When the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said, "Because the LORD has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me." She conceived again and bore a son, and said, "Because the LORD has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also." And she called his name Simeon. Again she conceived and bore a son, and said, "Now this time my husband will be attached to me, because I have borne him three sons." Therefore his name was called Levi. And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, "This time I will praise the LORD." Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she ceased bearing.I've always connected with the Biblical story of Leah, and a lot more so over the past few years. For those who don't know or remember Leah's story, she was the first wife of Jacob, patriarch of Israel. Jacob was in love with her much more attractive sister, Rachel, but their father tricked him into marrying Leah first. As a result, Leah spent many years trying to earn Jacob's love and overcome her underdog place in their dysfunctional family. No matter how much she "achieved" as a wife and woman in the eyes of their culture, it was never enough. She remained unloved and unwanted. But she eventually realized that even if her husband didn't love or value her, the God of the universe did. That knowledge changed her life. And Leah, not Rachel, became part of the lineage of Christ through her son Judah.
- Genesis 29:31-35
In my continuing ramble through the Tim Keller archives, this week I happened upon a great sermon of his about Leah. Then I heard that one of the pastors at Alanna's church preached this past Sunday as Leah. I appreciated both messages so much that I wanted to share them here with the other Leahs of the world (plus, when the same topics come up repeatedly for me in a short period of time, I sit up and pay attention). We are loved by God and no amount of rejection can take that away from us.