When our petite, teeny Oriental bundle of joy arrived on the scene many years ago, her daddy’s heart immediately exploded with deep joy and unbridled love. From the moment he set his eyes on her, he would forever be her hero; she could always be confident in her daddy’s enduring affection and unwavering acceptance. And through the bond of that strong father-daughter relationship, the foundation would be set for all of her future relationships. Her emotional stability and self-worth would be rooted in the unconditional love of her daddy. When he walked his angel down the aisle to give her hand in marriage, a bit of his heart went with her. But unfortunately, not all daughters experience that type of supportive love. Let’s spend a few moments with Leah, or Zahava, weary and grieved, and we will see that sometimes the greatest hurts we experience are the piercing arrows from those closest to us.
In an attempt to escape the raging wrath of his brother Esau, Jacob traveled from Canaan to dwell with his Uncle Laban, allowing Esau some well-needed cool-off time. When Jacob arrived at Haran, he met Rachel, Laban’s lovely youngest daughter. Immediately he was hopelessly smitten, head over heels in love, willing to labor 7 years for her hand in marriage, “and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had for her.” Rachel was “beautiful and well-favored,” in contrast to her weak-eyed older sister, Leah. Leah was obviously not beautiful in her father’s eyes either, for Laban’s opinion of his daughter was so low that he pawned her off by tricking Jacob into marrying her; how else could this unattractive woman ever find a mate based on her own merits. When made aware of the deception, Jacob exploded in anger, “What is this thou hast done to me?” Jacob hated Leah, this “tender-eyed” woman who was forced upon him.
Imagine for a moment the humiliation, self-loathing, and sense of unfairness enveloping her lonely life; place yourself in her shoes and share her emotions. She is married to a man who hates her, and has been given away by a father who views her as property. But “when the LORD saw that Leah was hated,” he blessed her with sons: Reuben, (Look, a son), “Now my husband will love me;” Simeon, (one who hears), “Because the LORD hath heard that I was hated;” Levi, (Being attached), “Now…will my husband be joined unto me.” Leah was on the endless treadmill of seeking acceptance, trying to find the sense of self-worth she sadly lacked. But then she finally shifts her focus from herself to the One Who always accepts us, loves us unconditionally, for she names her fourth son Judah, or PRAISE, “Now will I praise the LORD.” She had traveled from Reuben, look, to Judah, praise, and found her place in the Messianic line.
Some hurts are so deep that they must be buried in praise, praise for the One Who does not see us as ugly or unfavorable, but redeemable, usable, worth the death of His Son. Our self-worth and acceptance is rooted in the unfathomable and unshakable love of our Father, and in the knowledge of the high price that was paid to secure our salvation. Leah finally found the escape hatch for her low self- image, and it was praise. And that small bundle of praise would be Judah, the forefather of the Christ child Who would ultimately sacrifice His life for her.
Genesis 29:35 And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah…”
Lord, help my life to be engulfed in praise, for only through You do I find my purpose in life. Thank You for loving us unconditionally in spite of our lost condition.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1876-6393dc28a3ce4' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1876&origin=wp.blog.blog.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1876-6393dc28a3ce4' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1876-6393dc28a3ce4' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>