He sees

Today as I was reading in Genesis about Jacob and Leah and Rachel, a pattern, or more accurately a quality stood out to me.  A pattern that shows a quality? I’m not sure how to explain it, but you know the story. If not, read Genesis 28 – 31. I’ll write the verses that were particularly interesting to me today.

Gen.28:31 “When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he enabled her to have children, but Rachel could not conceive.”

Gen.30:22 “Then God remembered Rachel’s plight and answered her prayers by enabling her to have children.”

Gen.31:12b “For I have seen how Laban has treated you.”

What stood out to me was that God sees. He saw that Jacob was furious that Laban tricked him by giving him Leah instead of Rachel as his wife that first night. How that must have hurt Leah to wake up on her first morning as Jacob’s wife and find him furious he was tricked into marrying her!  I can’t imagine what it would feel like to be unloved.

You may think I’m reading into the story with my interpretation of it, but think about it. Think about human nature. Think about a man marrying your sister when he really wanted you. Think about being the consolation prize. (You wanted Rachel, but I want more work out of you, so you get Leah. Gee, that’s really valuing to poor Leah!) I’m guessing she was already feeling like a loser because she wasn’t married yet after all those years and she was the older daughter. Marriage was everything in that culture, that and having many sons.) Think about living with your sister in that situation for the rest of your life! Sharing the same husband with your sister? Yuck!

Much later, God saw the smug attitude of Leah, so proud she was the wife that was producing children and I’m sure making Rachel’s life miserable. He saw Rachel’s agony enduring the looks from Leah and perhaps unkind words. Perhaps whispers of people in town. He knew the shame she felt because of her barrenness and was moved by compassion to help her.

God saw that  Laban was using Jacob for his own gain, working him hard for 21 years, continually taking advantage of him. God was not unaware of his difficulties; he saw it all. Consequently, no matter what scheme Laban would come up with, he blessed Jacob abundantly anyway.

What amazes me more than just knowing God sees is that God is moved to compassion and kindness in spite of our shortcomings, failures, sinfulness and basic rottenness (which he also sees).  Jacob was a master deceiver who, according to the law of reaping and sowing, got what was coming to him. He tricked his brother out of his birthright. He got all the goods, and the blessing of his father as well. I’m sure Leah was no delight to be around when the baby score was 4-0, Leah’s favor. And I’m sure Rachel was no princess holding the “favorite wife” title.  I can only imagine the undercurrents going on in that household! They were all imperfect people, yet God saw and met them in their sorrow and need and lavished his love on them anyway!

What an amazing God he is. So often people have this idea of God as angry and vindictive when that really isn’t the case. He is righteous and just, yes, and angry when the situation warrants it, yet he is gracious and loving and compassionate more often than not. He sees us in our brokenness and sorrow and longs to help us.

I love Psalm 18, I just love it. It expresses what I feel about my situation when I was facing cancer. But it can apply to any situation we have. Ps.18:6 says, “In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears…” I absolutely love what follows. God gets angry that people are messing with his beloved David and verses 7-15 paint a vivid picture of God coming to the rescue! Verses 16-17 say, “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.” Can’t you just see it?!

God sees, because he is God, and because he’s attentive and watchful. But he does so much more than see. He sees, he hears, and he answers our prayers. He rescues us when we cry out to him. What a magnificent God!

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