Often times, I read the Bible and I am amazed how it reads like a soap opera. Today, I would like to look at the twisted marriage between sister wives, Leah and Rachel to Jacob (the trickster). There are so many lessons we can learn from this story and honestly I have learned and lived several of them the hard way, but today I would like to focus on confidence.
When I first read the history of Jacob, Rachel, and Leah I use to side with Rachel, but for some reason as I read the history this time… my heart broke for Leah because I began to see myself in her.
The Bible’s only description of Leah is “there was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes” some translations say, “dull eyes” or “soft eyes.” Many take this to mean, Leah was not beautiful because the Bible goes on to describe Rachel as having “a beautiful figure and a lovely face.” But as I read this passage God gave me a different revelation of what having “no sparkle” can mean.
When I hear someone referred to as having sparkle in their eyes, I think of someone who is happy, joyous, and confident in whom they are. The eyes are said to be a “window to our soul.” When we are happy are eyes tend to glisten, and when we are sad our eyes can appear dull.
So, I believe Leah was a woman who had no confidence in herself. Why else would she let her father talk her into marrying a man she knew was in love with her sister? She is in continual competition with her sister to win the affection of a man who never loved her to begin with. Thinking, if I give him all these children, then he will surely love me. She even went as far as paying to have sex with HER HUSBAND, with mandrakes.
So that evening, as Jacob was coming home from the fields, Leah went out to meet him. “You must come and sleep with me tonight!” she said. “I have paid for you with some mandrakes that my son found.” So that night he slept with Leah. (Gen 30:16)
So, when I began to image what Leah looked like and wanting to look in her “dull eyes” I was shocked to find the woman I was looking at… was me.
I used to be Leah, a young woman with no sparkle in her eyes. I cannot begin to count the “Ruebens,” “Simeons,” and “Levis” I gave birth to (allowed) into my life, all because I was looking for LOVE.
From my late teens to early twenties, I gave myself all too freely to guys, thinking they cared about me and longing to find a guy who would love me.
I remembering meeting this one guy, who all the girls on campus thought was so fine. I was so excited when he took notice of me and ask me for my number. YES! He was my “Gad”… How fortunate I am! Yes, I will be the envy of all the girls on campus because I am dating him. Well, I was never a girlfriend…just a late night phone call. And I kept thinking surely he will fall in love with me, if I keep answering his call and going over to his room. But, love me and take me out he never did.
Somewhere in the midst of this came, “Dan,” the one I had a crush on since I was a young girl, but he was older than me. I was on cloud nine when he started pursuing me, finally a man who loved me and I loved him… he bought me flowers, gifts, everything I wanted… I finally felt vindicated BUT there was a problem… He was living with another woman, but at the time, I did not care because he made me feel so special. (I am ashame to admit this and debated several times about deleting it. But, I have to BE REAL… Shame and guilt no longer have a hold on me. I thank God I am no longer that person).
Hmmmm….Sounds like Leah and I had something else in common…Falling for men who are not capable either emotionally, mentally, and/or physically to love someone.
Then along came “Asher, What joy is mine!” He was the one I married. The one I thought loved me more than anything or anyone…because…well… he told me so. And I loved him and gave him my all; I put him on a pedestal. In my eyes, he could do no wrong. Until one day, my world was shattered… I found out the man I loved and I thought loved me more than anything in the world… Was cheating on me.
That is when I gave birth to “Judah.” Out of my pain, I stopped running from God and started running to Him, well actually I went crawling to Him like the “woman with the issue of blood.” (Mark 5:25-29). I started praising God and I stopped looking for man to give me what only God could.
My eyes were opened and for the first time, I knew what true Agape love felt like. God began to show me that I was worth so much more and I had to stop selling myself short. He put a “sparkle” in my eye and a joy in my heart, which NO earthly man can compare to or take away. I know my value and I know my worth in Him. I finally found a “Man” that loved me so much, He gave His life for me. And the best part of it all…it is freely given to me.
Oh, if our dear sweet sister Leah, had only realized her worth. She would have known she did not have to compete with her sister or marry a man who did not love her. She would have known she did not have to pay to have sex with her husband, the man she was in covenant relationship with; sex was part of the covenant. Just as, when we come into covenant relationship with Christ Jesus, we don’t have to do anything to earn His love.
Maybe, your struggle is not the same as mine, looking to men or relationships for fulfillment and love. Out of your lack of confidence or need for validation, have you given birth to “Naphtali”… competition and comparison.
What position or material things to you look to other than God to feel confident?
“Where is your sparkle?”
Is your sparkle in getting the next big promotion, while neglecting your family?
Is your sparkle in having the biggest house, the nicest car, etc.? (There is nothing wrong with wanting these things, as long as it is for the right reason).
Does seeing some one else get the material possessions you long for; make you lose your sparkle?
Do you lose your sparkle by stop doing something you love and know God has called you to do, because you start to compare yourself to someone else doing the same thing? (Yep, I am recently guilty of this one).
It is so important to hold on to your confidence; the Bible says “Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.” (Hebrews 10:35). Wow! Did you catch that? Your confidence has a great reward.
I believe and have learned, when I am confident, I will not settle for less than Gods best for me.
When I am confident, I am operating in my gift, without comparing myself to others, and that brings glory to God.
When I am confident, I will not look for fulfillment in other things, because I am secure in the love of God.
When I am confident, I will not allow people to use me and feel I have to earn their love and attention.
When I am confident, it puts a SPARKLE in my eyes, which no man can take away because I know I am the apple of HIS eye.
Father God, thank you for loving me even when I did not love myself. Thank you for your Love that you give so freely. Lord, I pray that I will continue to find my confidence in You and not in people or material possession. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
© 2015 MzJarmon. All rights reserved.