Overcoming Rejection: Leah's Story, pt. 2
As we begin this teaching, let us delve into the life of Leah, by examining the scriptures. 15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what should your wages be?” 16 Now Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah’s eyes were delicate, but Rachel was beautiful of form and appearance.18 Now Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, “I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.”19 And Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.
Leah and Rachel were sisters. Leah was the oldest daughter of Laban and Rachel, the younger. The Bible provides us with a vivid description of both the sisters. Rachel was beautiful but Leah is described as tender-eyed (delicate or soft). While we can only guess exactly what tender-eyed means, we do know that Leah was not beautiful, but her younger sister was.
Jacob met Rachel and fell madly in love with her. He asked Laban for her hand in marriage and agreed to wrok seven years for the woman he loved. Laban agreed so Jacob began the work. Although for many seven years would've seemed like a long time, the Bible states that to Jacob, it seemed like only a few days because he was a man in love. For Jacob, the time passed quickly.
21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in to her.” 22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place and made a feast. 23 Now it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter and brought her to Jacob; and he went in to her. 24 And Laban gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah as a maid. 25 So it came to pass in the morning, that behold, it was Leah. And he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I served you? Why then have you deceived me?”
Jacob loved Rachel and worked for his uncle Laban seven years to marry her. Upon completion of those seven years, Laban deceived Jacob by sending Leah in unto to consummate the marriage instead of Rachel. Since it was nightfall before got the opportunity to be intimate with her, Jacob had no clue that it was not his beloved Rachel whom he was making love to, but Leah. When daylight came and Jacob discovered that it was Leah and not Rachel, he said to Laban "What have you done to me?" Jacob was sorely displeased to be married to Leah because it was Rachel whom he had worked for because he loved her so much.
There is no doubt in my mind that people always preferred Rachel to Leah because of her beauty. While there is no evidence that Rachel walked in pride or arrogance because she was beautiful, the text suggests that there was a sibling rivalry going on. Leah, the oldest had no prospects for marriage. No one offered to work for her seven long years to obtain her hand in marriage. Rachel was loved, but Leah was rejected. Surely she developed low self-esteem because every day she had to hear how beautiful her sister was, but she was not. This is why Laban had to get involved. He was only trying to help Leah out.
If Leah were alive today and could give her testimony, I am certain she would say, "All my life I have struggled with rejection." Leah is like countless other women in the Body of Christ who have been fighting against the spirit of rejection throughout their entire lives. Throughout the ages, women have been comparing themselves to one another only to be lied to by Satan that they were "not good enough." Rejection is Satan's attempt to make us disbelieve what God has said about us. "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." (Psalm 139:14) The Thief uses rejection to steal our self- confidence and our complete trust in the Lord.