Editor's Note: Every Week, DrydenWire.com publishes a submitted article in a weekly series from Pastor Brian Cole. If you would have a question for Brian or would like to learn more about him, visit his website or his official Facebook page.
Gen. 29:1-35 - The School of Hard Knocks - Part 2
Last week we saw God’s sovereignty in just setting this whole deal up! Now we continue with vs. 12...
Vs. 12-21 - “ He had told Rachel that he was a relative of her father and a son of Rebekah. So she ran and told her father.
As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he hurried to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his home, and there Jacob told him all these things. Then Laban said to him, “You are my own flesh and blood.”
After Jacob had stayed with him for a whole month, 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.”
Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”
Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.” So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.
Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to make love to her.”
Many people say here that Rebekah was the pretty one and Leah was the ugly one, but I don’t think that’s what’s being insinuated here. In the Hebrew the idea behind “weak” or “tender” speaks more to the personality trait than it does the physical features. The idea rather that Leah was gentle, more laid back, more gentle. It’s going to be clear as we move forward that Rachel is the more fiery one of the two, that she has a more aggressive personality.
And because the Hebrew here states that Rachel was physically beautiful, that her body was well-formed, well proportioned, she’s a VERY attractive woman. Just understand Jacob is not sight-seeing here. Jacob is not a lazy man. He’s a go-getter. Even when he was a schemer, he was a go-getter. He was working hard. He’s prospering Labon and Labon will make that known here in a bit.
And Labon says: “Hey, don’t work for me for nothing. What do you want?” And Jacob says: “Ok, I want the younger daughter.”
As we look at vs. 19, very carefully, I’m not so sure I understand what Labon is agreeing to here. It’s very vague, he agrees to give her, but he’s silent as to how and when. There’s no mention of a time frame. I think what we’re going to discover is a prime example of 2 people meeting with each other and both of them walking away thinking something very differently. Jacob is under the impression - “Awesome. In 7 years I’m going to get Rachel.”
And Labon, all he has said is - “It’s better I give my daughter to you than a stranger.” He’s not committing himself to anything here. As this story unfolds, what we essentially have here is one con trying to out-con another con! A lesson learned the hard way in this school!
So Labon is conning Jacob, he obviously sees that he is going to be able to enrich himself through what Jacob does, and we’ll see in just a minute - when Jacob get’s burned, after putting in the 7 years, Labon’s going to say - “Look dude, you don’t listen very well. All I said was ‘better you then a stranger.’ I never said how or when this was going down.”
A great lesson to be learned here is that It's very important, that if WE have some of these meetings in our life, that we say - “Now, what is it exactly that you are saying to me. What exactly is it that you are committing yourself too? What am I committing myself to?”
Matt. 5:37; James 5:12 - “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No;’ anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” “How can you let your yes be yes and no be no if you really don’t spell out what it is?
We don’t want to set ourselves up for sin.
What we have is really the first sort of divine cloud that is appearing on Jacob’s horizon. Understand that God has orchestrated this in order to root out of the man 2 things:
1. Our Patriarch’s impatience - Remember, “gotta have the birthright.” vs. God’s already given it to me.” He was scheming for something he already had.
2. His tendency to manipulate. He’s an impatient manipulator.
So often in life we do something stupid and nothing seems to come of it right away in terms of chastisement by God. So somehow we think we’re off the hook. Are ya with me? And yet I think just as we are so short sighted concerning the blessings of God coming our way: “If I don’t get this blessing, I want this to happen right now,” and if it doesn’t, 20 minutes later we’re off in the energies of the flesh trying to make it happen ourselves.
I think we’re also short-sighted concerning the discipline of God. So if something doesn’t happen to us in the way of discipline at the hand of the Father we think - Well. maybe God’s okay with it. Maybe this is something I can continue to do.” NOT SO! And so what I want us to see here - is here’s Jacob, the master player, and he’s gonna get played!! He was in a hurry to get the birthright and be served - and now what’s he doing? He’s gonna serve! And he’s gonna serve double-time!!
No coincidence that Pharoah demanded in Exod. 1 that the Hebrews he drowned, and 13 chapters later, how does he go? By drowning!
No coincidence in Num. 16 that Korah caused a cleft in the congregation, and it was a cleft in the ground that swallowed him up.
No coincidence that Saul in Acts 7 stood by consenting to the stoning of Stephen, when a bit later in Acts 14 what happens in Lystra? He was stoned and left for dead.
And we can go on and on. So, Gal. 6:7 - “Do not be deceived, God will not be mocked, a man reaps what he sows.”
Heb. 12:5-6 - My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastens everyone He accepts as His son.” God loves His children, therefore He disciplines them. He’s your Daddy! He’s going to discipline you!
If we don’t see that right away, we have to be careful not to think God’s ok with it.
So, Jacob is saying - “I want Rachel.” Of course we know what’s going to happen/ 7 years fly by, he’s excited to marry her! Yet notice for 7 years he’s been engaged and he’s kept himself sexually pure! Much to his credit, 7 years, no physical contact. Now I wanna go in and consummate my marriage. Say what we will about Jacob, he HAS been honorable in this regard!
Join us next week for the conclusion where we will see Labon bringin’ the crazy.
Blessings to you all.