We are in a series called God Moments. It is a God-moment when you fall in love. I had my first crush in first grade! A crush is fast, but love grows over time. When I met Tammy, it was different. She was easy to talk to. We had a deep connection and share the same calling. She was my best friend. I was at ease with her and wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. Love grew over time.
Jacob and Rachel are one of the few Old Testament couples who married for love. Their parents and grandparents all had arranged marriages. God’s plan is different for each of us. We see in Genesis 29:9-12, for Jacob, it was love at first sight! He tried to impress her and did not waste any time. In verse 17, we learn that Rachel was “beautiful in form.” “Form” literally means she had a great figure. Jacob was willing to work for Rachel. It took him seven years to buy an engagement ring! Love takes the burden out of work.
In verses 21-26, we see that Jacob served his seven years and he was ready to get married! But, he was tricked. The Bible shows us the joys and disappointments of life. Laban gave his older daughter Leah to Jacob instead of Rachel. Remember what Jacob did to Esau? He stole his blessing. His name means deceiver. He pretended to be Esau before Isaac who was blind. Then, blinded by the darkness and no night light, Jacob himself was deceived. What goes around comes around! It was a honeymoon to remember. He married the wrong person! In one sense everyone marries the wrong person. Are you married to the perfect person? No. We are all married to sinful humans. Intimacy is in-to-me-you-see! The problem is we are all into ourselves! Selfishness kills relationships. We have to enter the other person’s world and think about their favorite restaurant, food, or places to go. Prefer the other person. Esteem them better than yourself.
Jacob worked seven more years and then married Rachel. While Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah (v. 30), “the Lord saw that Leah was unloved.” He allowed her to have children, but Rachel was barren (v. 31). What can bring you the most pleasure can also bring you the most pain. Relationships are complicated. Relationships are like heavenly sandpaper; they knock the rough edges off and make us better. Jacob could see only Rachel. Leah did not exist to him. We have all been there and lived through rejection. Whether your boyfriend or girlfriend dumped you, or your mate divorced you, you are married but feel unloved, or you grew up with an absentee dad or mom, here is God’s word to you today: The Lord sees! The Lord sees the lonely. God sees when you are not invited or are excluded. God selects what man rejects. Jacob chose Rachel but God chose Leah. He enabled her to do something her sister could not do. He is the God of the widows, orphans, and poor. All of us deal with rejection. Rejection is God’s protection. The Bible says regardless of who does or does not choose you on this earth we were chosen in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world.
Children are a gift from God. There is nothing wrong with having children but the question is why are you having children? Leah was trying to get her husband to love her (v. 32). Leah, like a lot of people, thought one more kid (fill in the blank for you: relationship, person, high, drink, dollar, etc.) would make her happy and fill the void. The best news is that Leah stopped (v. 35). She stopped having children to try to achieve the approval of her husband. She stopped and accepted God’s love. She stopped trying to earn the love of God. She found her joy in Jesus and no longer allowed her circumstances to determine her praise. Our joy and praise are not based on how many relationships or children we have, how much money we have, or how many cars or houses we have. Our joy is Jesus! The last son Leah had when she did this was Judah. It is through Judah’s line that Jesus was born!
Don’t throw away your marriage because in the morning it was Leah. Jacob and Leah got off to a shaky start but built a marriage, a family, a life, and nation together! Bad beginnings can be overcome. Don’t fall out of love. Fall in love after you’re married. It takes lots of forgiveness and prayer. Also, don’t put unrealistic expectations on people. No one can fill you or define you but Jesus. He sees you!