Leah the Wild Cow

A friend of mine sent me an intriguing podcast the other day about Rachel, the wife of Jacob. She was the mother of Joseph and Benjamin. She said, “I keep seeing Rachel everywhere!” When she said it, I thought that’s funny because “I keep seeing Leah.”

Oh, Leah, you break my heart.

What can women learn from you and your eyes that cried a million tears?

Our backdrop starts in Genesis, where we learn that Jacob, the patriarch later named Israel has just fled from his brother Esau who is looking to kill him. Why is he on the run? Jacob, with the help of his mother, takes the savory game she has cooked and pretends to be the firstborn (Esau) in order to get the blessing. He’d already stolen his birthright. He deceives both his brother and his father, Isaac. Let’s look at that real quick.

“Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn; I have done just as you told me; please arise, sit and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me.”

After Isaac blesses Jacob with beautiful words –mighty and true, Esau arrives with his game he has cooked, and he tells his father he is there and to please bless him, but Isaac says, “What?” Who did I just bless? Your brother has deceived you.

“When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me—me also, O my father!” BLESS ME!” (Genesis 27:19-21 NKJV).

Have you ever had your blessing taken away? Right before your eyes–? By someone close to you? Yes, it’s a horrible feeling, but this story is about Leah and Rachel.

Leah was not the wife Jacob wanted— Rachel was the sexy dark-eyed beauty Jacob had his heart set on. Laban tricks Jacob and gives him Leah- his firstborn, on his wedding night. Do you see the swap? Jacob, the trickster, has just been duped. Jacob who dressed up as Esau has now met the oldest daughter dressed up as the youngest.

Imagine being so in love with a woman you agree to work seven years for her hand in marriage. Seven is the number of completion. For Jacob, his dowry is now doubled to fourteen. There’s a message there, but I’m going a different route. Imagine being Jacob for a moment. Young—handsome—on the run from your brother with his stolen birthright and blessing. Got an image? He runs and kisses Rachel at first sight. Her father agrees to the terms. And then comes the grand wedding day. Ah, who is under the veil? Who is hidden from view and unrecognizable? Again, there is a message there, but I am taking a left turn for a bit. Can you ponder what it was like when Jacob’s fingertips ran down her smooth back and kissed the nape of her neck? He became passionately one with his new bride whispering sweet, tender words into her ear, but then woke up as deceived as his brother had been when he said, “Father don’t you have a blessing for me? BLESS ME—ME ALSO MY FATHER!”

In the morning light Jacob arose only to find not Rachel, the pretty little ewe lamb, but Leah her tender eyed sister. Wild cow. Yes, that’s what Leah’s name means, that and weary, grief, and offense. Sorrow, even.
One old legend explains that Rachel understood that her father had given Jacob her sister first and that she humbly helped her prepare her dress and become his bride knowing that she would be second. That is heartbreaking too.

However, Rashi tells us that there is an old rabbinic tale that explains Leah’s eyes and how they became weak or tender.

“According to this story, Leah was destined to marry Jacob’s older twin brother, Esau. In the Rabbinic mind, the two brothers are polar opposites; Jacob being a God-fearing scholar and Esau being a hunter who also indulges in murder, idolatry, and adultery. But people were saying, “Laban has two daughters and his sister, Rebekah, has two sons. The older daughter (Leah) will marry the older son (Esau), and the younger daughter (Rachel) will marry the younger son (Jacob).”[5] Hearing this, Leah spent most of her time weeping and praying to God to change her destined mate. Thus the Torah describes her eyes as “soft” from weeping. God hearkens to Leah’s tears and prayers and allows her to marry Jacob even before Rachel does.”

There is no greater sadness on the earth than a woman unloved by her lover.  Leah knew he would never love her like he did her sister. He wants her beautiful sister whose name means ewe—a lamb.

Instead of the “Bless me mantra” Leah’s words sound more like this—“Love me” Please love me. I know you have some love left inside your soul to wring out for me. A crumb my lad? Please do not let my fruitful womb go unnoticed! “

Can you hear the weak-eyed Leah crying?

When you go unnoticed for something you are good at, it’s a miserable feeling. In the midst of Leah’s sadness, weakness, and weariness, there grows a strong woman whose name is that of a wild ox, strong and mighty.  One day he’ll see what a beautiful woman his wife Leah is, and he will ask to be buried with her.

Rachel will die in childbirth to Benjamin on the way, and she will be buried between Bethel and Ephrat. Rachel weeps for her children, not just the Joseph tribes (Ephraim and Manasseh) but Benjamin and the entire House of Israel and Judah who were taken to Babylon. Can you hear her voice coming from the cave? Crying out for her children to become one? I can. The Father tells her to restrain from weeping that her voice will be heard.

WOMEN ARISE!

But I am getting ahead of myself.

coww

 

“Now the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. Leah conceived and bore a son and named him [Reuben, for she said, “Because the LORD has seen my affliction; surely now my husband will love me.”  Then she conceived again and bore a son and said, “Because the LORD has heard that I am unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” So she named him Simeon. She conceived again and bore a son and said, “Now this time my husband will become attached to me because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore he was named Levi. 35 And she conceived again and bore a son and said, “This time I will praise the LORD.”

Therefore she named him Judah. Then she stopped bearing. “Genesis 29:31-35.

Ah, Judah—The scepter will not depart from you! Jesus Yeshua, the lion from the tribe of Judah, will be praised. Leah finally reaches the point where she says forget about Jacob; my Father Adonai Elohim loves me! To every broken woman reading this know that He hears you and He loves you more than you can think or imagine. One day Leah and Rachel will be one bride. Unity is what we pray for.

I got pregnant at the age of 17 with my firstborn. We named him William. The name William means a determined protector—a strong helmet, and he did become that for his brothers and me.  An old soul. After two years, many rough roads and multiple eviction notices I became pregnant with my second son, and I just knew that with two sons and more responsibility, things would be different. Surely he would love me now and provide for his sons— — stop gambling—become grounded. My mother named this second son after both his grandpa’s “Robert,” but not much changed. The name Robert means bright- shining—famed one, and he is bright and filled with light. After seven years of crying and praying I gave up and went out to sow my wild oats, but we ended up back together due to his salvation journey and a new start.  He looked like Jesus, and he wanted to go to church—read the bible and pray, but by this time I looked like death and the thing I had cried out for seemed like a curse.  I no longer loved him. My heavenly Father named my third son Samuel (Yahweh hears). Yahweh does hear. However, we don’t always remain faithful or obedient. I prayed for my husband to change but by the time he did I had too.  I went to church with him and tried to renew my vows, both of them. Soon he slipped back into his old habits, and I wasn’t perfect either–everything looked like it did before. I stayed for seven more years. Divorce breaks children’s hearts. Men and women take it from me, a woman who has made mistakes- raise them up in the ways of the Lord Adonai and His instructions.

After Samuels birth, I asked the doctors to tie—burn—cut and destroy my tubes because I did not want to bring any more life into the earth that would not be cared for. I knew this was not what the Father wanted, but I disobeyed. The doctors tried to convince me not to do this because I was so young (23). The day after Samuel was born they took me back for surgery and after it was over the doctors told me they never had a case like mine that was so hard to do. They said, “you’ll be bruised. We had to really work to get them tied.” My entire stomach turned black and blue. How many beautiful sons would He have given me? A troop possibly. My grandmother had 12. If I could go back and talk to my younger self oh the things I would say.

I’d surely try and be more like Leah, Rachel, and more like Ruth the woman I am named after.

Yah does hear, and He opens Rachel womb and gives her Joseph. He is doubly FRUITFUL! Doubly BLESSED!

After the birth of Joseph, something happens to Leah that has always bothered me. I honestly can relate to this part of the story wearily. I know it has a more significant meaning about the order of spiritual things, but it still grieves me.

The moment has finally happened—Jacob, the one who was called a deceiver—the one who wrongfully seizes and usurps his way to blessings–Yes, this Jacob has wrestled with an angel of God and received a hip out of socket, a new name (Israel) and is prepared to meet his brother Esau. The one who wished to hunt him down and take his life is headed in his direction. Jacob has fear. Now, something happens that moves me to tears.

Jacob lines up his jewels—his wealth—his possessions—the things he cherishes, and he has them in order of what he deems they are worth. He places the ones he loves the most in the back for protection. Jacob looked up, and there was Esau, coming with his four hundred men; so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two female servants.  He put the female servants and their children in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph in the rear.  He himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother.”

As Leah walked with her young sons around her, she still knew that her younger sister was treasured above her and the young child Joseph was safely tucked in the back with his mother–the little lamb. I have been there. Perhaps you are a woman whose husband has always placed something ahead of you, and I’m not talking about our Heavenly Father. Maybe it’s his job—the children—money—sports—his ex—his desires. What would a woman like Leah do?

She gave up asking for his full love on the 4th try and said I’ll Praise my Father. Her sons were blessings from Abba, my sons are too, and one day they will be mighty on the earth and the Torah of Adonai will be upon their lips and in their hearts. Yes, I am calling things that are not as though they are.

joe-rach
The other day this same friend who was talking about Rachel interpreted a dream for me about a little doe I saw coming through a gate and another about a male deer. She reminded me that the scriptures describe the tribe Naphtali as a deer on their banner. Ah, the handmaidens have given birth too! And their sons are also part of the 12-13. Could I be from the tribe of Naphtali? Oh, what a wondrous thought. Rachel had a handmaiden named Bilhah. According to Abarim publication, her name means timid, foolish.

The adjective בלה (baleh), meaning worn out (Ezekiel 23:43, Joshua 9:4).

The masculine noun בלוא (belo), meaning worn out things, rags. This word occurs three times in the Bible; all three times in Jeremiah 38:11-12.

The feminine noun תבלית (tablit), meaning destruction (Isaiah 10:25 only).” I have been all of those things and more! Jacob’s oldest son sleeps with Bilhah and loses his birthright and the blessing. Bilhah has a colorful background, and her words describe someone I used to be. I am so thankful that my Father, My Abba Daddy, way back in that book some of you call old said, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18.

This woman named Bilhah gives birth to Dan the judge and also Naphtali.

“Naphtali is a doe let loose, He gives beautiful words” (Genesis 49:21).

Words are my favorite thing. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Each letter was carefully crafted by the FINGER of YAH.

Naphtali also means to wrestle. Jacob wrestled all night with an angel and would not let go until he was blessed. Ah, this reminds me of both women and myself. What are you wrestling with?

My husband came into the room the other night and said he wanted to pray for me. I had been studying for hours about the red heifer and its significance to our Yeshua and this Lamb that was also perfectly slain for you and I. How wonderful that these women, the ewe, and heifer gave birth to the twelve.  How magnificent our Bibles are if we would just eat them—savory bites of goodness. My Husband opened his mouth and said, “Father bless my wife and may her words fall like dew. May she hear in her ear all you want to show her about this tabernacle and Yeshua. May her pen be mighty. May she write every beautiful word that you have placed into her heart onto the pages for your glory and may you bless her books and her desire to know all about you.”

Tears.

My wrestling has ended with a blessing.

Can you hear Esau’s words—bless me too father. And he will. Love me too Leah cries and is answered. Rachel weeps for her children, and he hears. “Retrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears for your work will be REWARDED” (Jeremiah 31:16).

So to all you weary Leah’s out there wrestling with your younger sister, remember you are a wild ox- strong like the red heifer. To all you Rachel’s out there you are a tender ewe, beautiful and powerful too. And to Bilhah, the one whose name means timid—worn out—rags—useless—you will give birth and your sons too will be mighty. Their words are beautiful. And how can we not mention ZILPAH!  Jacob slept with Leah’s handmaid and had Gad and Asher. According to Abarim publication, “ The name Zilpah comes from the verb זלף (zalaph). Its meaning is to drip, drop, sprinkle, pour.” POUR!

He said that in the last days He would pour out His Spirit- His Holy Ruach HaKodesh on His HANDMAIDENS and He is and I see it, and they will start out as a drip—a drop—a sprinkle and then POUR! My Father, My Abba Daddy, has not forgotten His Girls.

We praise you Abba for making us ONE. For bringing us together in unity—sweet unity.

rachelandleah

 

http://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Zilpah.html#.WIl25YWcFlE

 

  1. Jump up ^ “What’s in A Name,” Vayetzei (Genesis 28:10-32:3) at aish.com

Frozen with Fear– Memoir Chapter

The prior had a few lessons I learned in elementary school.

Once I had ventured through 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade, my mind catapulted to middle school. This place was better by far, and I had a girlfriend from my neighborhood who shared classes with me. We were into Led Zeppelin, Journey, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. We went roller skating every weekend and played Pac-man until dawn. We laughed, talked and shared many secrets. This was some of my best childhood memories.
But for some reason, it seemed like I walked through life with a target on my chest. Something inside of me seemed to draw the sharks. Have you ever seen a geek with nerdy glasses and high-water pants get the attention he didn’t want? I think we all have seen an antelope on the Wild Kingdom walking with a limp. The lion crouches. He crouches down and waits for the sick one, the scared one, the one that can’t keep up with the herd. It’s an easy target. I seemed to have one of those postures that bent downward.
And then one day something happened in music class, something that wounded me even more. It was choir practice, and we were standing on the bleachers. I accidentally fell into the girl next to me. She was thin, pale, angelic looking and strikingly innocent. I said I was sorry and helped her up. On the back row, standing taller than all the other students in 8th grade was Melissa. She was 15 and had given a baby up for adoption already. She was hard, cold, and ready to pounce on me. After class, we went to lunch, and as I ate, I had this sinking feeling. The kind you get when you know something terrible is coming, but you’re not sure from where or what it will look like. Sort of like when the meteorologist says a tornado is headed in your direction, and you need to take cover immediately. You hear the sirens, and you see the sky turn black with a greenish tint illuminating the darkness. You have no basement and nowhere to go, so you sit in the bathtub and wait for it to pass over. That day was like that.
I walked home with one of my girlfriends every day. And so after the stumbling bleacher incident, I headed down the sidewalk oblivious to the funnel cloud. The school sat back off the road and was almost hidden by the trees. The adjacent parking lot was that of a church with a line of trees and a fence. The sidewalk that ran down the long road between buildings eventually led to a big intersection where a crosswalk officer directed the school traffic and allowed us to cross the street. This was, however, unseen from the church.

As we rounded the sidewalk and were half-way up, I saw a large gathering of students huddled outside the church. The buildings lot, which was empty during the week seemed filled like an arena and there in the midst of the crowd was Big Mellissa and several of her tough wrangling friends from the rougher part of town. They were yelling for me to come over. I didn’t want to. Their blackened pupils and mouths kept calling me. I did not want to face them–or what I discerned now to be the storm I had felt all day.

About that time Melissa had one of her cohorts grab me by my hair and drag me over to where pretty angelic Michelle stood. Her short stature and frail frame looked up at me. I was under 5 feet in height, and I could tell she was caught in the middle of doing what they wanted her to do. She had become their excuse to attack me.
“You pushing my cousin?” “You knocked her down in chorus.
Tekoa, why don’t you knock her down now B*%$#!” I started trying to explain it was an accident but they kept shoving me. One girl grabbed me and started punching me in the face with her fist as hard as she could. I began to fight back even though I did not want to. The crowd roared, and the more I fought, the more girls joined in and pretty soon they were holding me down. One had my hair wrapped around her fist and was bluntly jostling my head into the aluminum fence post. I felt a sticky substance running down my face and a taste of crimson blood in my mouth. By this time I gave up and let them get the best of me. The crosswalk lady came and blew her whistle a little too late, and my one friend stood with the crowd, scared, helpless and frozen to do anything other than stand there gawking. My right eye was swelled shut, and my bottom lip felt like it had been injected with Novocain. My first shiner!
I walked home alone. Blood ran down my face, and my hair had patches of places that were bloody. My friend was saying something but the air was thick, and my robotic legs were moving like something you’d see in a slow-motion film reel. I remember thinking, “Jesus/ Yeshua is this what you felt like when they shoved those thorns into your skull?   I opened the door and entered the house spitting more blood out of my mouth into the yard. I was too wounded to cry.
My sister was the first to get a look at me, as my parents were working.
“Who did this to you? Do you know where they live?”  She scooped me up along with a baseball bat and went driving neighborhoods looking for those girls, but to no avail. That night I was told by my mother that I had to go back to school tomorrow and face these girls or they would continue to pick on me and bully me. I was terrified! I couldn’t breathe, but the next morning I entered the building. I heard the whispers–the eyes that followed me–the snickers and yes, a frozen fear. I couldn’t shower or wash my hair for days because the bruises and knots were dreadfully painful– but my heart was worse. Why was this happening to me– the shy little girl who never wanted to fight anyone?
Later that night my best friend’s father brought her down to our house and made her apologize for not helping me. I didn’t blame her. It was us two against ten or fifteen. We were innocent. I lost my innocence that day in a way I can’t explain. I continued to shrink back from people, faces, friends, and enemies.
That week I prayed with all my heart and asked God to save me, but not like you do on Sunday morning at the altar. I asked Him to protect me and to remove me from the situation. A prayer I would become an expert at.  He did not remove me, but He did send a girl who was even bigger than Melissa. She was from Paducah KY, and her family raised horses. Her name was Kendra, and she had missed a few grades too. She towered above the girl’s heights and was even taller than most the boys. She said she heard about what those mean girls did to me and that she wanted to be my bodyguard.

I let her.

Pretty soon the word going around school was, “If you touch Tekoa, Kendra will kick your Butt!
I still had nightmares. I still had fear, but for some reason, I grew thicker skin. I probably made friends with some folks a tad more colorful than my gentle friends from youth. Almost 20 years later at an Italian restaurant, I waited on Mellissa. She was with a man. He possibly could have been her husband. She still looked rough, and she had quite a few tattoos. She smiled at me oblivious to who I was and ordered a manicotti as if it were the most ordinary item on the menu. I was amazed that she was capable of offering me a smile that looked almost surreal.  I waited on her like a good server and thought how ironic it was to look her in the eye, refill her drinks, and take her dirty plates to the kitchen. I said Abba what are you trying to teach me?

And then suddenly it was quite clear. . . The Father had taken my share of dirty plates, and if He could forgive me, I had to forgive her. I hoped that she had grown kinder, gentler and that whatever had happened to her in her childhood was being healed. I knew I still had a long way to go.

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Muddy Words

 

tekoa 9

The Sleeping Lady

 

This is a poem I wrote for a dear friend about 9 or 10 years ago? I changed the end a bit. Deb, this is for you. Love you much!

“Muddy waters running ever so slow,

Thick sludge

Muddy feet and muddy hands that have sunk in the mire

You are toiling and battling uphill.

I will bring you out of that place.

 

I will write words that move the earth and soar across the skies.

Words that invade hearts

I will write words that weep and rent and shriek.

And echo love and hate.

And every emotion it will ever take

To drag you through that muddy place.

And out again

 

I will write words that illuminate a soul and stir melodies.

And memories

And take people to places and scenes.

Words that yelp

Words that engulf

Words that spark fires

Enduring words of POWER

Words as small as mustard seeds

Words that evoke the highest mountain to crumble

And bring it down

Words that reach the tallest cedars

Words that mesmerize and calm a frightened child

Words that uplift a kite to fly a thousand suns

 

I will send these words through the air, through the mail.

Across continents and space, the oceans, rivers, and streams.

And every bookcase shelf, like Harry Potter’s quest.

In satchels too,

And every library, in every state

And turn them into languages I cannot enunciate.

Just to get to you

 

I will baptize words.

And cover them with anointed oil.

And every prayer that was ever stored between my lips.

To drag you through that muddy place.

And out again

 

I will bring helicopters and planes, and military tanks,

Even the Calvary if that’s what it takes to get to you

I will take words and wash them in dew and sunlight.

And soil and moonlight and bring forth seeds.

And plant them where there are still honey bees to pollinate them.

To get to you

I will print them in bold and every color ink.

And every verse is already predestined, prepared,

To prevail

To get to you and pull you through those muddy trenches.

I will fight depression, poverty, tears, and weakness.

I will stay focused

Reach through all the pain

Crawl through the beaten crowds of people

Touch the hem of His garment

And pray

That His Words will bathe your soul

And cover you

And do all the things I just have no power to do

With these few words, I have in my palms to offer you

But His Word last forever and they indeed do have the power

To heal and blanket you in PEACE.

Then you and I will swim out of the mud into the crystal sea.”

thirst