March is International Women’s Month. This celebration is significant because for a long time since Biblical times the society is largely patriarchal.
There is a story in the Bible about a woman, named Leah, who was forced to be married to a man, Jacob, who is not attracted to her. Jacob was in love with Rachel, the younger sister. Jacob worked for 7 years to get the hand of Rachel. On the day of the wedding, a heavily veiled woman married Jacob. He thought she was Rachel. In the morning, after the wedding night, Jacob just found out that the woman was Leah.
In this story we can see the that Laban, the father of Leah, was the one who made the decision for her life. We cannot imagine how Leah felt. She was forced to marry someone whom she does not love. In our modern understanding, she was “raped” during the wedding night. All her life starting the wedding day was filled with the feeling of being neglected and unloved. But God did something wonderful through the life of Leah.
Leah had 6 sons – Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, and a daughter, Dinah. Out of her offsprings, two of them had a very significant role in the life of the nation Israel: Levi and Judah.
The tribe of Levi or the Levites was set apart to serve as priests and to perform functions for the religious life of Israel. Perhaps the most popular descendant of Levi is Moses, one of the most revered leader of the Jews, who led them out of Egypt. It was through Moses that Israel had the Ten Commandments, the Law, the Tabernacle and many more.
On the other hand, the descendants of Judah had a prominent role in the leadership of the nation of Israel and in Old Testament prophecy. The most popular person who is from the tribe of Judah was King David. And as the prophecy foretold, the Messiah will come from the tribe of Judah. The genealogy of Jesus clearly states that He is from that Tribe. In Revelation, Jesus is also called the Lion of Judah.
The lesson for us is that God will uplift those who are unloved and rejected. God will also do wonderful things through them. If you feel that way, then submit yourself to God and pray that you will be used by God to fulfill His will in this world.