3Back to the Future Marty McFly 1955 “You mean on a date?” “Gee I don’t know, Marty. I mean, what if she says no? What if she laughs at me? I just don’t think I can take that kind of rejection. You know what I mean?”Marty looked down and said, “Yes, yes I know what you mean”
4Rejection We hate being rejected, in any form, because rejection hurts No matter where it isOn the playground at recessAt school growing upAsking a date to the promAsking for a hand in marriageOn the jobFrom your spouseFrom a childAn emotion that we would all like to do without
5Leah’s Story A Little Known Character Leah felt this rejection on a daily basisParallels with her situationHow can we gain strength from rejectionGenesis 29:16-35
6Leah’s Problem A story you are probably not aware that you know Jacob the son of Isaac – becomes IsraelJacob is a deceiver – stole his brother Esau’s birthrightThis infuriates Esau and so Jacob runs away from his older brotherJacob begins to travel and he has an encounter with God at Bethel, then goes far away to his mom’s brother’s home, Uncle Laban
7Leah’s Problem Genesis 29:16-17 NASB - Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. And Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful of form and faceNLT - Now Laban had two daughters: Leah, who was the oldest, and her younger sister, Rachel. Leah had pretty eyes, but Rachel was beautiful in every way, with a lovely face and shapely figure
8Leah’s ProblemThe Bible is saying in a polite way that Leah was not very attractive!This is not news to Leah!All her life people compared her with her younger sister, Rachel, who was absolutely beautifulWomen in that day received a lot of their worth and self image from the surface and not from withinWhen a woman was born no one paid much attentionLeah was the oldest daughter, but all that entitled her to was head servant in her father’s householdThe best a woman could hope for was that she would grow up to be beautifulGod makes it clear throughout Scripture that man looks out the outward appearance but God looks at the heart
9Leah’s PainLeah has probably felt hurt, pain, and rejection all her life, so it was no surprise to her when she heard verse 18:Genesis 29:18 - Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, "I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel"A man of prominence pledging his life away for seven years just to be able to marry her little sisterMade the pain go even deeperLeah was made this wayShe did not chose the way she looked
10Not Much Has Changed!Many women in Leah’s position feel rejected and hurt, because they don’t look a certain wayValentine’s Day - not a good day for people to be in Leah’s shoesSometimes called “single’s awareness day”Every woman wants to be loved and wanted and told that she is beautiful
11Not Much Has Changed!Survey: “If you had the choice between being incredibly beautiful or being incredibly smart, which would you choose?”The overwhelming majority said they would prefer to be beautifulHusband: “How can you be so pretty, and yet so dumb?”Wife: “I am pretty so that you will love me. I am dumb so that I can love you!”QuoteThe average woman would prefer to have beauty over brains because most men can see better than they can thinkIn Christ we need to be sensitive to people’s pain and hurt, and we need to remind them that there is more to this life than simply the way one looks
12Jacob’s Wages Jacob’s Marriages Jacob worked his seven years Jacob kept a good spirit, worked hard, and the Bible says the 7 years went by like daysImagine Jacob counting down the days, “Okay, just 2,234 days left”So the day comes and Jacob goes to Laban and says, all right I kept my end of the deal, now its time you held up yours now give me my wife
13Jacob’s Wages Genesis 29:22-27 So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast. But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and gave her to Jacob, and Jacob lay with her. When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, "What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?" Laban replied, "It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work."
14Jacob’s WagesIt is interesting that Jacob the ultimate trickster had just been tricked in the worst wayWe think about Jacob in this passage, but what about Leah?A tough passage for LeahShe goes to bed with Jacob knowing that the truth will be exposed the next morningThis just reemphasized her thoughts and feeling of worthlessness, because the only way she got married in the first place was in deceit
15Leah’s Self WorthLeah’s self-worth was derived from what her husband thought of herYou must get to a place in your spiritual life where your self-image is not established byCommercialsModelsMovie starsFashion adsYour self-worth is based on what God thinks about you!The world does not set a realistic standard - Never look for your self worth by how you look on the outside
16Leah’s Self WorthProverbs 31:30 - Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised..Ian Pitman Watson - “There are some thing’s that are loved because they are valuable; there are other things that are valuable because they are loved”Ladies, you are valuable because of Who you are loved by!The God of the universe was so in love with you that He came Himself to tell you and show you by dying on the cross for youHe would have done that if you were the only person on this earth
17Leah’s Self Worth 1 John 4:9 Christian author Liz Curtis Higgs This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through himChristian author Liz Curtis HiggsParable SeriesBad Girls of the BibleHistorical fictionContemporary fiction
18Your Self WorthGod loves you so much that He came to this earth to die for youYour beauty, worth and self-image should be found in Him and what He thinks of youTom Schmidt and MabelYour beauty and value and worth are not determined by how you look on the outside, but who you are on the insideThe hidden person in your heart which is beautiful and irresistible in God’s sight!
19Leah’s Misery No Love from Her Husband Genesis 29:30-32 Jacob reluctantly agreed to finish out the honeymoon week with Leah, and then he would get Rachel for a wife, tooBut it was going to cost him another 7 years, but these 7 years came a little harder because he had already gotten what he wanted
20Leah’s Misery v. 30 - “Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah” Leah must have felt that resentment every single dayShe never felt the love that Rachel feltOne of the reasons why Jacob never loved Leah - she was a constant reminderOf him being tricked by his uncleOf his past and how he was a deceiver himselfSometimes when we face rejection it may not be personal against us, but it is being taken out on us because of unresolved problems in the life of the person doing the rejecting
21Leah’s Misery Genesis 29:31-32 When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, "It is because the LORD has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now."We see women in this same situationDesperate to be lovedWilling to do anything and give anything just to be loved in return
22Leah’s MiseryLeah thought that if she gave Jacob something that Rachel could never give him, a son, that Jacob would love her, but even that was not enoughThis verse is especially sad because so many relate to itBut like most women in this condition Leah is not done trying to get Jacob’s love
23Leah Turns to God Genesis 29:33-35 33 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "Because the LORD heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too." So she named him Simeon.34 Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons." So he was named Levi.35 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "This time I will praise the LORD." So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children.
24Finding FulfillmentLeah did not understand that nothing she could do would ever win her the love of her husbandShe was after the love of the wrong man!She forgot about to whom her first love should beBlaise Pascal – “In every human being’s heart there is a hole that only Jesus Christ can fill”Working 12-hour days for fulfillment in the form of a perk or bonus or promotion or positionPills and anti-depressants or by drinking heavily every eveningUnwise relationshipsSo many people wander through this life facing rejection nearly every day but they are the ones rejecting the only One who can truly satisfy them!
25God’s Grace Breaking the Cycle of Leah’s Life We do not know much more about what happened to LeahLeah’s story is a really sad story if she just disappears from the pages without knowing the rest of the story!She was dealt a bad hand in lifeShe tried her best to do and give as was expected of herBut in the end it proved not to be enough because she never gained the love she so desperately soughtFred Craddock & Ben Hopper
26God’s Grace Lessons from Leah We need to be sensitive to the pain of othersWe should be instruments that God uses to let others know that they have eternal worth in the eyes of GodWhen people reject us a lot of times it stems from personal pain they have experienced in their lifeWe should expect rejection in lifeBut we should look at it as a test that God gives us to see how well we handle the rejection of people in light of our acceptance we get unconditionally from Him
27God’s Grace Breaking the Cycle of Leah’s Life Genesis 35:23The sons of Leah: Reuben the firstborn of Jacob, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun.“Just a genealogy” – Leah’s six sons become tribes of IsraelJudahThe kingly line- David and Solomon - Our Lord Jesus Christ!Leah’s life was filled with rejection but God’s eternal plan had much more in mindThrough her, and her pain and suffering, would come the man of sorrows Jesus Christ, the hope and the redeemer of the worldDespite your pain, imperfection and rejection, turn to God’s love and God’s plan for your life.God still has an incredible plan for your life!
28God’s Shield of Love Psalm 5:11-12 11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Protect them, so all who love your name may be filled with joy12 For you bless the godly, O LORD, surrounding them with your shield of love