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If you remember from chapter 24, Laban is Jacob’s uncle. That makes Rachel his cousin. Jacob is in love and agrees to work seven years for the right to marry Rachel. It’s hard for us to imagine Laban getting away with the substitution of Leah for Rachel. A bride would have been veiled during the ceremony, and by the time Jacob took her to bed, he might have been drunk. In the darkness, with no electric lights, Jacob was unaware of how he had been tricked. Obviously we are not reading about a time when daughters are treated with much respect.

We can’t help but feel sorry for Leah. God was concerned for Leah as well and allowed her to have children. This was a major source of honor in that culture. Even when we may feel ignored or unloved by others, God loves and watches over us. It took four sons for Leah to stop trying to earn her husband’s love and rest in God’s love for her. If only we too could rest in God’s love.