Leah was a woman in the Bible who got a rough deal in life. First of all she wasn’t particularly attractive. We are told she was weak-eyed. Secondly, her own father made Jacob work 7 years for her younger sister, Rachel, and then played switcheroo at Rachel’s wedding and married Leah off instead to the unsuspecting groom. For her entire life she played second fiddle to her sister through no fault of her own and she even had to bargain with her sister to get precious time with her husband (Gen. 35:16).
God saw her tears and He was compassionate towards her and so Leah bore Jacob his firstborn son plus 6 other children (Genesis 29:31). The names Leah chose for her sons reveal her yearning for her husband’s love and her hope that he would love her and be attached to her for all the sons she bore (Gen.29:34). Despite the engulfing pain of rejection, Leah found herself abundantly blessed with 7 children.
Leah did finally get status as the wife of Jacob, even if it was by default. Rachel died in childbirth with her second son and was buried as they journeyed. Leah then presumed the position of primary wife.
After her 6th son Leah remarked that “God has given me a good reward. Now my husband will treat me with respect, for I have given him six sons” (Gen. 30:20). It seems that she was indeed respected for she was later buried in the ancestral tomb along with her husband and in-laws, the patriarchs of Israel (Gen. 49:29-31).
A common blessing in Israel for a young bride was such that was later given to Ruth: “May the LORD make this woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, from whom all the nation of Israel descended!” (Ruth 4:11).
Her real blessing, though, was yet to come, for through the descendants of her 4th son, Judah, came the Messiah, Jesus. When Matthew records the lineage of Jesus, he writes, as if in a nod to Leah, that “Jacob was the father of Judah and his brothers” (ch. 1:2).
Likewise your tears are heard by God and He will bless you for your devotion to Him. You may never have what you are yearning for in this life but you have the promise of God that blessings beyond measure will be yours in the age to come: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (I Cor. 2:9).
All scriptural quotations are from the NLT.