Updated: 1 day ago
Imagine a young woman watching her younger sister’s fiancee’ dote over her for seven long years. Imagine that young woman living her entire life with everyone’s attention on her sister… her charm… her beauty… the unending compliments... boys constantly maneuvering… Imagine always feeling invisible… unseen... and unloved.
Then, on what's supposed to be her wedding night, your father’s attention is finally directed at you... but it turns out to be an expression of his embarrassment and pity as the “old maid,” the “ugly duckling,” the older sister.
Dad’s glorious solution? “I’ll get my son-in-law so drunk at the rehearsal dinner he won’t even notice crawling into bed with the wrong woman!”
Imagine her feelings of guilt warring amid inexplicable intimacy… all the while knowing the truth will inevitably be exposed when he sobers up and sees the woman he slept with isn't who he thought!
Leah spent her entire life seeking value, worth, and identity from a father who was ashamed - or maybe worse - apathetic. Following the consummation of her marriage to Jacob, Leah spent several more years seeking value, worth, and identity from a husband filled with regret for being duped into marrying her because he loved another woman, Leah’s younger sister, Rachel.
Like many women, Leah thought the solution was to have a child. She though maybe a desperately dependant little person… constantly crying… constantly hungry… constantly covered in yuck... constantly needy… maybe the hormonal roller-coaster of carrying, birthing, and nurturing a little person… maybe THAT's the irresistible nectar that’ll cause my husband to finally fall head-over-heels in love with me! She thought, "Maybe that’s the key to filling this gaping void in my heart and life!"
Reuben: Son #1. His name means “The LORD sees!”
Yes, He does, but Jacob didn’t see her, and Leah didn't see God.
Simeon: Son #2. His name means “The LORD hears!”
Yes, He does, but Jacob didn’t hear her, and Leah didn't hear God.
Levi: Son #3. His name means “My husband will attach to me now!”
Jacob didn’t become attached to her, and Leah wasn't attached to God.
Like someone drowning, Leah thrashed and grasped at anything within reach in a desperate attempt to stay afloat. Daddy! Jacob! Children! Work! Something! ANYTHING!!! Then it happened! Leah finally went under...
Something totally unexpected, something amazing, wonderful, and miraculous ensued! Leah never realized she had ALWAYS been drowning in the sea of her heavenly Father’s perfect love.
Surrounded, enveloped, and consumed in the grace and peace of the LORD God Almighty, Leah finally understood her infinite value, eternal worth, and God-ordained IDENTITY couldn't be found or determined by her father Laban… by her husband Jacob... or by her children, but only by God alone.
In that moment of clarity, by God's gift of faith, Leah gave herself over completely to the LORD. Leah became abandon unto Yahweh!
The fruit of that blessing was another son, Judah: Son #4. His name means “He is abandon!” which is what Leah finally did. She abandoned seeking her identity in anything but God Almighty, and became abandon unto her Sovereign Creator and Lord!
Judah wasn’t some tool of manipulation to win the transient love of fickle men. Judah wasn’t the byproduct of a selfish plan or a self-centered scheme to redirect the spotlight onto herself.
Instead, Judah was the result of Leah’s unreserved, complete, and total abandon unto the one true God of Holy Trinity - eternally Father, Son, and Spirit. God blessed Leah with the gift of faith, and the scales of the enemy's lie, which hid the truth her entire life, were finally stripped away!
God’s blessing fell upon Judah and his tribe when, upon his deathbed, Jacob prophetically uttered, “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes and the allegiance of the nations is His.”
Through the tribe of “HE IS ABANDON!” Shiloh, Messiah, the Christ, the universal blessing upon all the peoples, the Serpent Crusher, the ONE ABANDON as God for our redemption will come! The One to Whom all the tribute and authority of the nations/people belongs! King Jesus!
Authentic faith rarely comes in moments of our comfort or contentment. Instead, as in the case of Leah, Rahab, Ruth, Abraham, Moses, and David, it seems to come when all our expectations implode. When all our friends and family fail us. When we’re alone drowning in the sea of God’s love. When nothing's left but a hopeful and desperate cry unto Jesus, “Please LORD! My King! Help me see Your face!”
Jesus went to the cross to show us, to show you, what you’re worth to Him. He died so you could find your identity exclusively in Him. He arose from the grave on the third day so you, like Leah, might abandon a life lived for "me," and abandon unto Him! He's coming back soon to take all those abandon unto Him back to the Father forever!
The epic scene in the attached illustration, titled Leah’s Abandon, is my attempt to capture the moment in Genesis 29:35 when Leah finally realized her value and identity are not defined by anyone or anything but God. The tear on her cheek illustrates that moment of clarity and pure joy when God blesses us with the gift of faith.
Leah's hand is unconsciously outstretched as she realizes she is, has always been, and will always be bathed in God's extravagant love! His glory and goodness spilling forth from the floodgates of heaven - thrown wide open in Christ Jesus!
Maybe today is the day you'll stop seeking worth, identity, and value outside of your Creator and King, Jesus. Maybe today is the day you, like Leah, will ABANDON unto the LORD!
Grace and Peace,