When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb,
but Rachel was barren." (vs 31)
I suppose there could be many ways to interpret such a verse. We could feel sorry for Rachel. Why should she be barren? It’s not her fault that Jacob was so in love with her. Then again, it’s not Leah’s fault that her father tricked Jacob into marrying her either.
How should we understand such a verse? Was God trying to punish Rachel because she was loved? Some people might try to pass this off as the writer’s interpretation of why Leah had so many babies and Rachel had so few. In a culture where the god was seen as responsible for everything, they reason, if a woman was barren, it had to be seen as God’s doing.
Regardless of the interpretation, though, I love how the writer of Genesis places God squarely in line with loving the unloved. He has a tender spot for the neglected. He has sympathy for the brokenhearted. And I love the idea that God comforted Leah all He could by blessing her with children... and male children to boot!
One of my favorite songs is a ballad by Wayne Watson called, "Friend of a Wounded Heart." Whenever we’re lonely or feel beaten down, neglected, or unloved, we should remember that our God has "been there, done that." He knows what it means to be cast aside. He knows what it means to be ignored. And there is a special place in His heart for anyone who has ever been unloved.