at the wedding. However, we can still consider her a victim; she probably did not have much say in her part. Unfortunately, her actions start a lifelong struggle with her sister for Jacob’s love. Leah unlike her sister though turns to God for the love that she never wins from Jacob.
I spent most of my childhood in the shadow of a younger sister. She was the one who was involved in school, got her driver’s license first, was more popular at school, and had more friends. She even went into the Air National Guard after graduation, much to the joy and approval of our parents. She was the squeaky wheel. I spent many years envying her, even though I had a good marriage and was raising three good kids, not a bad life. Then she was killed suddenly and she was no longer there to envy. For a while, I spent my life feeling sorry for her because she never had the experiences I had, like a loving husband and children.
Finally, one day it dawned on me, I had been wrong to envy her and later to feel sorry for her. God had plans for both of us, different paths to follow. With God’s help, I have come to realize I had no reason to be jealous of my younger sister. My jealousy was wasting my time and God’s. Now the only thing I envy is that she got to go home before me, but I keep in the front of my mind that God must not be finished with me on earth yet and one day when He decides I am finished He will reunite me with Jesus and my sister.
In the morning Jacob was amazed: it was Leah! So he cried out to Laban: “How could you do this to me! Was it not for Rachel that I served you? Why did you dupe me?” (Genesis 29:25)
Genesis 29: 21-25
Leah’s father tricked Jacob and substituted Leah for her sister Rachel. We do not know how involved Leah was in this deception, but no matter how small, it was wrong. Leah would pay for the rest of her married life as she struggled with Rachel to win Jacob’s love.
Questions to Ponder:
- Leah was a victim. First, she struggled to win her father’s love and approval and later Jacob’s. Do I look for love everywhere else and ignore the most obvious place, God?
- Rachel was prettier than Leah was. Do I rely on my own strengths to succeed or do I use those strengths to honor God and let Him plot the successes?
Dear Jesus, show me how to use my gifts for the greater glory of God and ignore prejudices that take me away from your loving arms. Amen
All For the Glory of God,
Excerpted from Women of the Bible: A Study by Christina Weigand