In Genesis 28 and 29 there is an amazing love story. It all started when Jacob’s father, Isaac, blessed him and told him to go to Padan-Aram to find a wife, specifically one of Laban’s daughters. Jacob left at once as his father suggested.
Jacob first saw Rachel, a shepherdess, as she was coming to a well to water her sheep. When he found out she was the daughter of Laban and the sheep were Laban’s he watered his uncle’s flock. Then…he kissed Rachel! He lifted up his voice and wept! In my imagination, I see him rejoicing that God is watching from above and blessing Him as God told him He would, in a dream.
“I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 28:13-14 NJKV
Jacob went to Laban’s house and told him who he was. Laban was thrilled. Jacob stayed there and worked one month for Laban. When he asked Jacob what he wanted for wages, he requested Rachel be given to him. Laban agreed but, as was custom at the time, Jacob had to work for her, seven years! So he did. Simple as that. Isn’t the verse the sweetest?
So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her. Genesis 29:20
After seven years, Laban gave Jacob a bride, but it was his older daughter, Leah, that he sent in to Jacob. His own uncle tricked him! Now, Jacob had a wife but not the one he loved. Jacob told Laban to give Him Rachel as he had worked long and hard for her. Laban agreed, but…yes there is another twist. Laban said Jacob could go ahead and have Rachel in one week, after Leah had one full week. At that point, Jacob would have two wives, but had to work for Laban seven more years.
Jacob put up with all that Laban did because He loved Rachel. When Jacob left to find a wife, I doubt he imagined working seven years, getting married to “not Rachel”, then working seven more years for a second bride, Rachel. Despite Laban’s tricks, which were probably done out of a father’s love for Leah and for the custom that older daughters marry before the younger, Jacob did whatever it took to deserve the one he loved.
What can we learn from this? Just everything that matters. True love does what it takes. It is that simple to understand and that difficult to do when we face difficulties. We may have plans and they may be God-honoring plans, but they may not go as we expect. God may have a different plan than we think. But we need to press on. Disappointment is real. When disappointment comes, and it will, we can look at our prize, Jesus! He is worth working a lifetime for! Just remember, and I preach to myself most…anything that is in the way of our relationship with Jesus, He can remove or help us get through!
One for the Journal- List a few things that could easily hold you back from Jesus. Whether it be pride, other sins, or unforgiveness perhaps, write them down. Bring them into the open and talk to Jesus about them. Then, listen to Him. He will speak into your sincere heart. He loves you! He showed you on the cross. He showed us all the meaning of true love:)
You are so dear to us. How can we possibly thank You enough for what You did out of love for us? We want to serve You with a full heart, whatever it takes. Please show us if we are harboring love or strong attachment to anything in the world that takes our eyes off the One we love more. We know You know all things and we do not. When things do not go as we planned, remind us that our disappointments are an opportunity for us to look more directly at Your plan. We trust You to arrange what it best for us. We love You so much! Amen
Love and prayers to you all.
Just me. Just His.