In the Word, there are many men and women who broke the expectations of those around them by following God’s will. Leah, the first wife of Jacob, a woman unloved but highly blessed of God, is one such expectation breaker. Join us below as we discover how God took her from being unwanted, to be the mother to the most blessed of the twelve tribes! Discover how you can become an expectation breaker!
Leah, Highly Favored of God:
From the very moment she received her name, certain expectations became her identity, for the name, Leah, in the Word means “weary,” “languid,” or even, “weak-eyed.” Those around her did not think her beautiful, particularly when compared to her younger and more attractive sister Rachel.
Her father would use Leah as a pawn, her earthly husband would not love her, and no one expected great things of her… none except, God. God knew what man had named her. He saw man’s expectations of her, and yet, it was because of these very things that God chose to work through her.
So, what is the story of Leah?
Well, Leah was the eldest daughter of Laban—brother of Jacob’s mother. We do not have any information on Leah’s childhood, for the first time we meet her is after Jacob has come into Laban’s house to speak with Laban concerning his wages.
It is here we see—in Genesis 29—that Leah, the eldest daughter, had delicate, or perhaps weak, eyes, but her younger sister Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. It is also here that Jacob verbalizes his love for Rachel and wishes to work seven years to earn her hand.
Now, Laban agreed to give Rachel to Jacob—despite many customs stating that the elder daughter is to be married first. Yet, when the seven years had passed, it was Leah, not Rachel, given to Jacob.
This deception by Laban and Jacob’s love for Rachel did nothing to endear Leah to Jacob. Still, Leah likely had little choice from her father; used by him to keep Jacob, a hard worker, toiling for no wage—Laban treating his daughters as tools rather than beloved children.
Yet, despite everything, Leah wanted to receive her husband’s love. She desired Jacob to love her, even after Rachel had also wed Jacob for seven more years of labor.
Now, it is not surprising that she would want the blessing of a deep and special love by the man she was bound to for the rest of her life. However, the blessing Leah would receive would be far greater than anything she could have expected—or wholly understand in her lifetime.
The Lord saw that Leah was unloved, so he opened her womb, giving her what, at such a period in history, was a blessing of honor and love from the Lord. Further, for a season, the Lord closed the womb of Rachel, causing the blessing of Leah to become pronounced to those around her.
So, with Leah’s womb now open, the Lord blessed her with children—four sons, in whom we see the developing cry of her heart in each meaning of their names… later, two more sons and a daughter: Issachar, Zebulun, and Dinah. Yet, while the blessing stayed the same those first four times—the gift of a son—her response was not always the same. God, through His blessings, was teaching her…
- With the birth of her first child she called him, Rueben, saying, “The Lord has surely looked on my affliction. Now therefore, my husband will love me.” (Genesis 29:32).
- With the birth of her second child she called him, Simeon, saying, “Because the Lord has heard that I am unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” (Genesis 29:33).
- With the birth of her third child she called him, Levi, saying, “Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” (Genesis 29:34).
- With the birth of her fourth and final child in that time, she called him, Judah, saying, “Now I will praise the Lord.” (Genesis 29:35).
It was with giving birth to Judah that she finally understood the blessing God was bestowing was not so she could get what she wanted—the love of her husband—but because the Lord highly favored her. Because He loved her and wanted her to know it… to spend time with Him, to praise Him, and know WHO He was in her life.
She finally learned that man’s thoughts and views of her or anyone, was not as true as the Lord’s. That He, and a relationship with Him, was more precious and valuable to her than anything Jacob could give.
She did not need Jacob; she needed God.
Leah lifted up her voice in praise to Him, the lesson being learned, and in many ways it is likely because of this that blessing was able to flow to her children—to the tribes they would represent—in the days and generations to come. Even though named after their mother’s heart’s cry at the time, they had God’s blessing to break any expectations out of alignment with His.
And beyond this, there is a very powerful aspect of her choosing to praise God at the birth of her fourth child: the law of first mention. That is, the special importance of things mentioned first in the Word of God.
Because she praised God, Leah, blessed with the law of first mention of the word “praise” was the first to walk in praise. It may have taken her four tries, but in the end, she reached a place that put her in alignment with God’s desire for her… a place of praise.
Praise is a yoke breaker. When we praise in the midst of our lack or increase, the enemy cannot touch us because we are at another level. We are bringing Heaven to earth and awakening that spiritual atmosphere into our lives and circumstances.
Finally taking her focus off unfulfilled desires, Leah praised God, and as a result, her offspring praised Him. It was an inheritance laid down by her focus on God. On praise to Him!
Levi would come to be the priestly lineage, giving praise to the Lord. And Judah? Well, Judah would become a kingly lineage, many of whom would praise the Lord—David for instance dancing before the Lord with all his might as he gave Him praise. Yet, what Leah almost certainly never imagined was that she would be in the lineage of Jesus! That the human line of our Messiah springing from her through the kingly tribe of Judah, would be Yeshua, the Messiah!
If that is not being highly favored of God… if that is not breaking the expectations of those who knew Leah, then what else could be?
Leah, while in many ways being unloved by those around her, was blessed in a way she only fully discovered at the end of her days. Yet, through her praise, we know she realized to some degree that she was, indeed, highly favored and loved of God… an expectation breaker!
While none of us have the blessing of such a close blood-line connection with Jesus in the natural, we are all co-heirs with Christ. We are all king priests in the family of God. We are His children, and His love!
If we were to receive no other favor or blessing within this life, that would be enough. Yet, our God wants us to be more than conquerors. He wants to pour blessing into our cups until they overflow! He wants others to see a difference in us as we share that blessing with others. He earnestly desires us to walk as He walked… as Expectation Breakers!
Leah’s primary spiritual gift appears to be praise…
Would you like to discover yours?
Join us HERE to discover your Godly strength as one of the ways you can walk as an Expectation Breaker!