Can you imagine being the plain sister? The sister that doesn't catch the eye of others? The older sister who feels overlooked? That is how Leah felt. She is the daughter of Laban, sister of Rachel. Rachel who is captivating. Younger and the girl everyone wants to have their own. Can you imagine the jealousy? I think these two sisters have quite a struggle to say the least and now out of no where, here comes a young, handsome man into town, Jacob.
See this picture? Here is Jacob, the man who just catches your eye. The Brad Pitt of town. Here he is, walking into town and who do you think he has his eye on? Wouldn't you know it. Rachel. She is there to greet him, smiling away.
This makes me think of Leah now. The sister back home. The one left at the house. Can you see her face as they come walking home? I imagine Leah as looking out the window (As if they had windows. Just go with me here.Lol) and saying, "Are you kidding me? Really?"
Jacob falls for Rachel and wants to marry her. Her father tells Jacob,"Sure, you can marry her, but you must work for me for seven years first." Well, Jacob is so in love he goes for it. Jumps on this idea. Being in love makes time go by faster, right?
Now, it's wedding night and Jacob is expecting Rachel to come in. But as the morning light shines in, it is not Rachel he sees, but Leah! Needless to say, Jacob did not take this well. He was down right ready for a fight. He goes to Laban and Laban tells him he must marry the older daughter first. If he still wants Rachel he must work another seven years! Now, some might be focused on poor, poor Jacob, but I am seeing Leah here. Can you imagine the pain she is feeling about now? She is in love head over heals with this man and he wants nothing to do with her, but insists on having her sister and will work another seven years just to have her! Yikes, talk about a love triangle made for the movies.
I imagine Leah has spend a many days now in tears trying to figure all this out and asking herself, "What is wrong with me? Why won't anyone just love me? Why does it always have to be Rachel?" This is becoming an intense rivalry between sisters. I am sure there is no love loss between them at this point as they battle it out for Jacob's attention.
Well, now the tables are turned a bit. Jacob has now worked his seven years to acquire Rachel and Rachel just cannot have his child, while Leah on the other hand just keeps popping those sons out for him to enjoy. Rachel is furious with Jacob, just almost blaming him. But he quickly shouts back that he is not God. He cannot change this. So Rachel now gets her maid, Bilhah. Wouldn't you want to be her about right now? Sheeh! She tells Bilhah to be with Jacob and sure enough, she is pregnant with a son and then another and another. Rachel now feels vindicated. She is now feeling worthy.
Imagine this. Could Rachel have felt insecure in her beauty this whole time? Was she the sister admiring Leah? Things are not always as they seem.
So time carries on and Rachel, Leah and their maids give Jacob many sons and a daughter. Rachel finally gives birth herself and has Joseph and then Benjamin. This has become one large family. Talk about his, hers, mine and yours? I thought it was hard to keep up with five!
There is much throughout this story taking place between Laban and Jacob. There is anger, and misunderstanding, but there is peace to follow.
I gathered this story from Genesis chapters 29-35. This story is fascinating to me. When we really take the time to read and take each person and picture the circumstances we get a better glimpse of what is going on, and for me, I can see the Lord teaching us through these two sisters. I don't think we just have to be blood sisters to have jealousy and battles. It happens to us daily as we look to others and envy what they have and what we are lacking. It is one of those things women battle as a whole.
In this story it is Leah who just leaps off the pages for me, as well as Rachel. I don't think Rachel has it all together either. The Lord shows us much about sisters, family and struggles here. This is many of our lives on paper.
Jealousy, competition, acceptance, value. These two sisters shared all these experiences. Sometimes the shoe was on the other foot and at times it didn't fit as well as the other thought it would. We can take away much from the names of their children. As Leah named her son Reuben, we can see the meaning is, "He has seen my misery." His birth gave Leah hope for Jacobs love and consolation for her suffering.
There is Simeon, which means, "He who hears." She was feeling the Lord was finally hearing her cries. Levi comes along, which means, "Being attached." Leah was hoping her husband would become attached to her.
When Rachel finally has a child through her maid she names him Dan. Meaning, "He judged." Rachel was now vindicated and felt worthy. Naphtali came along, which means, "My struggle." The lives of these woman were not easy. There were times they were at war, but others they struggled within. Not at all different from today. Are we any different? Trying to find ourselves in a man and this world? Feeling as though we are not good enough? Asking ourselves what is wrong with us? May we learn from these women. May we know we are beautiful. We are loved. We are accepted. We can find our worthiness in the Savior who gave all for us. May we rise above our circumstances and not be defined by them. May we be the women God has called us to be instead of trying to be another. May we not look to this world or those in it to bring us love and acceptance. We will always fall short of finding it. But may we understand with all our hearts we are made perfect and complete in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!
About the Author: Robin Prater is the author of Robin's Nest, her current blog http://robinsnest66.blogspot.com. She is currently writing book reviews for Tyndale, Multnomah Waterbrook Press, Bethany House,Thomas Nelson, Abingdon Press and Revell. She is an aspiring author of her own novel, but her passion is showing others who Jesus Christ is through her own life, struggles and all. Robin resides in Missouri where she lives with her husband Steve, and her son Jacob in the country where she feels at home. She is the mother of three, step mother of two and a first time grandmother. You can also reach Robin on www.facebook.com and you may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org