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IDENTITY
September 22, 2020, 11:00 AM

Imagine what it would be like to watch your younger sister’s fiancee’ dote over her for seven loooooong years. Imagine living your whole life with everyone’s attention on her… her charm… her beauty… the incessant compliments, the constant maneuvering… Imagine always feeling ignored… always invisible… always unseen... unloved.

 

Then, on her wedding night, your father’s attention finally directed at you as an expression of his embarrassment and pity. The “old maid,” the “ugly duckling,” the older sister.

 

Dad’s glorious solution? “I’ll get my son-in-law so drunk at the rehersal dinner he won’t even notice crawling into bed with the wrong woman!”

 

Imagine her feelings of raging guilt warring with inexplicable intimacy… all the while knowing the truth will inevitably be exposed any moment now.

 

Leah spent her entire life seeking value, worth, and identity from a father who was ashamed, or maybe worse, apathetic. Following the consummation of her marriage to Jacob, Leah spent several more years seeking value, worth, and identity from a husband filled with regret and love for another woman, Leah’s younger sister, Rachel.

 

Leah’s solution? Children. “Maybe a desperately dependant little person… constantly crying… constantly hungry… constantly covered in vomit or worse... constantly needy… maybe the hormonal roller-coaster of carrying, birthing, nurturing… maybe that’s the irresistible nectar that’ll cause my husband to fall head-over-heels in love with me! Maybe that’s the key to filling this gaping void in my heart and life?”

  • Reuben: Son #1. “The LORD sees!” Yes, He does, but Jacob didn’t see her, and Leah didn't see God.
  • Simeon: Son #2. “The LORD hears!” Yes, He does, but Jacob didn’t hear her, and Leah didn't hear God.
  • Levi: Son #3. “My husband will attach to me now!” Jacob didn’t become attached to her, and Leah wasn't attached to God.

Like a drowning victim, Leah thrashed and grasped her whole life at anything within reach in a desperate attempt to stay afloat. Daddy! Jacob! Children! Work! Something! ANYTHING!!!

 

Then it happened! Leah went under...

 

Something totally unexpected, something amazing, wonderful, and miraculous ensued! Leah never realized she had ALWAYS been drowning in the sea of her true Father’s love.

 

Surrounder, enveloped, and consumed in the grace and peace of the LORD God Almighty, Leah finally understood it wasn’t her father, Laban… her husband, Jacob... her children... or anything else that determined her identity, infinite value, or eternal worth, but rather her Creator!

 

In that moment of clarity, by God's gift of faith, Leah gave herself over completely to the LORD. Leah became abandon unto Yahweh!

 

The fruit of that blessing was another son, Judah: Son #4. “He is abandon!” Leah finally did.

 

Judah wasn’t a tool of manipulation or effort to win the transient love of fickle man. Judah wasn’t the byproduct a selfish plan or a self-centered scheme to point the spotlight on Leah for once. Judah was the result of Leah’s unreserved, complete, and total abandon unto the one true God of Holy Trinity - eternally Father, Son, and Spirit.

 

God blessed Leah with the gift of faith, and the scales of the enemy's lie, which hid the truth her entire life, were finally stripped away!

 

God’s blessing fell upon Judah when, upon his deathbed, Jacob prophetically uttered, “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes and the allegiance of the nations is His.” Through the tribe of “HE IS ABANDON!” Shiloh, Messiah, the universal blessing upon all the peoples, the Serpent Crusher, the ONE ABANDON as God and unto God for our redemption will come! The One to Whom all the tribute and authority of the nations/people belongs! King Jesus!

 

Authentic faith rarely, if ever, comes in moments of our comfort or contentment. Instead, as in the case of Leah, Rahab, Ruth, Abraham, Moses, and David, it seems to comes when all our expectations implode, all our friends and family fail us, when we’re alone drowning in the sea of God’s love… when nothing's left but a hopeful and desperate cry unto Jesus, “Please LORD! My King! Help me see Your face!”

 

Jesus went to the cross to show us, to show you, what you’re worth to Him. He died so you could find your identity exclusively in Him. He arose from the grave on the third day so you, like Leah, might abandon a life lived for "me," and abandon unto Him! He's coming back soon to take all those abandon unto Him back to the Father forever!

 

The epic scene in the illustration attached, "Leah’s Abandon," is an attempt to capture the moment in Genesis 29:35 when Leah finally realized her value and identity are not defined by anyone or anything but God. The tear on her cheek in the illustration is one of clarity and pure joy. Her hand unconsciously outstretched as if attempting to capture more of God's extravagant love, shining down from the floodgates of heaven thrown wide open in Christ Jesus!

 

Maybe today is the day you stop seeking worth, identity, and value outside of your Creator and King, Jesus. Maybe today is the day you ABANDON unto the LORD!

 

Blessings,

-Kevin M. Kelley

 
 
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