As we conclude Genesis chapter 29, Jacob becomes a father, and the family line of Abraham continues to grow and populate the earth just as the Lord commanded. As Jacob's children explode on the scene, another twist, verse 31, states, When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless." During Jacob's marriage to the sisters, he made it clear that he loved Rachel. Thank goodness that God loves us all. In verse 32, "Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, because the Lord has seen my misery, surely my husband will love me now." How heartbreaking it is when the people in our lives that are supposed to love us don't. Oh, what a gracious father we have in the God of love.
Verse 33, "She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son, she said, Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too. So, she named him Simeon." Even when life does not play out exactly as we imagined, dreamed, or even hoped for, we have a Heavenly Father that hears.
Verse 34 "Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, now my husband will become attached to me because I have borne him three sons. So, he was named Levi." This verse is a wake-up call to be cautious of the expectations we attach to our desires. Scriptures tell us that Jacob loves Rachel. It also says that Leah wanted her husband to love her as well. But for Leah, Jacob's feelings did not change. We often attach certain behaviors to our expectations when the reality is we don't have the power to change how a person chooses to see us. It's amazing to serve a God whose nature is pure love. No behavior modification will increase or decrease His love for us. However, understanding and walking in His love will change our behavior.
But the story does not end there. The story ends with the changing power of love. Verse 35, "She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son, she said, this time I will praise the Lord. So, she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children." Lean into this last verse; this verse shows us God's true mercy and grace. He chases after us. So much so that His Son came to die for our sins. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." We long for so many things to fill our hearts. We want to be seen, heard, and belong. And God says just come to me and never long for these things again.
Remember, God loves you, and so do I.