Read: Genesis 28:1-29:35, Matthew 9:18-38, Psalm 11:1-7, Proverbs 3:11-12
But when Jacob woke up in the morning—it was Leah! “What have you done to me?” Jacob raged at Laban. “I worked seven years for Rachel! Why have you tricked me?”
Relate: Leah is one of those people in the Bible that I’m not sure exactly how I feel about her. Later on in our daily Bible reading, we will come to a point where she trades away some pomegranates to get a night with her husband. On one hand, how manipulative is that? On the other, how lonely must she be knowing her little sister gets all the attention and love that she longs for? She is living out a textbook case of a loveless marriage.
But did she put herself in that position? Jacob is tricked into sleeping with her thinking all the while that he is sleeping with her younger sister. Was she complicit in this trickery? Yes, but to what degree? I’ve heard conflicting answers to that question and I don’t really know what to think myself. Surely she was so desperate and longing to be loved and accepted that she would get it whatever way she could. Combine this with wedding traditions that would go a long way to hiding her identity, an unscrupulous manipulative father who was the mastermind behind the plot, and almost certainly copious amounts of alcohol… she saw an opportunity to be loved and took it. Unfortunately, she was grasping at shadows.
React: It is easy for us to look down at Leah or to laugh at Jacob who woke up and… “Oh my goodness, this is the wrong woman!” But how often do we find ourselves doing pretty much the same thing. Long before it was a movie or a famous bar, “Coyote Ugly” was a phrase for guys who find themselves in a “Jacob” type situation. It refers to a guy who wakes up after a night of “drunken revelry” to find himself sleeping with the wrong woman laying on his arm. He would rather gnaw his arm off, like a coyote in a trap, than allow her to wake up and get caught in the situation.
I’ve never understood how someone would allow themselves to get blackout drunk. Why would they allow themselves to get into a situation that they have so completely lost control that the next morning they wake up and say, “Oh my goodness, that’s Leah!” Even more, why would someone who is not that inebriated allow themselves to become attached to a man or woman who is that alcoholic, abusive, or just plain unloving?
If you are that person, know that there is a love for you. You do not have to turn to an abusive or unloving partner to find genuine love and acceptance. In the naming of her first three sons, Leah kept saying, “Maybe now my husband will love me. Maybe now my husband will notice me.” Finally, with her fourth, she said, “Now I will praise the Lord.” She finally got it. Her worth, her value, did not come from what that unloving husband thought of her, it didn’t come from how many kids she bore, it didn’t come from winning any competition or rivalry with her sister. Her worth rested in God alone. He loved her and finally, that was enough. Your value does not rest on the one night stands you keep turning back to. It doesn’t come from the man who gave you the black eye and the bruises on your arm that you are afraid to leave. It doesn’t even come from the children who love you even when your husband never comes home from work night after night. Your worth is found in Christ alone.
I am so desperate… we are so desperate for Your love. It’s just that so often we don’t even realize that is what we are longing for. Forgive us for the times we have tried to substitute something else. Forgive us for the times we have sought after other things hoping they can fill the need that can only be met in You. You are the only thing that can truly satisfy.
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9 thoughts on “Desperate For Love”
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Great perspective and a powerful way to use this passage!
Many of us look in all the wrong places to fill the God shaped hole within as you have written. We are created in His image and are never complete til He dwells within our very soul! Blessings.
There are some head scratchers in the Bible and this account is one of them. I’d love to understand how someone could marry the wrong woman and not realize it. You’ve offered up the idea that Jacob was tanked and the traditions concealed the brides identity, and that might be the answer. It’d be fun to find some experts on ancient weddings.
I’d double down on the influence that Leah’s father, the “mastermind” as you say had in marrying off Leah. Laban was pulling the strings and as a father in that culture I’d be inclined to say his influence is what mattered. Great stuff to ponder.
I always keep her, Tamar, and Bethsheba all in that category of “Is the right? Is she wrong?” There are legitimate arguments for all three on both sides of that question.
That’s so funny, I’ve been studying the women in the genealogy of Matthew’s Gospel and Tamar is definitely a wild account too. Tamar’s story shows how poorly Judah acted just after selling Joseph into slavery, but then later in Genesis Judah is willing to switch places with Benjamin to make sure Benjamin returns home to his father. God saves and changes people.
My first post of the year was on Matthew’s genealogy.
I’ll have to check it out, thanks!
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