Our church family is reading through the first five books of the Bible together in ninety days. We invite you to join us as we believe this will be a time that will change our lives.
Just as quickly as Isaac’s life and story have appeared, we see him quickly fade away from the pages of Genesis. Isaac is both old and blind when his son, Jacob, tricks him with help from his mother. As we see Jacob’s plotting and his ridiculous disguise, we quickly discern he has the ethical makeup of a con artist. And while there are no heroes in this story, we soon see God shaping and remaking Jacob’s character.
Shortly after experiencing the vision of a ladder dropping down from heaven, Jacob journeys east. It is here he meets the beautiful Rachel and her scheming father, Laban – also a con artist. Jacob had met his match.
Remember, before leaving home, Jacob had tricked his brother. Now he spots the beautiful Rachel. In pursuit of this dream girl, Jacob agrees to work seven years for the beautiful Rachel’s hand in marriage. Yet, Laban was also father of the not so beautiful Leah, Rachel’s sister.
Jacob effectively tells Laban, “I’ll do anything for the hand of Rachel,” and Laban exploits the situation. First, Laban manages to become quite wealthy off the back of Jacob when he agrees to work for seven years for Rachel’s hand in marriage (Rachel must have been beautiful!). Then, Laban tricks Jacob into marrying Leah, Rachel’s older and unwanted sister. At the end of the seven years, Jacob demands to be given Rachel. Yet, after a night of revelry, he wakes up married to Rachel’s sister, Leah – evidently, too drunk to notice whom he had married in the dark. When the morning came, he is outraged at the deceit. As soon as Jacob realizes the deception, he confronts Laban who offers him a second deal: “Work for me for an additional seven years for Rachel’s hand.”
Consider Leah for a moment. Here was the girl no one wanted. She had to be part of the ploy set up by Laban. Consider this: where was Rachel during the wedding festival? Had Laban or Leah locked her away? Did Leah not correct Jacob when he referred to her by Rachel’s name? What did Jacob call his new wife on the first night of their marriage? Did Leah’s jealousy cause her to agree to this deception?
In the end, Jacob finally knew what it was like to be on the receiving end of the chicanery he played on his brother and father years before. His deceit of his brother Esau had boomeranged back to him when Laban said he must marry the older sister before he could have the younger sister. Could he now finally understand the pain he had caused his family?