Today’s Scripture reading: Genesis 29; 2 Chronicles 6; Psalm 32; Luke 8.
This morning I read through Genesis 29 with the thought “I’ve read this a dozen times before, what is there to see?”
But, I read through the story, and as I read about Leah, I start to pity her. That poor woman. She is the older “ugly” sister to her beautiful little sister Rachel.
Marriage traditions state that she is to be married first, yet her father promises Rachel to this strong (can move the well cover by himself) and dynamic newcomer named Jacob.
She has to be wrecked emotionally by this.
But good ole dad sneaks one past Jacob, who works seven years of hard labor for Rachel. [Now, don’t feel bad for Jacob, “they seemed like only a few days because of his love for her” (29:20).] Laban switches his daughters “at the altar” (there wasn’t an altar at this wedding… BTW that is much much later tradition).
Jacob doesn’t recognize the switch and consummates the marriage.
Yes, we can only guess he was too drunk to know the difference.
Then the next day he complains to Laban. Laban responds with “what was I supposed to do? Tradition!”
“Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work” (29:27).
So, Jacob works another 7 years! The result? He got his second wife, Rachel.
“Jacob made love to Rachel also, and his love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah,.And he worked for Laban another seven years” (29:30).
Yikes, this poor woman has had it rough.
We know she has it rough (especially from the end of the story in the next few chapters), but see the reasons why she names her first four sons Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah:
- It is because the lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.
- Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, He gave me this one too.
- Now at last my husband will become attached to me because I have borne him three sons.
- This time I will praise the Lord.
Who are some people who come from the tribe of Levi and/or Judah?
- John the Baptist
Leah, you may have been the scorned wife in one of the worst recorded marriages in the Bible, but you will forever be knows as the Mother of the Redeemed.
Romans 8:28 rings true.