At this weekend’s conference Tedd Tripp is preaching on Jacob, Rachel and Leah and the matter of heart longings. I think this may have been the first time I have heard someone given an extensive reflection on Leah’s situation. For those of you unfamiliar with this biblical story, Jacob works 7 years for his future father in law in order to marry the younger, more beautiful sister Rachel. On his wedding night he consummated his marriage and discovers afterwards his heavily veiled wife is not Rachel but Leah. He must work another 7 years for Rachel.
Imagine the experience of being Leah. You know he wants someone else. He many even have called you by your sister’s name during that first night. The text says that God saw the Leah was unloved. Her first three sons are named by her in such a way to illustrate her hopes that she will be loved for giving Jacob sons. Her fourth son gives Glory. She appears to no longer pine for Jacob’s love.
Imagine that experience. We could focus on Jacob’s willingness to work 14 years for his first love. We can focus on the deception in the story. But imagine the loneliness of Leah. Imagine a husband who is wiling to have sex with you (and you bear him sons) but who clearly loves someone else more.
Tedd closed by reminding us that Judah, Leah’s son, is the one of Jacob’s son who is in the lineage of Jesus Christ. Notice that God favors Leah in spite of her pain.