Summary: An examination of Leah
When you talk about marriage, you go back to the very beginning where it all started in the book of Genesis.
In Genesis chapter two we read. “The Lord said, it is not good for the the man to be alone.
I will make a helper suitable for him.” (V. 18)
Once that is done we are told in verse 24 that for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh.
You remember the story.
Adam was alone and God said that it was not good.
To make Adam fully conscious of this, there was the complete parade of the animal world that passed in front of him.
It was a vivid picture that there was no counterpart found for him.
Adam needed someone to share his life with.
He was created to be in relationship with others, not alone.
So God created Eve and suddenly all the pieces were in place for a magnificent marriage.
With that said, you would expect that they lived happily ever after.
A flawless beginning in an ideal situation.
They were created in the image of God and were placed in a garden where they had challenging work without fatigue or stress.
What could possibly go wrong?
You know, of course, what happened next.
It had to do with a piece of fruit, a command from God and a choice.
Out of that choice flowed alienation.
Alienation from God, from nature, which now would exhaust them and eventually absorb them.
And please do not miss the alienation from one another
as blame replaced trust and hierarchy replaced equality.
They were now flawed people living in a fallen world.
Death had invaded their world.
Coming to grips with the fact that we are fallen people living in a fallen world is tough business.
We don’t want to give up on our dreams and acknowledge that sin has also affected our relationships. BUT IT HAS!
Within just six generations from Adam and Eve, the perfect relationship between one man and one woman, came the rise of polygamy.
In Genesis 4:19 we learn that Lamech married two women, Adah and Zillah.
The oneness that was not only physical, but also mental, emotional, and spiritual is no longer possible for a man who acquires wives like he acquires sheep and cattle. God’s design in the marriage is for the two to become one.
By the time we get to Genesis chapter 29 we are introduced to co-rival wives locked in a polygamous relationship.
Rachel, the younger one, is the apple of her husbands eye.
Leah, we are told was unloved.
How do you live with a man who doesn’t love you?
Leah can help us evaluate our relationships more realistically.
In fact, there is a three step process at work as she copes without the love of her husband.
STEP ONE: DECEPTION (Genesis 29:16-30)
We first meet Leah as a pawn in someone else’s deception.
Jacob had cheated his brother, Esau out of his birthright and fled back to Paddan Aram, the land of his ancestors.
He came to the household of his uncle Laban, his mothers brother.
Laban invited him to stay with him and work for him.
The two men discussed the wages Laban would pay Jacob.
And in the course of their negotiations Jacob agreed to work seven years for the hand of Rachel.
After working seven years he fully expected to receive the hand of Rachel in marriage.
But as you see, Laban tricked him and he ended up with the older daughter, Leah.
Your first sympathy probably goes out to Jacob.
After all, a bargain is a bargain.
He bargained for Rachel, not Leah.
His crafty uncle had pulled a fast one and stuck him with Leah.
But don’t forget, Jacob had been pretty crafty himself.
First he deceived his brother Esau and then his father Isaac.
So he wasn’t exactly without blame in this story.
But we do feel sorry for Jacob.
He went through seven years of hard labor and all the traditional ceremonies to celebrate his wedding to Rachel.
He waited in the darkened tent for his bride to be delivered to him, and he assumed she was Rachel.
I know this sounds strange, but it is the way weddings took place back in those days.
What a shock to awake the next morning and find that plain-vanilla Leah had been substituted for the gorgeous Rachel.
It is easy to get caught up feeling sorry for Jacob.
But can you imagine what it must have been like to have been Leah that next morning.
If Leah had ever hoped for Jacob’s love and dared to think she could compete with her beautiful sister, all illusions were dashed when Jacob hit the tent roof in the morning.