I’m back for the last installment in the Seeing myself in Leah series. For Part 1 click here and part two here.
I ended Part one with a quote that says “Sometimes, you choose the one that doesn’t want to be chosen – the one that can’t (or won’t) choose you back.”
This was Leah. She was not as pretty in Jacob’s eyes and Jacob spent 14 years attempting to secure Rachel as his wife. By no fault of Jacobs, he rejected Leah as his wife because he never signed up to be her husband. Leah wanted him to choose her though he had already chosen Rachel. Genesis 29 reads:
31 When the Lord saw that Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah, he made it possible for Leah to have children, but not Rachel. 32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, because she said, “The Lord has seen my troubles. Surely now my husband will love me.”
33 Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Simeon and said, “The Lord has heard that I am not loved, so he has given me this son.”
34 Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Leviand said, “Now, surely my husband will be close to me, because I have given him three sons.”
35 Then Leah gave birth to another son. She named him Judah, because she said, “Now I will praise the Lord.” Then Leah stopped having children.
If we were to use the least amount of time possible and say that Leah were to get pregnant consecutively then 9*4=36 months about 3 years. In reality she probably had more rest time between babies so I’d say that Leah spent about 4 years hoping for Jacob to see her, be close to her, and love her. She wanted to be chosen too. The status and worth of a woman at the time weighed heavy on their ability to find a spouse and produce children. Her father had to trick her sisters suitor into marrying her and then he still neglected her even after bearing him male sons that would carry on his name.
With each baby came the hope that Jacob would love her, until finally she came to the end of herself and praised God with no strings attached. She praised God for God and not because she felt He was bringing her closer to what her heart wanted.
I see myself in Leah because my heart yearns to be chosen too. Life brought people into my life who became for me what they never sought out to be. So they grew closer to me thinking they were going to be my brother in law, my mentor, or my friend, then woke up the next morning and realized they were my lover, my savior, and my mom and they don’t know how they got to be there. These roles become cemented and I want them to accept the role and be what they never wanted to be because I want it. I begin to give everything that I think would make them love me and want to be close to me, to only come out feeling empty and rejected. But how can you really reject what you never sought after. Jacob probably did not reject Leah as a person, he rejected her as his wife. It still hurts either way but what do you do? Pursue them endlessly or turn your attention towards the One who chose you, who hears you, and who wants you.
With the birth of Judah, Leah turned her attention to God. This was the child that she finally praised with. And this is the child that God chose to have His Son, Jesus, descend from.
What do I continue to learn from Leah? I learn how to be human. She was content with Judah for a while until Rachel began using her maids to have children. When Leah attempted to engage in this competition with her sister her womb was shut and she had to use her maids as well. God did not allow her to engage in this petty competition for a mans heart that would never be hers. To the day Jacob died we don’t hear or see any account of him ever loving Leah the way she sought. In fact, he favored Rachel’s son’s above all the children that Leah ever bore him.
Wouldn’t it be comforting to read that God eventually gave Jacob a heart to love Leah the way she desired to be loved. That doesn’t happen. Leah eventually stopped seeking love and affection and comforted herself with gaining his respect and security as the mother of his six sons. Genesis 30: 19 Then Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to a sixth son for Jacob. 20 She named him Zebulun, for she said, “God has given me a good reward. Now my husband will treat me with respect, for I have given him six sons.” Jacob buried Leah in the burial place of his ancestors, the place where he requested to be buried. So did he ever love her in that way? We don’t know, but he most likely did respect her.
I am human. I desire to be chosen by people who can’t choose me. I turn my eyes to God for a moment but then lose focus on God and attempt to chase the heart of man, only to find that Gods blessings departed from me, and the peace I once had, I don’t have anymore. But I learn, and though I may still have the desires, I turn my eyes towards reality and the Truth, then serve God above my passions and one day God will reward me far above my expectations.