Author: Julie Potter — Host: Andrew StevensPosted on: May 9, 2021

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens

***Editor’s Note: Today’s devotion is a fictional telling based on true biblical events. The following story is how one author imagines a day in Leah’s life.*** Three children. Three ways I tried to prove myself to Jacob. Yet here I am, pregnant again. Unloved. Standing outside in the glaring sun, I watch my sister Rachel. We used to be so close. Now she feels like a stranger as she tosses her head, laughing with him over some joke. She is more beautiful. She was the one he wanted. He worked to win her, not me. My father, Laban, tricked him. He’d seen Jacob’s usefulness as he worked for my sister. He wanted both his daughters married, but no man came asking for me. Looking at love always from the outside, knowing she’s the cherished one, I wish things would’ve been different. I don’t know why they aren’t. Tiny, soft hands touch my own rough ones. My firstborn, Reuben, grins at me. He, Simeon, Levi—they’re mine. I love them. Even though Jacob won’t love me. He and Rachel walk past me. I stiffen. Every time Jacob looks in my eyes, it leaves me feeling hopeless. Worthless. Hated. Rachel meets my eyes instead, hard and triumphant. She glances at Reuben and frowns before chattering with Jacob more. I watch her go. This happens all the time. She wants children. I have them. I want Jacob’s love and care. I don’t have them. Yet why does her gaze sting more today? I close my eyes, letting a few tears flow. I gently squeeze Reuben’s hand, staring at the ground. Usually I’m strong. I can block the pain, take care of my sons. But today I don’t know how much I can take. And then, a sense of peace fills me, quieting my turmoil. Jacob has told us about the Lord. Before, I never knew his God cared for me. Yet now, He fills me with contentment, reassurance that He sees me. A small wail comes from the tent. Levi is awake. I look up. Jacob and Rachel walk away from the tent, holding on to each other and laughing. Hurt pricks me. But then peace comes again, and I remember I am loved. Cherished. Known. The wonder of it makes me smile as Reuben and I hurry to the tent. • Julie Potter • Leah is often seen as the “other woman,” especially in Jacob’s eyes. Can you relate to Leah? • How did God feel about Leah? How does God feel about you? • God did not intend for men to have multiple wives (or women to have multiple husbands), even though many men in the Bible did. This is called polygamy and is one form of sexual immorality. God showed over and over again that polygamy is not good, for anyone. (If you want to know more about God’s good intentions for marriage, read Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7-8, Ephesians 5:28-31, Hebrews 13:4.) Yet God is merciful, and He shows His mercy to people who have not honored marriage (for example: Abram/Abraham in Genesis 16-17, David in 2 Samuel 12:9 and Psalm 32, the woman at the well in John 4:1-42, and a woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11). And God still works in imperfect situations. How have you seen God show His grace to people, even in the midst of brokenness and messy relationships? • Leah’s fourth son, Judah, became part of the family line that Jesus would be born into (Matthew 1:2-3; Luke 3:33-34). And the life of Rachel’s first son, Joseph, foreshadowed the life of Jesus (Genesis 37 and 39-50). Why do you think God chose to work through both Leah’s and Rachel’s children? What does this reveal about God’s grace? • Why is motherhood important to God? What are some ways you can honor and encourage the mothers in your life? Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)


Read Verses:

Genesis 29:16-35; Isaiah 43:4