Though the eldest of two sisters, Leah was the invisible one, the woman who was always in the shadow of her beautiful younger sister Rachel. Yet it was Leah who God blessed with numerous sons and a daughter, and Leah, who was chosen by God to be a part of the royal lineage.
The only way Leah got married was through the deception of her father. Even so, she had to share her husband with her sister, his beloved.
Genesis 29:31 tells us that “when the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren” The word for unloved actually means “hated”.
Jacob hated Leah through no fault of her own. But the Lord saw that and he blessed Leah. We see Leah’s spiritual state reflected in the naming of her sons. She called her first son Reuben saying, “The LORD has surely looked on my affliction. Now therefore, my husband will love me.” (Genesis 29:30 NKJV) But though she was correct that the Lord saw her affliction, it didn’t cause Jacob to love her.
Her second son she called Simeon, acknowledging that God knew she was unloved so he gave her another son. She called her third son Levi, hoping her husband would at least become attached to her because she’d borne him three sons. (vs. 33-34)
When she bore her fourth son, her focus changed. She called him Judah, saying “Now I will praise the Lord.” (vs. 35)
This fourth son, Judah, is the one who was chosen by God to be part of Christ’s lineage.
Like Leah, we may feel invisible and unloved, or even hated. But God sees our afflictions. Though the world may look past us and consider us unworthy of any consideration, God loves us and can use us in the most unexpected ways.
Scripture Background: Genesis 29-35