Welcome back for the 3rd devotional in our Advent series on “Thanking Jesus.” Yesterday we saw that it wasn’t a famous patriarch who first gave thanks to God, but a humble servant sent to Paddan-aram to find a wife for Isaac. Today we meet another person who gave thanks. Again this individual is not an alpha male, a leader of the clan, but she is a humble woman.
Like his father before him, Isaac sent his son Jacob to Paddan-aram to find a wife. Jacob serves there for seven years in order to gain a wife named Rachel, only to find he was a victim of bait and switch. He wakes from his wedding night to discover not Rachel but her older sister Leah in his bed. Jacob is definitely not grateful!
Leah seems to have the short end of the deal. She finds herself married to a man who does not love her, but she learns that God loves her: He blesses her with sons. Instead of giving in to bitterness, she responds with gratitude. When her third son is born, she says, “Now I will praise God!” She names him Judah, which literally means “Praise.”
From this line of Judah comes the one we know today as the Lion of Judah. Jesus Himself comes from the tribe of “praise.” He is the descendant of this grateful woman.
Have you ever felt cheated, unloved or bitter? Imagine what God could do for you if you released those negative feelings and, like Leah, transformed them into an expression of gratitude!