“When the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb…And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said, ‘Because the LORD has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.’ She conceived again and bore a son, and said, ‘Because the LORD has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also.’ And she called his name Simeon. Again she conceived and bore a son, and said, ‘Now this time my husband will be attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.’ Therefore his name was called Levi. And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, ‘This time I will praise the LORD.’ Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she ceased bearing.”
This morning I am reflecting on the compassion of the Lord. His compassion to see us where we are, to respond and draw near to our cries, to graciously and lovingly give us what we need – what we truly need, though it may not be exactly what we wanted.
Leah’s situation was heartbreaking. Bound in marriage to a man who did not want her in the first place. A man who had been promised her sister, who had devoted seven years of his life to work for Rachel’s hand, and who was tricked into marrying Leah first. Verse 30 says “he loved Rachel more than Leah,” but verse 31 strikes deeper: the Lord saw that Leah was hated.
And He had compassion on her.
The Lord, the God who created the heavens and the earth, the Almighty who reigns over all and holds all things in His hands, saw her in her grief. He heard her cries. And He responded with marvelous, very personal grace.
Looking through the narrative, we gain a glimpse of God’s true desire for Leah as He poured out compassion on her. With the first three sons, Leah sought her husband’s love and attachment. She longed for him to see her, to care for her. But this was not the Lord’s ultimate aim. We see that with the next child. Judah was born, and Leah declared, “This time I will praise the LORD.” With this, she stopped bearing children for a time.
In wisdom and compassion, the Lord gently led Leah to the place He knew she would find true peace, love, and belonging. He led her to Himself. Gaining her husband’s favor would not fill the empty, broken places inside of her, and the Lord knew that. So He lovingly drew her closer, step by step as she walked that difficult road. He was faithful. Faithful to hear her, faithful to respond, and faithful to bring her all the way to His side.
It is a beautiful picture of the Lord’s desire for us. He longs to bring us to a place of praise, because that is where our cups are filled to overflowing and our broken hearts are mended. That is where we are strengthened to know the depth and greatness of His love for us. That is where we are captivated in wonder at who He is. As we behold His glory, our souls experience the indescribable fullness of worshiping the One for whom we were created.
He designed us to be satisfied only when we are filled with all the fullness of God. And so He leads us each step of the way to get us to that place. That we will find true peace, love, and belonging in Him. In personal fellowship with the God of heaven who has brought us near through Christ and has called us His beloved children. “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” (1 John 3:1a).
This faithfulness is not something earned. It is God’s promise to all those who trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, all those who have taken refuge in the cross and chosen to follow Him. We respond to His glorious grace, and His goodness and mercy pursue us all of our days as He completes His work to heal our brokenness, make us like Him, and bring us safely home.
In every season, believer, know He will be faithful. He sees you. He hears you. And He responds with compassion, wisdom, and kindness to provide what you need and to draw you ever-closer to Himself.