Don’t be disheartened when things seem not to be working out, Christian. Those who love God know a secret: all things will work together for good, sooner or later.
At first, we read that Jacob “loved Rachel more than Leah” (Gen 29:30). Have you heard where an arrangement like that ever worked? I’m no mathematician, but I’ve discovered that all love triangles are acute! It reminds me of the impossibilities described in the New Testament. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other” (Mt 6:24). It isn’t a challenge. It’s impossible to live for God and gold. In a similar way, John writes: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 Jn 2:15). His point is clear. No one is happy with half a heart. The next assessment of Jacob’s home is more accurate: “Leah was unloved” (v 31). There it is, in black and white. How many women in our world can identify with Leah. But who, in our story, is the one who notices this? Let me now read the full observation in verse 31: “The Lord saw that Leah was unloved.” Dear Christian, in a loveless marriage through no fault of your own, the Lord sees! And He went into action. In her case, we read that “He opened her womb” and Leah was given a baby boy on which to lavish her love. In fact, she bore four sons in a row! In that patrilineal society, it should have made her a very special woman in the family. But no, even after bearing Reuben (meaning “see, a son!”), Simeon (meaning “hearing” because the Lord heard her crying), Levi (meaning “attached” because she hoped Jacob would now feel attached to her), and Judah, she was still unloved. What does Judah mean? “Praise!” Loved or not by her husband, Leah decided to praise the Lord anyway! Three, no four, cheers for Leah!