Don’t you think it’s strange that the line of Jesus doesn’t go through Joseph? Maybe you haven’t given that much thought, but you have to admit that on the surface it makes more sense for Jesus to come through loved and favored Rachel and favored Joseph than unloved and forgotten Leah and her trouble making kids.
Rachel was beautiful but Leah’s eyes were “weak” (Gen. 29:17). Jacob loved Rachel but he got tricked into marrying Leah. Go ahead and try to imagine Leah’s pain the next morning when she see’s the utter shock, disbelief and disapproval in her husband’s eyes! Jacob would remain married to Leah for 7 years while he eagerly toiled away for the right to marry the woman he loved, Rachel. So, even during those 7 years when Jacob was only married to Leah, his efforts, energy and imagination were being given to get Rachel.
What does that do to their bond as sisters? The text doesn’t tell us, but it had to be difficult.
What does that do to Leah’s soul?
Then, after Jacob married Rachel, Leah was a total third wheel. They all would have lived in the same house, but Jacob and Rachel’s love for each other would leave Leah out. Again and again, she would be reminded that she is unloved and unwanted. Every day, Leah was faced with rejection, pain and a lack of love. You can see her pain and her longing for acceptance in the names that she gave her children:
Reuben – “And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said, “Because the LORD has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me” (Gen. 29:32).
Simeon – “She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the LORD has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also.” And she called his name Simeon” (Gen. 29:33).
Levi – “Again she conceived and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will be attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi (Gen. 29:34).
Judah – “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” (Gen. 29:35).
There is some kind of seismic shift in her heart between Levi and Judah. Somehow, she either found acceptance in Judah, or, more likely she finally found the answer to her pain through the only one that can heal such wounds – acceptance through God and His love.
So, God’s plan for His Messiah would not come through favored and loved Rachel, but through unloved and unwanted Leah. And, if you think about it, that makes perfect sense. God came for the unloved. Jesus said,
““Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matt. 9:12-13).
Like Leah, we have to figure out that our significance comes not through man’s acceptance, but through acceptance by God, through Jesus .
Like Leah, we need to take our pain of rejection to Him, because He cares for us. Peter says, “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 1:7).
“Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22)