Thursday, August 2nd, 2018
“31 When the Lord saw that Leah was [a]unloved, He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren…35 Then she stopped bearing.” Gen 29:31-35
God’s elect who are unlovable in a physical sense are blessed by God. The passage above in Genesis says, “When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb but Rachel was barren.” God allowed Leah to have four sons by Jacob. She named her first son Reuben, the second son Simeon, third son Levi and the fourth Judah. Its is written that Leah was recognized and loved by her husband only after she gave birth to four sons. What does this mean? This means that God saw that Leah was not favoured, He opened her womb up so that she could be loved by her husband.
The phrase “she was unloved” means she wasn’t lovable because she was not attractive physically compared to Jacob’s second wife Rachel. Leah did not have anything attractive in the physical sense. I believe God is teaching us a valuable lesson through this story. We learn that the more humanly unattractive we are to the world, the more spiritual blessings God gives us. Likewise, the more loving and admirable we are to this world, the less spiritual blessings we may receive from God. Listed below are several aspects seen in the life of Leah :
Rachel was much loved by her husband in a physical sense. Leah wasn’t loved by her husband. However, God opened Leah’s womb and allowed her to have Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah. God blessed Leah’s anointed life with spiritual blessings. He blessed her with Reuben meaning “behold a son” God saw her plight, Simeon meaning “He has heard” God heard her cry, Levi meaning “joining” God united with her, Judah meaning “praising” glorifying God all the days of her life. Her sons’ names have special meanings to teach us on how God demonstrated His unconditional love to those unloved who seek God because of their sense of lack in the physical form and appearance.
Whoever wants to be God’s elect like Leah should give up human attractiveness and seek God’s blessings. We cannot follow God unless we live a sacrificial life, give up our physical possessions, abilities and looks as our source of security. What does this mean? It means that we should give up our human beauty to become God’s elect. I am not saying we should destroy whatever worthwhile aspects we already have but we should discard the desire to be acknowledged and praised by people and place our hope in God.
This unlovable Leah gave birth to healthy children. What is the most troublesome and challenging aspect for us as God’s elect in following God’s Righteousness? It is our desire to become favoured and acknowledged by others. God wants us to discard such carnal desires. When we the born again righteous do not place our hope in God but in the world, we will never produce any spiritual children. Those who are loved and praised by people do not bear spiritual children. What am I trying to convey here is that those who do not seek to be lovely and to be acknowledged by others but put their hearts before God will bear many spiritual children and live a fruitful life as Leah.
God’s elect should not expect human love. We have received the remission of sins and become born again with the indwelling Holy Spirit. What do we still desire in our hearts? Don’t we want to have something lovable and praiseworthy before others? Most people have desires to have favour in their flesh. We are living in a time of individuality and self preservation. People are trying all kinds of things to be attractive and impressive. Even those who have become born again have these inner desires to have such favours bestowed upon them. In other words, they want to be recognized and loved by other people. If we really want to be loved by God, we should give up seeking after such human adoration and prominence. Since Leah did not receive any favours from any human perspective, she could fear God, become united with Him as a woman of faith and live a purposeful life.
Jesus wasn’t in the people’s favour list just like Leah. When we become God’s elect, we should give up our own righteousness. When the Lord came to this earth, there was no beauty in Him that we should desire Him. Isa 53:2 This is why only a few people followed Him. He was admired only by those few who knew Jesus to be the Son of God and Saviour of sinners. He was hated and despised by the rest. We should be devoid of what people think as adorable. I don’t mean we should get rid of our attractiveness on purpose but we must live the righteous life and give up anything that we can boast about – for example our own righteousness, our own loveliness and our own abilities.
It does not matter if we lack any personal attractiveness or any special abilities. We are good as long as our hearts are set towards God and we rejoice and take pride in Him. Therefore, we should not be so concerned with our external advantages or appearances.
We should show our true selves and come to God just as we are. Only then we will be able not to rely on our personal attachments anymore but rely only on God.
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