What’s in a name? Plenty! In Bible times, names given to newborns were very significant. Through the names they bestowed, mothers and fathers passed on their expectations, their faith, and even a bit of hard-earned wisdom.
Such is the case of Leah. The lackluster Leah had the misfortune of sharing her husband, Jacob, with her stunning sister, Rachel. The Bible tells us Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah and that Leah was unloved. Both Leah and Rachel were barren for a while, but the Lord eventually opened Leah’s womb, and she conceived and bore a son.
When she held her new baby, Leah christened him “Reuben”—“See, a son!” or “Behold a son!” Leah exclaimed, “The Lord has surely looked on my affliction. Now therefore, my husband will love me” (Genesis 29:32). The name “Reuben” reveals Leah’s longing for love.
But buried deeper in the naming of her tiny boy was Leah’s joyful surprise at God’s love and compassion. “Reuben” also acknowledges God’s kindness and providence. God had noticed her trouble and looked favorably upon Leah. She treasured that thought so deeply that it was passed on to her son. To Leah, Reuben would always be proof of God’s loving care—a loving care you, too, can enjoy!
In One Minute With The Women of The Bible by Elizabeth George, you’ll learn how God comforted, helped, and provided for the women in the Bible … and you’ll grow more and more aware of His amazing love for you.