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'Week 1
 Matriarchs:
 Hope'


Saturday Reflection

5th December 2020


'Rachel and Leah'


'Leah's eyes were weak,
 but Rachel was beautiful
 in form and appearance'.

.... Genesis 29:17


In the last of this series
of Patriarchs and matriarchs
we look at Leah,
and Rachel,
the wives of Jacob.
Through them,
and their servants,
came the Twelve Tribes
of Israel.

In the story of Jacob,
Leah and Rachel
we find the Bible's
original love triangle -
things never change!

Tricked by his
father-in-law into
marrying his true
love's sister, Leah.
Jacob waited 14 years
before he could
marry Rachel.

We see Leah
at the very beginning
not only described
as the less attractive
sister but also
that her father used
the fact of her being
the oldest
and still single
sister as reason
to trick Jacob
into marrying her first.

Leah must have had
some jealousy at the
attention that her
younger sister received
over her.

We can only imagine
the deep longing
that Leah had
to be wanted by Jacob.

She bore him multiple
children and it was clear
that each time
she would hope that
he would finally
want her as he did Rachel.


"Again she conceived,
 and when she gave birth
 to a son she said,
"Now at last my husband
 will become attached to me,
 because I have
 borne him three sons."

.... (Genesis 29:14)


But it was noted
that Jacob's


"love for Rachel
 was greater than his
 love for Leah."

(Genesis 29:30).


Because of this,
God gave special
attention to Leah,
and enabled her
to have four sons.

Because of Leah's
blessing to bear
Jacob children,
this in turn,
created jealousy
inside of Rachel.


"When Rachel saw that
 she was not bearing
 Jacob any children,
 she became jealous
 of her sister.

 So she said to Jacob,
'Give me children,
 or I'll die!' "

(Genesis 30:1).

God did bless
Rachel with conceiving
a child whom they
called Joseph,
but because she
wanted more,
as jealousy had its way,
she died giving birth
to her second son,
Benjamin.

I find it is so
encouraging that God
had a special place
in his heart for Leah.

You see,
God enabled Leah
to have four sons because

"..the Lord saw
  that Leah was unloved..."

(Genesis 29:31).


God saw the rejection
that Leah faced,
and knew what having
sons would mean to her.

The blessing we see in
Leah's life is that her
dependence on Jacob's love
and attention slowly
turns toward God.

We see this when
she was naming her
fourth child, Judah,


"She conceived again,
 and when she gave birth
 to a son she said,
"This time I will
 praise the Lord."

(Genesis 29:35).


Leah found her
security in her Lord
and no one could
take that away.
She had six sons
Reuben, Simeon, Levi,
Judah, Issachar and Zebulun,
and a daughter, Dinah.

But Jacob loved Rachael
to the end of his life;
although it did her
little good.

She could not fully
enjoy his love.
That gnawing discontentment
kept her from enjoying
anything totally,
and it kept others
from enjoying her.

It isolated her in a
grim world of loneliness.
Then she died,
leaving Jacob
to the sister
she envied so much
in life.

And even in death,
she was alone.
At Jacob's request,
they buried him next
to Leah in the
cave of Machpelah
in Hebron beside
Abraham, Sarah, Isaac,
and Rebekah
(Gen. 49:29-31; 50:13).

Rachel lies alone;
she was buried

"on the way to Ephrath,
which is Bethlehem."

(1 Samuel 10:2)


Does this resonate
with you?

Feeling overlooked
or not good enough
can be a deep hurt
and can snowball
into feelings of being
insignificant,
forgotten,
or the fear of not being
wanted just because
you haven't been picked yet.

Or you pray for something,
wait earnestly,
receive the blessing,
and then the ugly
monster of jealousy says,

"It's not enough!"


God's plan for
our lives doesn't always
end up with us being
the most popular,
or named the most
beautiful.

We won't be promised
a pain free life
but what we are given
is so much more.

Security in God's love,
His pursuit of us,
and the desire to
use us for His glory
and on that
we can be secure.

We learn from Rachel
that if we aren't
grateful for the blessings
we have,
and trust that
God is enough,
jealousy will always
make us want more,
insatiably.

Or we can learn
from Leah that
whatever comes our way
if we put our trust,
in God,
he will provide and bless us.



Blessings
Maureen