Gen. 29:31-35 – “When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, 'It is because the LORD has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.' She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, 'Because the LORD heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.' So she named him Simeon. Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, 'Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.' So he was named Levi. She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, 'This time I will praise the LORD .' So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children” (emphasis added).
- When the Lord saw that Leah was barren, He was quick to intervene on her behalf and comfort her with children – showing His love and favor in that tangible way. However, Leah was so focused on gaining her husband's love that she found it difficult to be thankful for God's love. Finally, after the birth of her fourth son, Leah's eyes shifted to the eternal Prize, and she awarded Judah the name that reflects a level of contentment in her relationship with GOD.
- Jealousy is a sure sign that our eyes have wandered to someone else's prize. And if you'll notice, our eyes work in tandem – where one eye goes, both go. So, if we're gazing longingly at someone else's prize, we can't possibly be gazing longingly at Jesus. Notice that Rachel at least made some mention of God when naming her first son through Bilhah, but by the second son, all pretense of holiness was gone. By then, she acknowledged it as a competition, and her eyes were firmly fixed on the wrong finish line.
- What happened to Leah's contentment in the One, True God? And how can she accredit her maidservant's children to mere FORTUNE? And the second son simply makes her “happy” but doesn't cause her to PRAISE the Giver of Life. My guess is that Leah has become angry with God for allowing her sister Rachel to have children. It was the only advantage she'd had over her, and now she was unloved and unable to bear children of her own. Self-pity has become her focus. Happiness her goal. The first is destructive. The second fickle.
- If Leah's son, Reuben, knew his mother would appreciate the fabled aphrodisiac flowers, the rivalry between Jacob's wives had evidently permeated the whole household. As parents (adults), we train our children's eyes on the prizes we value most – intentionally or unintentionally. Kids watch and learn.
- Is there any better example of God's amazing grace in the Old Testament? Here are two women acting like spoiled children, and yet God listens to their prayers and answers according to their deepest desires. While these two women were at each other's throats and demonstrating destruction to their children, God intervened. He loved. He blessed…in spite of them. And in the end, they praised Him for it.