I’m excited to continue taking a look at Jacob’s wives. Last week we peeked into Rachel’s story (read it here) This week I want to focus on Leah and her experience. If you haven’t already subscribed to the mailing list go ahead and do that now. Starting on July 15th I will be sending out bi-monthly update emails with news, personal updates and extra freebies you can only see in the newsletter! You won’t want to miss it!
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In Hello Rachel we learn that Jacob has fallen in love with Rachel and that her father tricks him into marrying her sister Leah.
Poor Leah! What stress must have been upon her shoulders. To be the older sister and unmarried meant so much. The fact that she was unmarried meant that she would be a burden to her family. It also meant that she was in the way of Rachel’s freedom to marry. In verse 26 Laban excuses his behavior to Jacob by saying “It’s not our custom here to marry off a younger daughter ahead of the firstborn,”. I am sure this hurt Leah. She must have resented her father for forcing a man who didn’t love her to marry her. She must have resented the other family members who probably felt pity towards her and weren’t discrete about it. She must have been jealous of Rachel who was wanted and loved. How painful to feel unwanted. To feel rejected. Have you ever felt rejected? It is such a lonely and painful emotion. In my experience rejection comes along with a whole parade of friends. Rejection has made me feel worthless, not enough, unvaluable, small. Rejection can give way to jealousy and bitterness. In my opinion it can be severely damaging if we allow it to be. Unfortunately, it is one of those negative emotions that everyone will encounter at some point in their lives, for one reason or another.
I’m sure Leah was experiencing all of these emotions. Not to mention the fact that she probably felt ugly and compared herself to her sister. Verse 17 reveals that Leah was not as attractive as Rachel, “There was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes, but Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face.”
How disappointing all of this must have been. Maybe Leah never dreamt of marrying for love, but I would imagine that she at least hoped to be chosen, selected. Now she had to endure a marriage to a man who openly loved her sister more than her. Verse 30 “So Jacob slept with Rachel, too, and he loved her much more than Leah.”
Leah doesn’t deal well with the rejection. I will be sharing my thoughts on Leah’s and Rachel’s coping on July 15th! Make sure you subscribe and confirm your subscription in order to get the continuation of this portion of the story!
Like I said earlier, rejection is a part of life. The good news is that we can learn to turn to the Lord when we feel rejected. We can allow His love and word to heal and restore us. God has a lot to say about how much He loves us and how He does not reject us.
I have listed some bible verses that have greatly blessed me when I’ve felt lonely and rejected. [Emphasis added by me]
Know that Jesus was also rejected. This is a reminder that he indeed experienced every emotion we ever will.
- John 1:11 ESV / “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.”
- Isaiah 49:15-16 NLT / “Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! 16 See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.”
- Jeremiah 30:17 ESV / For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord, because they have called you an outcast:
- Isaiah 41:9 ESV / You whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”
- Philippians 4:19 ESV / And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
- Psalm 27:10 ESV / For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.
- 1 Peter 2:4 ESV / As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious,
- Psalm 34:18 ESV / The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
- Psalm 40:2 NLT / He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.
My Prayer For You:
Heavenly Father, I pray a special prayer for every person who is experiencing loneliness and/or rejection at this time. I ask for every person who is dealing with the aftermath of being rejected. I pray that you may infuse their hearts with your word that is living and powerful. I ask you to please heal them as you declare in your scriptures you came to bind up our wounds. You came to save those who are crushed in spirit and you are near to the brokenhearted. I ask you to please give us the courage, strength and faith to turn to you for healing when we are hurting. I pray that we may not turn to the things of this world which will only leave us empty and hurting worse than before. I ask you to please bring peace and comfort and joy to those who are in need of it in this moment, Lord, that they may see your mighty hand moving in their lives. I thank you for your goodness. I thank you for your mercy. I thank you and praise you for always loving us and never rejecting us. We can always turn to you! In Jesus name, Amen!
Memory Verse: Psalm 34:18
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
I would love to know what bible verses you use when you are feeling lonely or rejected. Go ahead and share your verse with me in the comments below!
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The fact that Rachel is a working woman reminds me of the responsibility I have to stay busy and not be idle. How important it is for us to work and use our giftings and talents. I truly believe that we position ourselves to be blessed when we are productive workers or volunteers. Sometimes I wonder if life is just passing me by as I work day in and day out, but then I remember that God is always moving. Even behind the scenes of what seems boring and mundane, He is orchestrating a beautiful story.
Rachel is shepherding the sheep towards the well when she sees a stranger among the other shepherds. He looks in her direction with a mixed expression of excitement and relief. She watches as he quickly removes the stone from the well in order to water her sheep and then he runs towards her. He presents himself as her father’s nephew. A relative! Rachel gladly runs to her father’s home and retells the recent events. She then leads Laban back to the well to meet his sister’s son, Jacob. It was quite the scene. A splendid family reunion. Laban invites Jacob back to his home.
I imagine Rachel continues about her business as usual. Maybe she noticed Jacob’s attentions towards her. He might have stolen secret looks at her while working on Laban’s land. A month after his arrival Rachel’s father asks Jacob how he could repay him for working for him. I’m sure Rachel beamed with joy when Jacob asks for her hand in marriage in exchange for seven years of service.
How patient Rachel must have been as she waited for Jacob to complete his service to her father. My favorite verse in this story is verse 20“So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.”
Finally, the day comes when Jacob’s seven years of service are complete. I can’t imagine Rachel’s excitement. Butterflies must have taken flight within her as she knew that she would be wed to the man who loved her and was willing to work so long in order to gain her.
Ladies, the right man for you should be willing to wait. Seven years or as long as it takes. If he can’t wait for marriage to get the goods then he is no good!
I truly believe that when it’s God ordained the time will fly and like for Jacob years will feel like days.
Sadly, in vesre 23 we see that Laban had other plans. He plays a trick on both Rachel and Jacob. 23 “But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob,”
How absolutely devastating. A day that was supposed to be all sunshine had a heavy dark cloud over it. What a rift this deception must have created between Rachel and her sister. Rachel must have felt extremely betrayed. I wonder if she blamed Leah for not having already been married.
At this point in the story the idea that sometimes we have exactly what/who we want directly in front of us but out of our reach comes to mind.
Have you ever been in this situation? How did you deal with it?
I must say that it’s not an easy one. I can’t even begin to think that I have the right answer to that question.
The best I could come up with is to seek God’s guidance. Definitely let’s not make emotional decisions because those never end well. Also, let’s not force things to happen if it’s clearly the wrong time. A friend once told me, “The right guy at the wrong time is just as bad as the wrong guy at any time.”
Rachel doesn’t completely lose Jacob. On the contrary, Jacob commits to work an additional seven years to marry Rachel.
They are wed but I can’t tell you that this was a happily ever after ending. Verse 30 says something crucial to the story, “and his [Jacob’s] love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah”
Rachel ends up having to share her husband and who wants that?!
Next week I want to take a look at Leah and her side of the story.
1. Don’t wait around for life to happen but work.
2. Live and enjoy where you are because that’s exactly where God needs you to be.
My Prayer for you:
Heavenly Father, you know how strained we feel sometimes. Sometimes our lives feel boring, insignificant or even mediocre. I ask you to please remind us that our seasons in life are not in vain. I ask you to transform our hearts that we may live with grateful hearts. Help us to enjoy our walks and rejoice in them regardless of the difficulty level. We trust that you are working behind the scenes. Help us to be patient as we wait for whatever we are praying for. Also give us wisdom that we may not become desperate and make permanent decisions on fleeting emotions. Thank you for your constant grace and protection. Please comfort those hearts that are hurting. Your word declares that you came to bind up the brokenhearted. Please let lose your healing over those who feel broken and damaged. Thank you, Jesus for hearing our prayers. It’s in your name that we pray, Amen!
Memory Verse: Psalm 37:5
Psalm 37:5 Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.
I tried more of a storytelling approach today. Did you like it? Leave a comment, click like, or share this post! I would love to connect with you!