"When the LORD saw that
Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren." (Gen
Jacob was in love with Rachel. He worked a total of 14 years just for the privilege of having her as his wife. But on the night of their wedding, Rachel's father tricked him! He gave Jacob Rachel's older sister instead, and Jacob didn't realize the mistake until the next morning when the marriage was already consummated! Jacob was furious (wouldn't you be???), and though he eventually married Rachel, the evil deed could not be "undone"!
Let's put ourselves in Rachel's shoes for a moment. She really had it made, didn't she? How loved she must have felt, for her husband was willing to work a total of 14 years just for the privilege of marrying her! She had what her sister wanted the most: Her husband's love. But it wasn't enough. She wanted what she couldn't have. The Bible records that she cried out to Jacob: Gen 30:1 "Give me children, or I'll die!"
What about her older sister, Leah? The girl with the "weak eyes"? The unloved one who had to resort to trickery in order to be married? How she must have hoped that somehow she would be "good enough" for Jacob, that somehow, in the space of that one night, she could make Jacob love her! And how hurt she must have been to hear Jacob cry out to her father: "What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn't I? Why have you deceived me?" (Gen 29:25).
Did Jacob feel Leah's pain?
It would seem unlikely that he did, for the Bible records that "Leah
was not loved" (Gen. 29:31). But God was not oblivious to her
disappointment. God saw her tears. He felt her pain. He loved Leah, even
when Jacob didn't. And He gave her something in compensation, something
that all women of that era longed to have: God gave Leah sons. And
not just 1 or 2, but a total of 6, along with one daughter. And all this
time, Rachel, the "loved one", was barren.
Have you ever desired something with all your heart? Perhaps you have prayed earnestly about it, but nothing seems to be changing? Sometimes it is so easy to focus on what doesn't seem to be changing that it becomes impossible to recognize what God IS doing for you! Remember that just as God saw that Leah was unloved and he gave her a total of 7 children in compensation, God also looks down and sees the things that make us unhappy. He hears our pain, even when humans do not. If we, like Leah, give the problem to Him, He will compensate us 7 times over as well!
So when you feel like there is something in your life that is beyond your reach, and even after praying about it, you still don't feel like it is any closer to your grasp, remember Leah and begin looking around for ways that the Lord has repaid!
Father God, I praise You that you see may pain, and even though I may not get the thing I think I desire the most, you repay me 7-fold! Help me, Lord to not become so focused on what I think I am missing that I fail to see the 7+ blessings you pour out upon me instead!
"When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb . . ." (Gen. 29:31)
Love in Christ,