God has a plan even in the ugly situations!
You may be in situations where you wonder how in the world God is going to show up or make something productive or beautiful come out of it. Some of us have had situations very ugly, circumstances where we ask the big question, why God, why is this thing happening to me? I have seen God come through in the ugly. We have to keep in mind that we worship a God who created a world out of nothing.
The Bible is full of stories to remind us to never count God out, for he knows and can show up at any time to change the situation on our favor.
There is a man in the Bible name Jacob, grandson of Abraham. This man ran away from his brother because he had stolen the right of firstborn. His brother got angry and vowed to kill him when he found him. Jacob became a fugitive and fled to Haran (land of the eastern people)
He began working for a man named Laban who had two daughters Leah and Rachel (v.16-17 Leah had weak eyes (tender or delicate), but Rachel was lovely in form and beautiful) Laban told Jacob to name the price for his service. Jacob said he’ll work 7 years for Rachel. The Bible tells us that those 7 years seemed like days because Jacob was so in love with Rachel.
At the end of the 7 years, Jacob told Laban to give him his wife; then Laban threw a party and at night time he took Leah instead of Rachel to be the wife of Jacob. Laban deceived Jacob. Read. V.25-26 Deception.
It’s not our custom or practice to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older. Leah is your wife, finish the week festivity and work 7 more years for Rachel. This is really an ugly situation. Jacob ended up with two wives, but he truly only loved Rachel, not Leah. (v.30) Jacob worked 14 years for this woman and ended up working 21 years for his father in law.
Leah was miserable, all she wanted was to be loved by her husband. This is one of the soap operas we find in the Bible. “Help I am married to the wrong sister! Help, my husband doesn’t love me! The battle of the brides! A tale of two sisters! Whatever you choose to call this, it’s just ugly what went on there.
Leah could not compete with her sister; she was unhappy, depressed; it was obvious that Jacob didn’t love her.
Read verses 31-35
Verse 31 tells us how the story began to change. God saw she was unloved. (whatever situation you may find yourself in, the LORD sees it; he knows).
God began to bless Leah. God enabled her to conceive. Rachel was barren, she could not have children.
Leah showed her feelings in life in the way she named her children.
Reuben =The LORD sees; He has seen my affliction, my misery. “Surely now my husband will love me” That was her desires and she thought that now that she had a son her husband would love her.
Simeon: Yahweh hears, Yahweh heard that I am not loved. This must be the reason God gave me another son because he heard that I am unloved.
Leah thought God is giving her sons to win the heart of her husband. She came up with her own reasons for each son and she named them according to how she thought.
Levi: (Joined, attached) Now at last my husband will become attached to me. Three is the charm. She thought with this 3rd son, her husband would truly love her. But he didn’t love her; mind you he is having sex with her, but there is not love for her. Jacob had sex with Leah out of traditional duty, but it wasn’t because he loved her; Leah knew sex didn’t win her husband’s heart; not even bearing 3 kids got Jacob to love her. You may think this story is just messed up, ugly.
Judah (Praise Yahweh): This time I will praise the LORD. Leah finally found contentment in the LORD and not in what she thought she wanted in life. Now she said, this time I will praise the LORD. She chose to praise God whether her husband would love her or not. She finally got the right focus in life, she found her identity, not in her husband’s love for her; she finally found her true identity in the LORD. This time I will praise the LORD. What is it in your own life that God has been blessing you with but you haven’t even acknowledged him and praised his name?
Leah stopped having children after Judah. She finally got it, she learned to be content despite her situation at home. She found her identity in the LORD.
A huge drama in this family, love, hate, betrayal, misery; the characters didn’t realize that God was writing a beautiful story despites their mistakes. There was still a grandeur plan they could not see. God would use their deception, their ugly stories to make something beautiful out it. Part of the beautiful plan unfolding!
Leah ended up giving birth to 6 sons and one daughter for Jacob (Gn.30:20-21)
The sons of Jacob became the patriarchs of the Jewish nation.
Two of Leah’s sons are very significant.
Levi became the priestly tribe of the nation of Israel (Every Jewish priests of God was a Levite)
Judah (this is the tribe from where the Messiah himself came from) Jesus is called the lion of the tribe of Judah.
Do you see God writing a story in the midst of chaos? God can do beautiful things from an ugly situation. Whatever situation you may be in right now; it may be drama-filled, chaotic, ugly, don’t forget we worship a God who can transform our biggest mistakes, and the ugliest sins into something beautiful and significant in our lives and others.
So…..Don’t count God out! He is not done with you yet.