Genesis continues with more family drama, and this story seems especially sad to me. But God, in his wisdom, knows how to bring good out of our hardships. He does this for Leah in today’s reading.
If you don’t know the story from Genesis 29, you must read it. It’s filled with bitter irony, as Jacob (the cheat) met his match in his Uncle Laban. Laban, agreed to let Jacob marry his younger daughter, Rachel (who was beautiful and whom Jacob loved) after SEVEN years of labor. After the seven, long years, the big wedding day approached and Laban tricked Jacob into marrying his older daughter, Leah (who wasn’t as beautiful as Rachel). Jacob didn’t love Leah. After a week, Laban allowed Jacob to marry Rachel too – but only if Jacob agreed to work another seven years. “And he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served Laban for another seven years” (Genesis 29:30).
This sets the stage for a bitter sister-rivalry. But God was kind to Leah…
When the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.
Jacob chose Rachel, but God chose Leah.
Leah’s 4th son, Judah (whose name sounds like “praise”) continues the lineage of Christ.
Why Leah? Why Judah? We see throughout Scripture that God often chooses the ordinary to accomplish the extraordinary.
One of the best examples is found in Matthew 10 as Jesus appoints his disciples. Jesus didn’t choose powerful, influential men. Just look at the list of disciples in Matthew 10:2-4… They are not just ordinary; in some cases, they are lower than ordinary. Fishermen, a tax collector, a radical zealot are not the types we would choose to lead the largest religious movement in history. But God loves to surprise us.
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).