40. Leah and Rachel

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And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured. And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter. (Genesis 29:16~18)

The Process of the Heart Developing

We can see when we read the Bible that it talks about the world of the heart of man. Whether a humble and meek heart is developed in man, or an arrogant, wicked, and rugged heart is formed in man, there is a certain process involved for these hearts to be formed. These hearts are formed by this process. You cannot become humble or meek through your own effort. Then, how do our hearts become arrogant and how do they become humble? The Bible precisely shows us the image of our hearts becoming humbled in order to lead us to humbleness because we cannot understand these things alone. On the other hand, Satan constantly leads us to become arrogant and hardened. What we are going to talk about today clearly shows us how man’s heart develops. Jacob was living at the house of his uncle, Laban. One day, Laban said, “Because you are my brother, should you therefore serve me for nothing? What should your wages be?” Laban had two daughters: Leah, who was the elder one, and Rachel, who was the younger one. Leah was tender-eyed while Rachel was lovely and beautiful. Do you know what happens to women’s personalities when their faces are lovely and beautiful? Often, one’s personality is influenced by the people around you. People around women with lovely and beautiful faces recognize that they are beautiful. When a difficult feat is accomplished by a woman with a lovely and beautiful face, people say that what she did was heroic. However, when the same feat is done by a woman who is not so beautiful, the same people say that she must have been bitter. In addition, even though women with lovely and beautiful faces make mistakes, they are often looked upon forgivingly and their wrongdoings mostly overlooked or easily dismissed. Thus, women with beautiful faces naturally become proud and arrogant. They become unable to understand the hearts of others and are more likely to live self-centered lives. It is that you are not carefully observant of these things. If a woman with a lovely, beautiful face has a humble personality, she becomes a tremendously radiant person. However, people for the most part become proud and arrogant if they are a bit more lovely and beautiful than others. Because people are more understanding toward them, it becomes extremely difficult for them to bend their will, break themselves, or humble themselves. On the contrary, women with not so beautiful faces easily have their blemishes revealed with the slightest of mistakes. Thus, they are easily able to control and break themselves. This is how character is built.

Leah, Who Entered Jacob’s Bridal Room

Of Laban’s two daughters, Leah was tender-eyed, while Rachel was lovely and beautiful. Which of the two would Jacob want to marry? Needless to say, it was the lovely and beautiful Rachel he wanted to marry. Jacob tells Laban, “I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.” Back then it was common for relatives to marry one another. Laban then makes a promise, saying, “Fine. It is better that I give her to you than to another man. I will give you Rachel if you serve me seven years.” Now Rachel and Jacob were in love. However, Leah, who should be marrying first because she is the older daughter, thinks of Rachel who will marry first. This makes Leah contemplate and have much time to reflect upon how weak she is. This was how the seven years passed, and Jacob finally married and decorated his bridal room. Surely, Jacob was supposed to marry Rachel, but that night, Laban told Leah to enter into the bridal room instead of Rachel. At that time, it was dark in the bridal room and one would not be able to tell who the bride was. Even so, Leah was dumbfounded. Jacob hates her and loves Rachel; this was something that completely went against her pride. She also thought, “Is this okay to do?” Most women would say, “Father, I would rather not get married if this is how it’s going to be. I will not do this. I know Jacob loves Rachel. I may be able to spend a night with him, but he will see me in the morning and hate me. I will forever be despised and treated with contempt. How could I go through with this? I’d rather get old as a virgin. I cannot do this.” However, Leah knew that she was ugly and lacking. She was not accustomed to exerting her opinions or perceptions. She was accustomed to denying herself and followed her father’s words.

From a Life of Rachel to a Life of Leah

I lived like Rachel. It was not that I was great that I lived like Rachel. Although one is pitiful, if he thinks of himself as being great, then he lives like Rachel. Even if a person is foolish, if he thinks that he is smart then he is number one in his own heart. Even if a person is pitiful, if he thinks he is great then he is that way in his own heart. For a long time, I lived spiritual life like Rachel. I thought I was great and I thought I was smart and I thought I was better than others. Thus, it was difficult for me to break my heart, and I often became upset when my suggested opinions were not accepted by my friends