Have you ever wanted to change your name? Growing up as a church girl, going to the bible book store with my family was when it first hit me. My siblings would find a bookmark with their name and meaning on it such as grace, star and prophet. Mine was weak eyes or weary. Yes, you heard right. Of course, I never bought the bookmark. No need to be reminded of that.
From the moment she appears in Scripture, Leah is described as having “weak eyes” (Genesis 29:17). Years later, listening to the subject of Leah at bible studies or in church settings, was never fun. As soon as Leah was mentioned I would cringe a bit.
The Story as Told
For those that don’t know the story of Leah, let me tell you. There were two sisters, Rachel and Leah. Rachel was beautiful and had the love of Jacob. He was so smitten that he offered her father seven years of hard labor in exchange for Rachel. Yet, when it came for His prize on His wedding night, Leah was in His bed. He was tricked.
Laban had deceived Him. Jacob’s love for Rachel was so great that he offered to work another seven years to claim her. Meanwhile, Leah was yoked to a man who didn’t choose her, who didn’t love her or want her. Ouch.
Even though I don’t really relate to her, his is “my” name sake, my bible character. When I would be in a room hearing this, I would casually joke to those sitting near, “yeah my husband didn’t want me cause I had weak eyes”. It would make others laugh but it kinda stung. I have mom friends that are convinced that the naming of their children is of great importance and that it defines their child. A lot comes with a name.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,before you were born I set you apart.” -Jeremiah 1:5
Then one sweet day, God showed me who Leah really was and how I had it all wrong. The meaning “weak eyes” didn’t mean lack of sight, back in those days all it meant was light eyes such as gray or blue. Strong eyes were more common such as dark brown. In reality, Leah had gentle, light eyes and might of very well had 20/20 vision.
Although Jacob was in love with her sister, it was Leah that God looked down on with favor. Back then, the proof of that favor for women was bearing children. He opened Leah’s womb and blessed her with seven. Rachel remained childless and became so jealous and disappointed that she gave her servant to Jacob to bear her children.
Then God continued to unfold the truth to me, Leah was the direct lineage of Jesus Christ! Wow, what a twist and completely different view of who I always thought Leah was and what her legacy meant.
Friends, the devil is after our identity! His goal is to keep us bound and for us to continue living with a negative opinion of who we are. When we think little of ourselves, we abandon our purpose. He wanted me to keep believing the lie that Leah’s identity was a weak-eyed, unloved and rejected cast away. When in fact she was favored by God and the direct lineage of Jesus Christ. I understand that Leah in the bible isn’t actually who I am today but it does show how the enemy can use anything to lie about who you really are. All he knows to do it lie, he is the father of lies.
When we think little of ourselves, we abandon our greater purpose.”
You are who God says you are. Don’t let the enemy deceive you any longer. You have a purpose and are deeply loved. I encourage you to study His word, ask God to reveal your true identity. Know who you really are in Christ and break off any lies keeping you from who you’re meant to be.
We can also learn a lesson from Leah’s faith in God and from her trials. God is the giver of all good gifts, and Leah always gave credit to God and God’s providence. When she felt alone and unloved, she prayed and trusted in God, and God was there to help. She held on to hope and saw that God was blessing her.
God’s love transformed Leah of the bible’s life and has transformed mine as well. We are not who people say we are or who even we say we are. We alone are who He says we are. That truth will only set us free when we get it from our head to our heart.