Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Isaiah 40:31
Read a previous post from this passage – “Moving Forward“
Acceptance in life is something we all desire. Even the strongest and toughest of us who say we don’t care how people feel toward us have to admit that there is that one person, or that handful of persons whose opinions actually matter. Such would be the case with Leah who’s story we find in the second half of Genesis.
In Genesis 29 we find Leah’s desire for acceptance, or favor if you will, in the eyes of her husband. If you don’t know the story, Jacob’s uncle, Laban, deceived him. Jacob loved Rachel and wished to marry her, but Laban tricked Jacob into marrying Leah, his oldest daughter. Jacob was certainly a victim of Laban’s deceit, and therefore, it is easy to believe that this is why the Bible gives the impression that Jacob hated Leah. As a result, Leah found herself neglected by the one whom she was supposed to love and care for. God, like He always does, saw her affliction and blessed her with sons.
Leah’s first son was Reuben. Reuben was Jacob’s firstborn son, and his name literally means, “see ye a son.” It is very evident that Leah hoped Jacob would love her for the birth of his son because she said so in verse 32:
“And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the Lord hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.” (Genesis 29:32)
Leah had a second son whose name was Simeon. Simeon’s name literally means, “hearing.” It is easy to assume that Leah felt that God heard her while her husband did not because she still felt hated by her husband.
“And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the Lord hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon.” (Genesis 29:33)
As we read verse 34 we can really feel the distress of Leah. She deeply loves her husband and simply wishes that he would return her love. She wishes that they could be “joined” together, but her husband is still distant. Levi was her third son, and his name means “attached.”
“And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi.” (Genesis 29:34)
For what appeared to be her last son, Leah conceived again and called him Judah. Judah’s name means “celebrated,” but we learn that she wasn’t celebrating because her husband finally loved her. She was celebrating because she finally realized that God loved her and that was all that mattered. She might not have a husband that loves her, hears her, or wants to be near her, but she has a God that will always love her, hear her, and want to be near her. This concept seemed to overwhelm Leah, and we see her praising the Lord as a result.
“And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the Lord: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing.” (Genesis 29:35)
Maybe you can relate to Leah. Maybe there’s someone in your life who you can’t seem to make happy. Don’t let that discourage you. Be like Leah and find your favor with God. God hears you, he’s near, and he loves you.
Garrett is a student at Vision Baptist College majoring in Pastoral Theology. Garrett’s dad, Pastor James Greene, is the pastor of Calvary Road Baptist Church in Indian Head, MD.
Posted in Devotions by Garrett Greene with 3 comments.