Presentation on theme: "Leah – The Fear of Rejection Genesis 29:16-35 Back to the Future Marty McFly –1955 –You mean on a date? –Gee I dont know, Marty. I mean, what if she."— Presentation transcript:
Leah – The Fear of Rejection Genesis 29:16-35
Back to the Future Marty McFly –1955 –You mean on a date? –Gee I dont know, Marty. I mean, what if she says no? What if she laughs at me? I just dont 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
Rejection We hate being rejected, in any form, because rejection hurts No matter where it is –On the playground at recess –At school growing up –Asking a date to the prom –Asking for a hand in marriage –On the job –From your spouse –From a child An emotion that we would all like to do without
Leahs Story A Little Known Character –Leah felt this rejection on a daily basis –Parallels with her situation –How can we gain strength from rejection –Genesis 29:16-35
Leahs Problem A story you are probably not aware that you know –Jacob the son of Isaac – becomes Israel –Jacob is a deceiver – stole his brother Esaus birthright –This infuriates Esau and so Jacob runs away from his older brother –Jacob begins to travel and he has an encounter with God at Bethel, then goes far away to his moms brothers home, Uncle Laban
Leahs 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 Leahs eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful of form and face –NLT - 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
Leahs Problem The 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 beautiful Women in that day received a lot of their worth and self image from the surface and not from within –When a woman was born no one paid much attention –Leah was the oldest daughter, but all that entitled her to was head servant in her fathers household –The best a woman could hope for was that she would grow up to be beautiful God makes it clear throughout Scripture that man looks out the outward appearance but God looks at the heart
Leahs Pain Leah 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, "Ill 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 sister –Made the pain go even deeper –Leah was made this way –She did not chose the way she looked
Not Much Has Changed! Many women in Leahs position feel rejected and hurt, because they dont look a certain way –Valentines Day - not a good day for people to be in Leahs shoes –Sometimes called singles awareness day –Every woman wants to be loved and wanted and told that she is beautiful
Not 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 beautiful –Husband: 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! Quote –The average woman would prefer to have beauty over brains because most men can see better than they can think In Christ we need to be sensitive to peoples pain and hurt, and we need to remind them that there is more to this life than simply the way one looks
Jacobs Wages Jacobs Marriages –Jacob worked his seven years –Jacob kept a good spirit, worked hard, and the Bible says the 7 years went by like days –Imagine 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
Jacobs 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, didnt 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 daughters bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work."
Jacobs Wages It is interesting that Jacob the ultimate trickster had just been tricked in the worst way We think about Jacob in this passage, but what about Leah? –A tough passage for Leah –She goes to bed with Jacob knowing that the truth will be exposed the next morning –This just reemphasized her thoughts and feeling of worthlessness, because the only way she got married in the first place was in deceit
Leahs Self Worth Leahs self-worth was derived from what her husband thought of her –You must get to a place in your spiritual life where your self- image is not established by Commercials Models Movie stars Fashion ads –Your 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
Leahs Self Worth Proverbs 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 things 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 you –He would have done that if you were the only person on this earth
Leahs Self Worth 1 John 4:9 –This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him Christian author Liz Curtis Higgs –Parable Series –Bad Girls of the Bible –Historical fiction –Contemporary fiction
Your Self Worth God loves you so much that He came to this earth to die for you –Your beauty, worth and self-image should be found in Him and what He thinks of you Tom Schmidt and Mabel –Your beauty and value and worth are not determined by how you look on the outside, but who you are on the inside –The hidden person in your heart which is beautiful and irresistible in Gods sight!
Leahs 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, too –But 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
Leahs Misery v Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah –Leah must have felt that resentment every single day –She never felt the love that Rachel felt –One of the reasons why Jacob never loved Leah - she was a constant reminder Of him being tricked by his uncle Of his past and how he was a deceiver himself –Sometimes 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
Leahs 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 situation –Desperate to be loved –Willing to do anything and give anything just to be loved in return
Leahs Misery Leah 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 enough –This verse is especially sad because so many relate to it –But like most women in this condition Leah is not done trying to get Jacobs love
Leah Turns to God Genesis 29: 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.
Finding Fulfillment Leah did not understand that nothing she could do would ever win her the love of her husband –She was after the love of the wrong man! –She forgot about to whom her first love should be Blaise Pascal – In every human beings 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 position Pills and anti-depressants or by drinking heavily every evening Unwise relationships –So 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!
Gods Grace Breaking the Cycle of Leahs Life We do not know much more about what happened to Leah –Leahs 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 life She tried her best to do and give as was expected of her But in the end it proved not to be enough because she never gained the love she so desperately sought –Fred Craddock & Ben Hopper
Gods Grace Lessons from Leah We need to be sensitive to the pain of others –We should be instruments that God uses to let others know that they have eternal worth in the eyes of God When people reject us a lot of times it stems from personal pain they have experienced in their life We should expect rejection in life –But 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
Gods Grace Breaking the Cycle of Leahs Life Genesis 35:23 –The sons of Leah: Reuben the firstborn of Jacob, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun. –Just a genealogy – Leahs six sons become tribes of Israel Judah –The kingly line- David and Solomon - Our Lord Jesus Christ! –Leahs life was filled with rejection but Gods eternal plan had much more in mind –Through her, and her pain and suffering, would come the man of sorrows Jesus Christ, the hope and the redeemer of the world –Despite your pain, imperfection and rejection, turn to Gods love and Gods plan for your life. –God still has an incredible plan for your life!
Gods Shield of Love Psalm 5: 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 joy 12 For you bless the godly, O LORD, surrounding them with your shield of love