I never thought that the names I gave my children could be a sermon. But this morning, I couldn't help but notice how every time anyone called out the names of Leah's children, they were hearing her sermon.
Do you remember who Leah was? She was the unloved wife of Jacob. She knew rejection. Her younger sister was the wife who was loved, the wife who was beautiful in Jacob's eyes. Leah was in a situation arranged by her father, not a destiny or marriage of her own choosing.
So, how did she preach through her children's names? She named her first child Reuben, which meant "the LORD has seen my misery". The second child she named Simeon, "the LORD hears". The third child she named Levi, "attached" - whether she meant attached to the LORD, or was hoping to stir Jacob's feelings of attachment, I'm not sure. To me it sounds like she learned to be attached to the LORD, because only He saw and heard and knew her deepest feelings. Her fourth child she named Judah, which means "praise". Through her sorrow and rejection, she had come to a place where she could praise the LORD.
Talk about a great four point sermon! It was preached everytime her children's names were called out. Reminds me of a song - sorry, I don't know who wrote it - but it says: "The chains that seem to bind you drop powerless behind you when You praise Him."
Well, Leah - I heard your sermon loud and clear today. Thank you for the reminder that God sees whatever is going on in my life. He hears when I cry out to Him. He wants me to attach myself to Him. And when I praise Him, my problems lose their intensity and melt in His presence.