genesis 29: unloved but loved

Such an intriguing chapter. It’s a love story, payback story and kindness of God story all rolled into one.

Jacob met the love of his life in Rachel, and paid a steep price to marry her.

“Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my kinsman, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?” 

...Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”

Seven years is a long time. But not as long as fourteen, which is what he ended up serving, because, well, Leah. Weak eyed Leah.

Jacob found his true love but his father-in-law pulled a fast one on him and he eventually ended up with both daughters as wives. The deceiver was deceived and I have to say, “touche, Laban, touche”.

If you’re a bit behind in the story, Jacob tricked his brother, Esau, into giving up his inheritance for a bowl of stew, and deceived his father into giving him the first born’s blessing. So I can’t help but smile as justice is served up by Laban.

But all of that pales next to what God did for Leah. The unloved, unchosen Leah.

I know how that feels, and the desperation it births. I think there’s a lot of us who know exactly what Leah may have felt, and her thoughts of maybe now I’ll be loved. Maybe this time. Maybe I’ve done enough, maybe I’ve been good enough. Maybe now.

But, I also know this next part. The unfathomable goodness of God. The knowingness of Him who knows my thoughts and my feels and my pain. I know the God who moves on my behalf to show me a love I could not have imagined.

In a culture that scorns a barren woman, God opened Leah’s womb wide. In a culture that values sons over daughters, God gave her six sons. The tribe of Judah would become the worship leaders, and the line of priests would come from Levi. The others would become the heads of their own tribes.

Leah never received the love she wanted from Jacob, but she was lavished with love all the same. The love of a God who looked down on a woman who was no one’s choice, and chose her.

And with each son, she hoped for Jacob’s love to be hers.

Sometimes, the thing we want the most we will not possess until the love of God becomes what we want the most. Until we realize that we have a champion, a Father who loves us. A God who has chosen us.

Until finally, we come to rest in the love of God.

“And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she ceased bearing.”

We wear ourselves out chasing down something that will never be ours, until finally, we see that what we already have is so much more than what we’ve chased after.

This is the story of us, and the God who sees us, who loves us, who chooses us.

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