Genesis 29-30 finds us in a little bit of a love triangle.
There were two daughters born to Laban. One, Rachel, the most beautiful woman you ever saw. Then there was Leah, the oldest and she was just not pretty. Not ogre ugly or have to live in caves lest anyone be subjected to her hideousness, but she wasn’t Rachel.
One day Jacob comes to visit. Well, it was more like hiding out because he had a little problem with stealing, cheating and lying. Even his own brother was hot on his heels with a pitchfork. Let’s stop there for a second. Jacob, this was the guy that God himself had promised to bless his family by rescuing the world through his lineage. God always sees the final product no matter how we try to mess things up. From this scoundrel was going to (a ways down the road) come a Savior.
Jacob stayed on Uncle Laban’s homefront for a while and worked diligently. One day Laban approached him and said “Jacob, Mighty fine work you are doing around here. I want to pay you for your effort.” He stopped and scratched his beard for moment and then said, “Oh, I know….how about one of my daughters. I’ll give you one of them!”
Jacob looked at Rachel coyly batting her lashes and Leah scuffling her foot in the dirt. And pointed to the fine hottie Rachel. Big surprise there, huh? He even exclaimed he would work an additional 7 years for free to get her as his bride.
Seven years flew by until it was finally the day of his wedding. He went into his tent and even in the dark turned down the covers, plumped up the pillows, settled back and whispered “Come to me, my wife.”
Well, his wife went to him, but Laban had switched Rachel with Leah and that pesky facial veil that wore in those day had Jacob totally fooled. A whole night of wedding bliss, but with the wrong woman. Oops.
As daylight shone some light on the tomfoolery, Jacob was ticked at Uncle Laban. He ranted and raved, but the deal and deed were done. Jacob was bound to Leah.
However, as Uncle Laban scratched his beard again; he said “Well, if you happen to want to work another 7 years I will give you Rachel as well.” I’m sure there were more choice words from Jacob’s mouth, but this being the Bible they were omitted.
7 more years Jacob worked to get Rachel and poor Leah probably cried every night that she wasn’t pretty enough or good enough. She just wasn’t wanted by Jacob and that’s enough to enforce anyone’s low self esteem.
After the 7 years passed, Laban kept his promise and gave Rachel to Jacob in marriage. I’m sure that was an awkward moment in Jacob’s tent with two wives. It was clear very quickly that Jacob adored his Rachel and Leah was just kind of there.
God looked down and saw His child and decided to specifically choose her to be His best. It didn’t matter that she wasn’t the prettiest to man’s eyes; she was made beautiful in the Heavenly Beholder’s eyes. When Leah saw how much her God loved her, it no longer mattered what the others thought about her. She now had a love that was all-consuming, never ending and stronger than anything that could be found here in Earth.
I guess one night, Jacob felt sorry for her and laid with her (those are the Biblical terms for having sex) and she became pregnant. When the baby boy was put in her arms she named him “Judah” which means “This time I will praise the Lord.” And she did constantly.
When God looks at us He sees something so much more beautiful than what our dull human eyes see. He doesn’t see that outer wrapper that says “You aren’t pretty enough, skinny enough, smart enough, dressed well enough…” He sees His child which is “enough” just the way He created them to be.
From Leah’s son eventually through many generations would come the Son of Man; the Prince. The one that would see us in all our ugliness and declare us beautiful and made anew enough that He would die for us. He would look at all of His sons and daughters and ones that weren’t even born yet and as he bore his cross, each painful step in the dirt whispered, “You are enough just as you are. I love you. I will die so that you can always be with me in Eternity.”