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Leah: The Other Sister – Genesis Devotional

“My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
New International Version” (Psalm 139:15-16, NIV). 

Do you ever feel small or insignificant?   Think about your place in the universe.  Even if you consider just the seven billion people who are alive right now, and not all the others who have come before you, all the others who will come after you, you might start to feel insignificant.  Yet, God knows you.  He knows you.  Has always known you, right from your beginnings.  Your days are known to Him, even before they are to you.

The Bible is full of shadowy figures, people whose stories come into sharp focus, then fade away, people who seem to be just background to the important characters.  For a long time, that is the way I read the story of Leah.  Leah – Jacobs other wife.  Not the one he wanted, the one who was beloved, Leah was the other one, the wife he was tricked into marrying, her most defining characteristic seems to be that she wasn’t Rachel.

What would that be like?  To know you weren’t chosen.  To know you could only ever be second best?  Leah’s life can’t have been an easy one, but it is one that we can identify with, on those days when we think we aren’t enough – whether we mean smart enough, pretty enough, rich enough or something else.

Despite being the wife who produced many sons, she still wasn’t her husband’s favorite wife.  The two sons her sister Rachel did have, were their fathers favorites.  There must have been such bitter feeling between those two sisters, as they competed for Jacob’s affections.  And Leah could never win.

But God had a plan for Leah, just like he has a plan for you.  God promised Jacob that he would be the father of many nations, and that promise had to include his wives.  God also said that kings would come from Jacob’s body (Genesis 35:11).

Jacob had twelve sons, the twelve tribes of Israel, and it is from the tribe of Judah that the kings of Israel came.  From the tribe of Judah, that Jesus, our Savior and King came.  Judah – who was not the son of his fathers favorite wife.  Judah – Leah’s son.  It is Leah whose son appears in the genealogy of the Christ.  And God knew.  All those years when Leah must have felt so unloved, so bereft, so forgotten, God knew.

Prayer:  Lord God, I thank you that your knowledge of me is so complete, you knew me, even as I was being formed.  Help me trust you and honor you in everything.  Amen.

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