Laban had two daughters: Leah and Rachel. The first one did not have as much outward beauty as the second, who was beautiful and attractive. In this manner, years passed by for Leah as Rachel’s shadow, since she was the center of attention, spoiled and everyone’s favorite.
One of the meanings of “Leah’s” name is “fatigued” or “weak”. This was apparent not only in an unfavorable physical appearance, but also in a physical deformity. This idea is reinforced and contrasted in the Scriptures between one another (Gen. 29:17).
On the other hand, Rachel was so beautiful, that soon after Jacob saw her at the well, he was willing to work 7 years to pay the dowry, and this way marry her.
God had a purpose in Jacob’s life and Leah was part of it. Even though she entered his life through Laban’s expertise, she would spend her years being the helper Jacob needed.
With this we learn that not always what we want is what we need. We are deceived by our physical eyes, and many times, we seek our own suffering. Jacob could’ve married Leah without having to work fourteen years as a servant and also could’ve avoided so many family problems.
In the beginning, he didn’t understand and rejected Leah in all manners. On top of that, she was humiliated and envied by her sister. But, she remained faithful to God, loving and submissive to her husband.
The Lord has a preference to those suffering in this world, because of this, while all the affection was given to Rachel, He favored Leah by opening her womb and making her extremely fertile. The more Jacob diminished Leah denying her affection, the more children she gave him, but Rachel remained barren.
For many years, Leah lived troubled by the pain of being despised, but kept her eyes on the future. The names of her children revealed her faith and trust in God, because of that, she was not forsaken by Him.
The Almighty One felt the pain Leah felt by being humiliated, that’s why He made her mother of six men that would had tribes of Israel. Among them is Levi, the tribe Moses would be born from, Aaron and all the priests. Moreover, she gave birth to Judah, the tribe the Lord Jesus would come from, known as “The Lion of the tribe of Judah”.
Rachel died early on and was buried on their way during that time. However, Leah was the companion of Jacob for many years. She was by his side in the most difficult moments. It was in her shoulder that the patriarch found the comfort to face problems. It was her hands that prepared his food and her warmth that heated the coldness of so many camps.
We see at the end of her life that Jacob came to love her and considered her as his legitimate wife, for he buried her in the tomb of the patriarchs together with Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah.
Even with the disadvantage, afflicted and humiliated, Leah left her legacy of faith with fruits that spoke of her bravery in giving love to someone who caused her pain.
So, let’s keep our eyes on God, believing in His faithfulness so that we can also have strength to persevere and be fruitful like Leah.
Until next week!