Neglected or Accepted?

At the end of chapter 29 of Genesis, you find this struggle between two sisters, Rachel and Leah. If you read all of chapter 29, you feel sorry for Leah. Her sister Rachel was more beautiful than her. There was a man named Jacob who was in love with Rachel. He made a deal with her father to work seven years to earn her hand in marriage, but after seven years Jacob was tricked into marrying Leah. He had to work seven more years to get Rachel.

We often read this story and think, "How lucky Rachel must've been to have a man that loved her that much," but what about Leah. She had to spend the rest of her life with a man who would always love someone else more than her. She didn't get to be with a man who loved her above all others. She didn't get much attention before Jacob married Rachel, and she certainly felt the neglect of his love after he married Rachel.

This is where God began to work. He noticed that Leah was hated. So he made Rachel barren and Leah fruitful.  Children were everything to a woman. To be barren was dishonorable. So now Rachel was being neglected, for a time, so that Leah might be loved.

What does this have to do with us today? God loves everyone equally. In His sight, no one is too ugly to be loved by Him, and no one is so beautiful to earn a special privilege from Him. We are all loved by Him. For the one that is neglected by the world, maybe even their family, this story reminds us that we are not neglected by God. God is always there for us. God always hears our cry. God has not forgotten about us. He cares.

Its so easy for us to look at the way the world treats some of us and become depressed, thinking that no one loves us. But God's Word tells us that He loves us all. After all, in John 3:16 He says, "God so loved the world..." He loves us all; every single one of us. So next time you feel alone, remember that God has not abandoned you. Remember that He sees and hears your cry. Trust Him to be enough for you and you will have all that you need.

This passage also has a Word of command to those of us who are well favored. Rachel was well-favored. Jacob probably wasn't the first one to have his eye on her. People liked her. Many of us are well-favored as well. So what does this passage have for us? Ultimately we need to seek to show love to the neglected. We need to break the pattern of the world and step into their lives and love them like God does. God sets the example in that He loved Leah when no one else would. Are you willing to do that? When no one else will step up to love and reach out to the rejected, will you?

Rachel or Leah, accepted or neglected, whichever you are, God loves you and calls you to love others.