I’ve been Rejected!
Interview with Leah from the Bible
Have you been rejected? Have people turn their backs on you? Maybe you were passed over for a job promotion or jilted by someone you thought was the love of your life? Or maybe you're the black sheep of your family—the least favored child. The following interview is based on
Genesis 29-30 and is intended
to encourage those who have a history of being rejected.
The older sister, Leah, was secretly married to Jacob through the schemes of her father, Laban. Her younger sister, Rachel, was the intended bride and the love of Jacob’s life. The wedding ceremony didn’t allow Jacob to see that he was actually marrying Leah instead of Rachel. Jacob worked 14 years for both women. God blessed Leah to have six sons; while Rachel had a longer wait before giving birth to 2 sons. She died after the birth of her second son. Leah was tolerated by Jacob, but never loved like Rachel. She longed for his affections in spite of his rejection.
Leah…you must have had some idea of that changing the marital arrangement would be painful for Jacob and Rachel?
“Jacob worked seven years in order to marry my sister, Rachel. He was so in love with her that it seemed like days. But my father was indifferent to their love seeking his own interests. It was the custom of our day that the oldest daughter should be married before the youngest. I knew it was wrong, but a woman had very little power over her life in those days.”
The morning after when Jacob discovered it was you he married, and not Rachel, how did you deal with his disappointment?
“It was very hard. I was not loved. Jacob was obligated to me as his wife, but his heart remained completely committed to my sister. ”
Did you ever feel that Jacob loved you?
“No, I was known as the weak-eyed sister…the plain Jane compared to my younger sister, Rachel, who was known for her beauty.”
How did you cope with the rejection?
“I turned to God in my distress and He heard my cry. I birthed many children and became a part of God’s covenant with Abraham. My descendants would be innumerable like the stars in the sky.”
What was your relationship with Rachel? It had to be testy.
“Absolutely. She resented the fact that I could have children and I resented the fact that Jacob loved her and not me. At one point she wanted mandrakes from my son, Reuben.”
What was significant about the mandrakes?
“Mandrake is a flower and in our culture it was believed to have magical powers. My sister, Rachel, probably wanted them so she could bear children.”
What did you say to her?
“I said, ‘Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes also?’ So she had Jacob come spend the night with me in exchange for the mandrakes. I gave birth to another son after that night.”
But in spite of your giving birth to sons, it doesn’t seem like Jacob grew any more affectionate with you…even to the point of showing much more favoritism to Rachel’s two sons than to your six sons.
“This is true. His favoritism ran a deep root of resentment in my boys. But I learned to seek the love of God more than the love of Jacob. At the birth of my first son, I was so sure that he would love me more than Rachel. But eventually I accepted honor above love and that God was the true Giver of the best gifts.”
As a daughter you were treated as a pawn by your father, and as a wife you were treated as a burden—what advice would you give to those who know what it is like to be used and rejected?
“God has no favoritism towards His children. Even if you have been rejected by others, God knows how to make even that difficulty work in your favor. He loves each of us completely and unconditionally. Stop pursuing man’s approval and acceptance. Look to your Father in heaven and He will give you everything your heart desires within His will.”
23-32, 30:9-20, 37:3-4; Romans 2:11, 12:2; Ephesians 2:4, 6:9; Colossians 3:25; Galatians 1:10; Psalms 37:4, 136:2
The New King James Version. 1982.
Thomas Nelson. Nashville