Loving the Unloved

She was unloved, yet she longed for the attention, the affection, the favor of one.

Has your focus ever been on securing the attention, affection, or favor of one particular person (i.e., a spouse, a future spouse, a boss, a friend)?
Wherever the LORD is taking your thoughts right now, sit quietly there. Is He beckoning for your attention? If so, do you hear the desire in His voice…the desire He has for you; the desire to show you His love and for you to receive it; the desire for you, His child, to love Him above all else?

I’ve embarked on a new, little routine. One of my favorite authors, Kelly Minter, started a podcast. Each episode is a good half hour long and digs deep into different portions of Scripture. I love this kind of thing, but 30 minutes of quiet can be tough to achieve amidst already needing quiet time to write different posts as well as the Bible study the LORD and I are working on and carving out time for my family. However, an idea popped into my head; I started using the time when I put make-up on, do my hair, etc., to listen to an episode of her podcast. These times aren’t super often these days; my “dolled up” days are declining, but God still uses when I have them to speak while I’m getting ready, as He faithfully has.

I recently listened to Episode 4: When People Aren’t Enough. This podcast took a deep look at the familiar story in Genesis of Rachel and Leah. It uncovered their desires and where their focus was. After listening to this episode, I dug further into portions of this text. Here are some additional things the LORD revealed, that I found interesting.

  • Leah’s name comes from a Hebrew word, laah (law-aw’), that means “be weary or impatient, to tire; to be (or make) disgusted; grieve, make weary selves.” Yikes!

“Now the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was unable to have children.”

Genesis 29:31 NASB
  • In Genesis 29:31, the word “unloved,” adopted by many translations, actually, means “to hate” in Hebrew. You can see why she would grieve, right?!? Jacob didn’t just “not like” Leah; he hated her!! He found her repulsive, according to the meaning of the word. In fact, the word lends itself to an enemy kind of feel or an opponent of Rachel, in Jacob’s mind. Leah wanted desperately to be loved by Jacob, so we can imagine that she tired herself out, thinking about how he hated her, how having his child would make him love her…
  • God saw this! One of His names is El Roi, which means the God Who Sees Me (Genesis 16:13)! God is true to His character, so I can assure you; whatever you’re going through, God sees you! He sees your pain and your suffering.
  • Not only did God see Leah, but He heard her cries (Genesis 29:33), whether they were heart cries or verbal. This is why she named her second son Simeon, which comes from a Hebrew word, meaning “to hear.” He was paying attention to Leah. He hadn’t forgotten her! I don’t know what you or someone you know is going through right now, but know this: God is paying attention to you and hears you, whether it looks, to you, like He’s acting on your behalf or not!
  • Leah wasn’t just loved less than Rachel (Genesis 29:30); in the Hebrew text, we see she was compared to her. Jacob was doing it, and Leah and Rachel both were taking part in it. The comparison game is a trap I’ve fought for a long time. It’s easy to fall prey to it, if I’m not intentional on maintaining where my focus should be.
  • Leah’s third son was named Levi, meaning “to join.” Isn’t it neat to think of the meaning of this name/tribe from which men were chosen to serve the LORD as priests, to intervene between individuals of the nation of Israel and God in order to reconcile their relationship?

Here are a couple things I loved, that Kelly brought out in her podcast about Leah, in particular.

  • Leah wanted Jacob’s love, yet God was loving her. God had a plan for her, though she didn’t see it.
  • Leah’s fourth son was named Judah, which means “praise.” Her reaction to this son was, “Now, I will praise the LORD” (Genesis 29:35). We all should praise the LORD for how He worked through Leah and the gift of this son, Judah; it was through this lineage (His earthly father, Joseph’s line) that Jesus came!

Take some time to marinate in any of these truths that the LORD is making stand out to you, even if it’s just engaging with His Word on your heart throughout the day. If you have extra quiet time and want to take in this episode of Kelly’s podcast, click on the link below. Come back, afterward, and let me know what you think!


If you have a Leah in your life, would you encourage them by sharing this post with them?

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

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