Choosing God Like Leah

I think the term, “Bible Stories” sometimes desensitizes us from the fact that the stories are about real people, who lived real and complex lives. The story life of Jacob and his two sister wives, Leah and Rachel is one of those cases. Last year, we talked about how love was seen and unseen from Jacob’s perspective but as with any situation, there is always two (or three!) sides to every story.

Leah is probably the antithesis to Bathsheba. Leah is remembered for being unattractive and less loved than her sister, Rachel, by their husband, Jacob. Bathsheba is remembered for being so attractive that she drew the eyes of two men: her husband and King David, who was not her husband.

Unless you end up in a Sister Wives type of marriage, you probably will not have to compete with your sibling for your spouse’s attention! Yet, there is more to Leah’s story story than her alleged lack of beauty and sibling rivalry with Rachel.

It’s a story of unwanted choices. Leah didn’t choose to marry Jacob, her father Laban did. Leah didn’t choose to be in a loveless marriage, her husband, Jacob did. Unfortunately, Leah found herself in a life that she did not choose, yet there is no evidence that she was bitter. She gave birth to three sons, hoping Jacob would love her. However, with the birth of her fourth son, Leah chose God, naming the baby, Judah, which means “praise”. Judah, would go on to be one of the 12 tribes of Israel and the lineage from which Boaz, King David and Jesus was born.

At the time, Leah probably felt like her life was not one she would chosen. However, in the end, though she did not received the love from Jacob that she wanted, she gave birth to a lineage that would gift love to all of humanity. Boaz loved a poor widow, David loved the Lord with all his heart and Jesus loved the unlovable.


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