Leah was obviously God’s choice for Jacob. She was the mother of Judah, the line through whom Jesus would ultimately come. Rachel was buried on the way to Ephrath, while Leah was buried in the family cave, alongside her husband Jacob. God ultimately had his way in whom He desired for Jacob to be married to, and following God’s choice could have saved him a lot of heartache.
Jacob’s struggle with control reached the pinnacle in Gen 36:
24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
At first glance it appears as if Jacob didn’t learn his lesson, that his will was what brought him through, but I see it differently. This “man” is an angel that battled and endured with Jacob for the entire night until Jacob was exhausted. This went on and on all night long. How exhausted they must have been. But it was necessary. Jacob needed to reach the point where he had no more strength. God provokes this crisis to bring Jacob to a point of release of control. When Jacob called out for a blessing from God, the wall had been broken. After his lifelong bout with control, he finally realizes the only real blessing comes from the Lord. Jacob got a name change that day, from deceiver (Jacob) to Israel, one who reigns with God. Not a bad trade off. From that day forward Jacob replaces his control with surrender to God’s will for his life.