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Leah

March 17, 2013

Women of the Bible - Leah

from March 17, 2013

Ru 4:11 And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses.  The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem: 

 

Biography

Her name means weary. 

She was the eldest daughter of Laban, and sister of Rachel (Ge 29:16). 

Jacob took her to wife through a deceit of her father (Ge 29:23). 

She was "tender-eyed" (Ge 29:17).   Basically not a compliment.

She bore to Jacob six sons (Ge 29:32-35), also one daughter, Dinah (Ge 30:21). 

She accompanied Jacob into Canaan, and died there before the time of the going down into Egypt (Ge 31:1-55), 

She was buried in the cave of Machpelah (Ge 49:31). 

 

A Life Of Hurt

Maybe we haven’t all had a giant event “hurt” in our lives, but many of us have a lot of hurts that maybe add up to the hurt of other’s one hurt.   

 

She was not physically beautiful

Young women can be very hurt by lack of physical beauty or weight issues. Society, in general, is very cruel, and has a strict standard for beauty.

 

Genesis 29:16  And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.

Genesis 29:17  Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.

Josephus (Ant., I, xix, 7) says of Leah, ten opsin ouk euprepe, which may safely be rendered, "she was of no comely countenance."

Hebrew- weary; Dull wild cow.    

 

Father got rid of her

The rejection of our earthly father is the most damaging event in a girls life. It reaches into her marriage, child rearing, and all other relationships if not addressed.     God wants us to have such a close relationship with our heavenly Father, and when our relationship with our earthly father is broken it affects our relationship with God.   

Ge 29:18  And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.

Genesis 29:23  And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her.

 

Husband did not want her

Only her wedding night was a romantic night. Her husband openly rejected her the next morning.

Ge 29:25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?

Ge 29:27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.

Ge 29:28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.

The rejection and low self-worth that Leah must have felt was tremendous!

 

Husband love sister more

In a week, she shared the home with another woman, her younger “beautiful, most loved” sister.

Ge 29:30  And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.

 

She thought children, and bearing sons would make their marriage better

How many times have you heard that in marriages?    

Ge 29:32  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.

Ge 29:34  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. 

Ge 30:20 And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun. 

 

Had poor relationships with family (sister)

Family in-fighting is becoming more and more common. Old and new grudges and hurts affect our lives in a negative manner.  

Ge 30:1  And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.

When somebody envies you, it comes across that they don’t like you.  They are actually jealous of you.

Ge 30:8  And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali. 

Rachel had given her maid to her husband to bear children for her, and Rachel felt that she had finally prevailed over Leah.   Rachel didn’t give her any sympathy.  

 

Had to ‘hire’ her husband to be with her

Was totally rejected by her husband, and mocked by sister.

Ge 30:15  And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that thou hast taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son's mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son's mandrakes.

“mandrakes” were thought of as love apples/medicine that would help you conceive.    Rachel sold the right to sleep with her husband for these mandrakes!   Poor Leah!

 

Husband did not protect you

Even after all the years, she was still the lesser wife

Ge 33:2  And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost.

When Jacob returned home to reconcile with his brother Esau, he put the maids & servants and then Leah and her kids ahead of him and Rachel as protection in case Esau attacked them!   

Ge 30:16  And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son's mandrakes. And he lay with her that night.

 

Children disappointed her

If there is no great joy when our children do right, there is no great sorrow as when they do not.

Her daughter was immoral and her sons were deceitful and murderous. ( one son slept with his daughter-in-law, and she conceived twins) Even her grandson was wicked and the Lord slew him ( Gen 38: 7,10)

Ge 34:1  And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land.

Ge 34:13  And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and said, because he had defiled Dinah their sister:

Ge 34:25  And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males.

Ge 37:26  And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?

It was her children that threw Joseph into the pit and sold him into slavery! 

 

This girl was hurt on every level that a girl could be hurt on!  There was not a male or female in her life that supported her.    She had every reason to be hurt, bitter, angry, & suicidal.   

Father and husband treated her poorly. No relationship with sister. Children were horrible, and she was an ugly cow! This woman had every reason in the world to be hurt, bitter, angry, and suicidal!

 

The Bible does not record any negative thoughts, words or deeds of Leah. She stayed true and loyal to the end. HOW?

 

Praised the Lord and looked to please Him

Finally realized she needed to praise God, and make Him the focus of her life instead of what she could not control.    She couldn’t look to please her father, husband, sister, or children.   She looked only at pleasing her Lord.      When we have hurts, our first instinct is to try and “fix” that earthly relationship, but that only causes more hurt and bitterness.    We have to look to God!

Ge 29:35  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. 

 

She left her life in God’s hands

The only time we see Leah “scheming” is when he traded the mandrakes. She left her life in God’s hands, and God did what she could not.  The Lord sees everything.   She trusted God with her life and let Him take care of it.      We all want the “microwave” fix....immediately!     She waited on God.

Ge 29:31  And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.

 

She was Christ-like regardless of how others behaved.

We never see her rebelling or acting poorly.   

We do not know many details of her life, but we do know that in the end, Jacob was buried next to Leah, not Rachel.

Genesis 49: 29  Bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite,

Ge 49:31  (verse 30 mentions the name of the cave)  There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah.

At the end, Jacob wanted to be buried next to Leah.  He must have come to appreciate her and maybe love her because of her spirit.  

 

Considered a worthy woman to emulate 

Through all their dysfunction, Rachel and Leah were highly thought of by the Jewish people. They were the matriarchs of the house of Israel.     

Ru 4:11  And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem:

 

Perhaps after all her hurts, she had some happy, golden, years with Jacob. Regardless, she made the best of a difficult situation. 

We will continue to be hurt in this life, but look at Leah and know that your relationship with God is the most important.   Stick with God and know that He sees all and at the end of our lives we will see the victory!

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