Yesterday, I wrote about waiting.
It’s something we have to do often in our lives as the Beloved.
One of my favorite women in the Bible had to wait…and wait…and wait.
And, what was she waiting for? Her husband to love her.
But, it never happened.
The woman I’m talking about?
As the oldest sister, she dreamed of the day a man would come in and sweep her off her feet (or, more likely, she waited for the day a man would pay her dowery and take her hand in marriage). But, unlike her beautiful sister Rachel, she wasn’t much to look at.
Enter this Jacob man…and like everyone else, he falls for Rachel. He falls so hard, he offers to work for her father for 7 years in order to marry her. After 7 years, the dad decides, nope, you have to marry the older one 1st. (I assume this must have pissed everyone off, because it is likely Rachel was in love with him by now & Leah wasn’t involved much.)
Then, Jacob, still in love with Rachel, promises to work 7 more years for her hand (for those keeping count: 14 years of manual labor to marry the pretty sister, even though he already has the other one…)
Leah is feeling everything: lonely, unloved, unwanted, ridiculed. Her husband doesn’t love her, her sister is her competitor, her father sells her out. And, this goes on for years. The rest of her life, actually.
But, where she lacked looks, she was blessed in fertility. God sees her pain, her misery, her heartbreak, and blesses her with sons. Many sons.
As a matter of fact, it is from her line that Jesus later comes. It is her blood that begets the Savior of the world. It is her dedication that is used as a big part of God’s plan to redeem humanity. (And, it’s she who’s buried with Jacob).
(Genesis 29-30 & 49:31)
She was unloved by man her whole life…
But, God still loved her…even the names of her sons revealed that. But, the first few times, she was still focused on the love of her husband rather than the love of God.
- Reuben: “Behold a Son!” (“The Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.”- Gen 29:32)
- Simeon: “God hears; He has heard” (“Because the Lord has heard that I am not loved, he gave me this son, too.” – Gen 29:33)
- Levi: “Attached” (“Now, at last, my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” – Gen 29:34)
- Judah: “Praise/Praised” (“This time, I will praise the Lord.” – Gen 29:35)
- Issachar: “Hireling” (Gen 30:17)
- Zebulun: “Honor/dwelling” (Gen 30:20)
In her waiting, she almost missed the blessings God was sending her way.
At first she was so consumed with desire for her husband’s love & competition with her sister that she all but ignored what God was doing in her. But, by the 4th, she finally realized she needed to turn her attention to God. And, it is through this child, Judah, that the family blessing continued; it is through Judah that Christ later comes.
The world may not love us, the world may not honor us, but God still loves us.
It is to the lowly that he gives the title Beloved. To the unloved, the unwanted, the outcast.
To you and me, even on the days when we feel the most unloved, unwanted, outcast.
“When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, He enabled her to conceive…”
– Genesis 29:31