Thursday, March 3, 2016

Desperate Housewife #1 - Leah, conclusion

Were you touched by the story of Leah, and the emotion she revealed as she bore her sons and named them? I sure was. In fact, that's what I'd like to discuss today.

Leah's desperation was her longing for the love of her husband. She longed for it so strongly that it began to take over her life; it became an idol to her. Let me explain . . .

Leah was putting her hope into something that was going to give her a sense of being loved -- of being valuable. It was something that was going to pick her up out of her desperation and misery, and give her life meaning and joy. We all feel pity for Leah, no? She is thinking, if I only have a child, if I have children -- Oh, if I have sons for Jacob, then I will be loved. My life will be changed.

So, she began to build her life on her son and her children. She began to hold this desperate hope in such reverence that it became an idol for her; it was THE most important thing in her life. Many people do this today, and the results can be disastrous. Men may think that all will be well if they marry this beautiful woman, and have cute kids with her. Men and women both dream of the idyllic marriage they will have, and they both put all their hopes in it. Women especially can fall prey to building their lives on their spouse, or building their hopes and dreams on their children.

We know what happens. We've seen it in the lives of those we know, or perhaps we've experienced it in our own families.
There's a huge amount of pressure on that spouse. There are unrealistic expectations on those kids. And they are human beings -- they are going to make mistakes -- and then the disappointment and heartache sets in.

If we look at these verses, we will see a change take place in Leah. When she has a child, she is saying, "Now my husband will love me." And again when the next child is born, "Now Jacob will love me." The third child -- "Now my husband will love me."

When she gives birth to Judah, she says, "This time I will praise the Lord."
What a change! What has happened here?
I believe that she stopped looking at her husband; she stopped building her life on her children; nothing else was as important to her as praising the Lord, Yahweh.
Right then, the abuse and manipulation of her dad, the neglect that she had experienced from Jacob, all that fell to the ground. Leah got her life back!

And who was this fourth son? Judah. God is saying to Leah, you will be in the heritage of Jesus. You are a part of my plan, Leah, even though people have not valued you as I do.
God reached down and helped her when she turned from idolizing her family to praising Him. He made her a spot in the line of the gospel. Because she now understood Yahweh and His grace, God showed His love for her. He is attracted to the weak, to those whom others do not value, and He shows them (and the world) His heavenly plan through them.

You know, we might look like Leah. But to God, when He sees us, we look like Rachel. He loves the unlovely, and He cares for those who are neglected and unloved. To Him, we look like the gorgeous wife, and He loves us in spite of our sins and our shortcomings.

Wait a minute! That's not the end of the story . . . Leah still did some foolish things! She engaged in jealous behavior, competing with Rachel. They both gave him their maid-servants to sleep with, to continue having children. She was no saint, right?

But isn't she a wonderful example to us? We aren't saints, either. And even though we accept Christ, and nurture our relationship with Him, we fall off the wagon sometimes. We trip. We fall. We sin. But in spite of our shortcomings, God can use us!

Listen to Paul as he talks to the Corinthians:
            Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord. (I Corinthians 1:26-31) 

Are we desperate in our lives today? Jesus stands ready, looking at us with eyes of love. He says to us, I died to redeem you to Myself. I love you, and you have no need of other desires. Let go of your idolatry and praise Me, and your life will change entirely!

We'll study the "other side of the coin," Rachel, next week.

1 comment:

Katie Isabella said...

THIS is superb. It is.