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Then & Now - Week of September 22

  • 2008 Sep 22

“God Cares About the Unpopular” 
Genesis 29; Psalms 139:13-16

Two girls fighting over the same guy. Sound familiar? Well, it you think that this type of jealousy is new to your school, your community, your church—think again. In fact, the Bible contains this story—jealousy as old as civilization—in the opening chapters of God’s unfolding story of redemption.

Rachel and Leah were two sisters. Jacob liked Rachel. No, wait a minute, Jacob was obsessed with Rachel. So much so that he worked his tail off for 14 years to get her.

After seven years, Jacob had thought he won Rachel’s heart and the heart of Rachel’s conniving father, Laban. The deal was this: work seven years and you can have my daughter. So Jacob did that. But on the wedding night, Laban tricked Jacob and gave him Leah.

As the sordid story unfolds, Jacob ended up marrying both Rachel and Leah. For all of the lives, these two sisters were jealous of each other. But this was an especially hard life for Leah. She was the unwanted wife of Jacob. She was the “other sister” to Rachel. You know what I mean? Rachel was the popular girl, the one all the guys wanted. Leah was repeatedly sent messages that she was not pretty, not special, not wanted.

Obviously, this story shares the foolishness of polygamy—having more than one wife. That is never God’s plan and you can clearly see why. But there is more to this story.

It shows us how much God cares for the Leah’s of this world. Those who are left out. Unpopular. Uncool. Maybe that’s you today.

If that’s you, I suggest opening your Bible to Psalm 139. Here David, himself an overlooked and unpopular brother, shares God’s heart in uniquely creating each and ever individual. Nobody is random. Nothing is accidental.

And, by the way, Leah became a special part of God’s unfolding plan of redemption. One of her sons was Judah. Out of Judah’s family came King David, but more importantly, Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

I guess Leah was pretty important after all.


  • Where do I find my worth? In the opinions of others or in the unfailing love of Jesus Christ? 
  • Am I making other people feel unimportant? How can I reach out to the Leah’s of my life? 

Daniel Darling is an author and pastor with a passion for young people. He is the author of Teen People of the Bible, a 100-day devotional for teens. Visit him at

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