Yesterday we began a study about two famous Old Testament sisters: Rachel and Leah. While yesterday we dealt with the young sister, Rachel, today’s post is going to focus on the latter, Leah. If you haven’t read yesterdays, I would highly encourage you to check it out. There are vastly different lessons we learn from these vastly different sisters. So, let’s dive in to older sister Leah.
What We Learn from Leah:
1: Other people’s choices can hurt us, but we can’t let that make us bitter.
Leah’s lot in life was not necessarily a great one. She was the pawn in her father’s scheme (Gen. 29:23). She was married to a man who didn’t love her, but instead loved and preferred her sister. Openly preferred. She was desperate for her husband’s affection, and yet he chose Rachel time and again. Later in life, Jacob would continue choosing Rachel by showing favor to her son, Joseph. Truly Leah’s life wasn’t one we would ask for.
Still, Leah is favored by God. Leah’s life wasn’t without distresses and heartbreak, yet she still maintained her faith. She still cried out to her God in these distressing moments, and Genesis 29:31 tells us that God saw her and heard her and opened her womb.
While life will hand us things we don’t necessarily want or enjoy, we cannot let those things drive a wedge between us and our Maker. God cares for us! God wants what is best for us! We shouldn’t allow other people’s choices or actions cause us undue grief. We shouldn’t let other people’s choices separate us from God! Instead, in all things, we should turn to our God. After all, He is near to those who are broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18).
2: Even if your husband doesn’t treat you as he should, depend on God.
How heartbreaking that the Bible clearly says Leah was unloved. How difficult must life have been for her? Still, Leah continually depends upon God. She turns to Him, seeking healing from her brokenness. She turns to God, seeking His favor and asking for His help in receiving favor from her husband.
In the New Testament, wives whose husbands aren’t Christians are still encouraged to depend upon God, maintaining their holiness, so that their husbands might be won over by their conduct and Godly example (1 Peter 3:1). When husbands don’t act the way they should, don’t let that be a stumbling block for you. Instead, keep your focus on Jesus. Maintain your relationship with God, even if your husband is no help. Even if he doesn’t fulfill the role God has for him as spiritual leader. Be sure his unfaithfulness doesn’t drag you down. Instead, depend on God. Especially in those difficult moments.
3: Always choose to praise and thank God, even in the difficult seasons.
Have you ever paid attention to the names of Leah’s sons?
- Reuben – “The Lord has surely looked on my affliction.”
- Simeon – “Because the Lord has heard that I am unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.”
- Judah – “Now I will praise the Lord.”
Leah was long for her husband’s affection. Leah was mourning her lost relationship (after all, she was Jacob’s only wife for all of 7 days, then she started sharing). She longed for Jacob’s love. She longed for deliverance from this lot in her life, yet she continually looked to God. She continued praising Him for the blessings He was giving, even if it wasn’t all she wanted. She knew God was taking care of her, in His way.
We will go through difficult seasons, yet our prayer should be that of the Psalmist in Psalm 86:12:
“I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And I will glorify Your name forevermore.”
Whatever my lot, it is well. That’s what we sing, right? Is that how we live? Is that how we pray? It should be. And Leah teaches us that through her lovely example.
Join me tomorrow as we look at three lessons we learn about God from the lives of Leah and Rachel.