Have you ever known an unloved woman? One who felt her husband didn't love her? Have you ever felt unloved, or forgotten by someone? A friend, a parent, a spouse? No one likes to feel like they are not worth another’s time. How much more this would hurt if you were in a marriage like that. I am thinking specifically of the relationship between Leah, Jacob, and Rachel. Here is one of my all time favorite scriptures. It seems a bit obscure, but you will see why I like it in a minute.
"When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren." Genesis 29:31
Now, I am not rejoicing in Rachel’s barrenness, but what I am rejoicing in is God going to bat for Leah. He gave her honor, when everyone else had dishonored her. I could cry thinking about how loving and compassionate God was to her.
"When the Lord saw... He.."
When he saw her pain HE took action. He did something tangible. Do you wait for the Lord to take action for you? There are no other words more powerful to me in the bible than when God "rises" to rescue his own. This is the same God who can create the universe with a word! That he would be passionate enough about your circumstance to rise to meet the challenge is astonishing.
"Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!" Isa 30:18
The bible says Leah was the undesirable sister. Not even her own father wanted her. He didn't respect her enough to find her a husband in an honorable way. Instead, he passed her off in secret to the first unsuspecting relative he could find. Even her sister was against her.
What do you think life was like for Leah? Her Father didn't want her, her husband didn't want her, and her sister didn't want her. She was told she was undesirable, while her sister was loved and desired by the husband they shared. But God wanted her. God honored her. Listen to how Leah named the first four of her sons. See how she obsessively tries to win her husbands attention, and then watch as she goes from misery in her circumstances to praising God for her blessings.
Reuben : "... Reuben, for she said, 'it is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now'." (Reuben means, "He has seen my misery") Gen 29:32
Simeon: "Because the Lord heard I am not loved, he gave me this one too." so she named him Simeon (Simeon means "one who hears") Gen 29:33
Levi: "Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have born him three sons." so he was named Levi. (Levi means attached) Gen 29:34
Judah: "This time I will praise the Lord." so she named him Judah. (Judah derived from the word praise) Gen 29:35
Notice how her situation didn't change? Leah would have six sons, an honor for any woman of her time. But her husband still didn’t love her. With the first three sons she wallowed in her misery but by the 4th son she began to praise God. She finally saw Gods hand in her circumstances, and that was her true reward. She would feel "loved" through God. Even though her circumstances didn’t change.
When we are unloved, or even just feel unloved, we have a choice. We can say, " woe is me I am so forgotten", or we can begin to praise God in our circumstances, and say “ HE is enough.” Cast your cares on him... even your desire to be loved, because He is even the provider of our love. He lavished it on Leah, the unloved woman, because from her came the tribe of Judah, and as you know from this tribe came our savior, Jesus-oh what a blessing! Rachel had the eye of her husband, but Leah had the eye of God almighty! Praise you, oh Lord that you are not like man! Praise you, oh Lord, that you have your eyes on those who are forgotten or unlovely or hated, praise you that we are loved deeply by you even when those who are supposed to love us don't. Praise you Father that you see us and you say:
"The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord." Psalm 45:11 NIV