After Jacob had stayed with him for a whole month, 15 Laban said to him, “Just because you are a relative of mine, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.” 16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah had weak[a] eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful. 18 Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.” 19 Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. 21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to make love to her.” 22 So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast. 23 But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob made love to her. 24 And Laban gave his servant Zilpah to his daughter as her attendant. 25 When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?” 26 Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. 27 Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.” 28 And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29 Laban gave his servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her attendant. 30 Jacob made love to Rachel also, and his love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years.
I take a few lessons from this passage of scripture.
The first lesson is that I can avoid some major regrets in life simply by avoiding drinking too much alcohol. Many biblical characters were either fooled or made grave mistakes while drunk.
Second, it is amazing how fast time flies when we have purpose, hope and a vision. Jacob was able to work so long for Laban because he had his heart set on marrying Rachel. If my heart has no investment in my work, this is a danger sign… I am probably going to get sick of my work in the very near future. I need a heart connection, a sense of purpose, hope and vision in the work I do, otherwise I will find the work drudgery. This phenomena is a little like a double edged sword, because if my end goal and hope is not of God, I could quickly spend many years of my life fully engaged doing something of no eternal value.
Finally, I see how easy it is for us to be hypocrites. Jacob had ripped off his own brother of his birth-right as the firstborn son, he deceived his own father in order to do this (Genesis 27). Now, Laban deceives Jacob, and Jacob is indignant. In reality Jacob had no righteousness of his own to stand on when he complained to Laban. Ironically, Jacob used deception to claim a birth-right that was not his to claim, and now Laban uses deception to enforce the birth-right tradition onto Jacob by tricking him into marrying Leah, his first born daughter.
Lord I thank you that your Holy Spirit reveal lessons for life and knowing you. May your Word and your Spirit have priority in my life. Amen.
Written by Andrew Mellor