Dave spoke tonight from Gen 29:15-30, the story of Jacob’s marriages to Leah and Rachel. The marriage to Leah was not Jacob’s idea; the schemer found himself outsmarted by his uncle Laban. Often, we focus on Jacob’s love and loyalty to Rachel (working 14 years for her hand in marriage!), but tonight, Dave’s focus was on these two sisters.
Leah, the older sister, was not beautiful, perhaps having a squint, and she was clearly not loved or respected by her father and was not loved by Jacob. Rachel was beautiful and seemed to have everything, but in this story, we see how God cares for the hurting and the rejected. When God saw that Leah was not loved, He enabled her to have children, and we see how she hoped that this would be the way to her husband’s heart. In reality, Jacob still did not care for her as he did for Rachel, and she had to learn to praise God through all problems (which she did by her fourth son, Judah!)
The story deals with sibling rivalry and jealousy. Leah must have felt jealous of Rachel for many reasons, but it was Leah’s ability to bear children which made Rachel jealous. We learn from this how destructive jealousy and envy can be, and also how appearances can be deceptive: even those who appear to have everything may nurse secret hurts. Certainly, Rachel was the sister with looks and with love, but Leah was the one who proved to have life and left a legacy: her son Levi became the forerunner of the priesthood and her son Judah ultimately became the tribe from which the Messiah came.
We need to understand that Jesus knows all about being rejected and forsaken and He is able to give us the comfort and love which may well not be available to us from any other human source. We can be the beloved of God; we can know God’s favour and help. We need to learn contentment in God and refuse to let envy and jealousy embitter us and poison our lives.