A Nove Otto on Jealousy {gn30}

Photo © Unsplash/Will O

Photo © Unsplash/Will O

Jacob wanted Rachel to wed.
Laban gave him Leah instead—
Makings of a Gordian Knot.

Of the two, Leah's working womb
Had Rachel spending days in gloom,
Though she had the love Leah sought.

We don't esteem our position,
Chained, as we are, by ambition:
We always want what we ain't got.


*Nove Otto: A poem with nine lines, eight syllables per line, and a rhyming scheme of aacbbcddc.

He Saw {gn29:31}


The much-invisible and
Lord of heaven and earth
       is often like a Mama
       Bear who
saw her cubs being
       mistreated and went
       to war. The fierceness
       of the pain
that pierced God's heart
       when he saw his
Leah discarded, unwanted,
was surpassed only by
       his resolve to
not let abandonment be
       her habitat, to prove
       that there was Someone
loved her more than life itself.


God has a soft spot for the unloved.


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.

Photo © Unsplash/Josh Adamski

Photo © Unsplash/Josh Adamski

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.

Photo © shutterstock.com/altanaka

Photo © shutterstock.com/altanaka

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.