Jacob, ever the trickster, has stolen away with the birthright and firstborn blessing of Esau, and runs for his life in fear of his brother's rage. As he nears the homeland of his grandfather in search of a wife, his eyes rest upon the beauty of a woman watering her sheep at the well... he falls in deeply in love. She is Rachel, the younger of two unwed daughters of his Uncle Laban.
After agreeing to work for seven years to earn her hand in marriage, Jacob is duped by Laban on the wedding night. Jacob wakes, wed not to his desired Rachel, but rather to the weak-eyed, elder sister, Leah instead.
It seems that Jacob has met his match with Uncle Laban and now enters a season of taking the medicine of manipulation he has so often dished out at home... and he must now agree to another seven years as an indentured servant, in order to earn Rachel as well.
So what's the fascination with reality TV, when people could just read the Bible for this juicy stuff?! I mean the Kardashians ain't got nothin' on some of these people we read about!
Seriously... Jacob just planned on picking out a pretty wife and heading back home. But now he's got two wives, their two maidservants... and seven more years of slave labor, added to the seven he just served. And that Uncle Laban has got Jacob plenty busy doing the lion's share of the chores, and has his sons keeping a tight watch.
Now when Jacob gets home from work each day... there's a whole new nest of trouble brewing. Because he loves Rachel, who is barren... and he tolerates the less than beautiful Leah, who is... let's just say, very fruitful. And these two are truly "sister-wives." Plus... they have two maids doing more than just cleaning... which leads to a tangled family of female emotions. Let's just say, it is a regular hormone fest at Jacob's house.
And when all is said and done, he ends up with first eleven of his twelve sons... and these sons are VERY important to note as we progress through the Old Testament. For these are the beginning of the nations that God promised through Abraham.
So how did Jacob get into this tangled mess? For he lied and schemed and wrestled his way into blessings... and those blessings come with a heavy price. But interestingly, God shows up. And while He wants to protect His heirs to the blessing, He also must to teach them to be humble and faithful to the end.
So in this time away from home, Jacob begins to experience his share of humbling times. And Jacob begins to hear from God in a more personal way... more than just the God of his fathers. Now this is the God he relies on. Now this is the God whom Jacob must rely on to protect and to guide.
And soon it is time for Jacob to journey...
to return with this large family to the place he calls home. Back to the land where he must face his brother Esau and make amends. Back to the land of his inheritance.
So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field,
to his flock,and said to them,
“I see your father’s countenance, that it is not favorable toward me as before;
but the God of my father has been with me.
And you know that with all my might I have served your father.
Yet your father has deceived me and changed my wages ten times,
but God did not allow him to hurt me...
So God has taken away the livestock of your father and given them to me...
Then the Angel of God spoke to me in a dream, saying
"I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar,
and where you made a vow to Me.
Now arise, get out of this land, and return to the land of your family.’”
Word of God... train me, today...
to humble myself before the Lord...
and to be faithful to obey God first,
rather than to please people.
Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters,
not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers,
but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.
Whatever you do, work heartily,
as for the Lord and not for men,
knowing that from the Lord
you will receive the inheritance as your reward.
You are serving the Lord Christ.
For the wrongdoer will be paid back
for the wrong he has done,
and there is no partiality.
Colossians 3:22-25 (ESV)
For Jacob was a bondservant...
he did his best to serve Laban, until he could no longer...
and then he dedicated to serve God alone.
He let the wrong done by Laban
be handled by God.
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