Jacob loved Rachel.
Though tricked in to marrying Rachel’s older sister, his feelings never changed toward this woman whose eyes were weak. She was rejected by her husband for her beautiful, younger sister.
But she desired nothing more than to be desired. Leah passionately wanted her husband to look at her with the same gleam as he always did with Rachel. To be tied to a man that had never wanted her, she lived married to him, and yet alone.
So when God opened her womb, and not her sister’s, she believed this would change his feelings toward her. The greatest pride for a woman were children and she was able to give this to Jacob.
Each bore names as an eternal testimony to her inward grief and longing to be loved.
And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said, “Because the Lord has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me. She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the LORD has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also. And she called his name Simeon. ~Genesis 29:32-33
When Levi was born she was confident that with these three children, Jacob would be attached to her, thus she named the third Levi, meaning “attached”.
But sadly, it was never meant to be. Jacob only had eyes for the younger, and the older died having never been loved by her husband.
Levi’s descendants would be chosen by God to be the nation’s priests. They would have no inheritance but God and live solely to intercede on the behalf of their brothers. This tribe would live to offer sacrifices, pray, and seek redemption for their people.
In fulfillment of his name, Levi lived to “attach” Israel to God. But their labor would be in vain.
For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. ~Romans 3:20
Ancient Israel depended on the Law of Moses to attach them to God, to make them right before their Creator. Our contemporary society does the same thing. Baptism, service, kindness, church attendance and more are highly depended on to grant us passage into Paradise.
But just as Levi failed, so does our vain attempts to please the Holy.
Jesus is our Great High Priest, not after the order of Levi, but Melchizedek, the King of Righteousness. Jesus’ priesthood reigns forever and will continually intercede for us until our day of redemption. His sacrifice that he offered is once and for all valid and will erase all sins from those who enter in by faith.
But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. ~Hebrews 10:12-14
Leah labored in vain. Levi labored in vain. Jesus labored once and for all with eternal victory and success. If we labor so to attach ourselves to our husband, Jesus Christ, we too will fail. The only way to enter in to a relationship with our God is to attach ourselves to Jesus’ satisfying work by believing in His Name.