The Big Idea:
This story is yet another picture of how rebellious man can be, but also how much grace our God has. Jacob & Leah both were broken people with disordered worship that needed God’s intervention. They were consumed with things like; money, power, sex, and acceptance yet still couldn’t peace and joy. As we look at this story, think about all of the brokenness in your life, but also think about a good God that desires to make you whole again.
Point 1 - A Broken Man
Jacob has proven to be a selfish & deceptive man (deceiving his family to inherit the birthright). This birthright included money and power. The problem is this money and power Jacob was seeking was only a trap that could never deliver the satisfaction he looked to gain. On top of that, his selfish desires ended up hurting not only himself but his entire family (we sometimes struggle to realize the damage our selfishness brings to those around us). This led to him fleeing his home and finding Laban and his daughters. Jacob’s brokenness continued to display itself in his lust & sexual desire for Rachel. We see sexual desires drive Jacob to do some really insane things (and lead him into some really dangerous situations). Oftentimes we fail to see the danger that sexual sin EVENTUALLY leads to. When lust begins to corrupt God’s design for us, it will always end up controlling us and leading us into a place we don’t want to be just like Jacob (even if we don’t see it in the moment). We have to bring it to the light and be honest about these things or else they slowly bring destruction to your life.
Point 2 - Abraham's Response
Leah’s name meant “weary cow” and she wasn’t the most attractive woman & her sister was clearly more outwardly attractive. Her father even had to trick a man into marrying her so you can imagine what this probably did to her self confidence. This pushed her to pull her eyes away from finding satisfaction in God and looking to other things to validate her life. Things like a man’s love, approval, & children were what she put her faith in. You can see in how she named her children that she thought very low of herself and also what she trusted in.
- Reuben - I’m miserable. Maybe my husband will love me now.
- Simeon - I’m unloved & God felt sorry for me & gave me a child.
- Levi - 3 sons. Maybe now my husband will love me.
Years of her life are spent trying to earn the love of her husband through child bearing, yet she is still left empty, miserable, and unloved. She spent so much time focused on comparison that her life was filled with contempt. Comparison will lead you down a road that leaves you wanting what others have, which ultimately means you will never be satisfied with what God has provided you. Your appearance, children, house, car etc. will never be good enough. Happiness & fulfillment are not found in the things your neighbor has, they are only found and COMPLETELY fulfilled in Christ.
Point 3 - A Good God
Despite Jacob’s sin & brokenness, God never ran from it but ran to Jacob’s sin. We sometimes act like our sin is too big or bad to bring to God but it’s clearly the opposite. Leah was the same case, yet we see God bless both of them & even bless the entire world through their lineage! When God saw that Leah wasn’t loved, “He loved her”. We can never forget that our desires as sinful people lead us away from God, but in his goodness he has created a way for us to come back to him through Christ.
What does it look like today to live a life filled with “comparison”? How have you experienced comparison and what feelings has that created?
How would your view of yourself be different from God’s view of you?
How has God proven his goodness in this story?
If God hadn’t blessed Jacob and Leah in the ways he did, would he still be “good”?
In your heart, would you still see his goodness if he didn’t give you the things you wanted?
Other than God, what are some things you have looked to for fulfillment? How did they deliver/not deliver?