Genesis – First, God
The Bachelor TV show is a worldview look at what is deemed love in the eyes of the beholding world. It portrays love that is very conditional, love that comes and goes…easily. It depicts the drama of many women vying for one man. It’s seems to be a train wreck we can’t look away from because it is so ridiculous. Actually I do not watch it. The commercials alone make me ill and sad for humanity. We wonder why this show is popular. Human drama seems to hold our attention.
JACOB, THE BACHELOR
Directed by God, Jacob has now arrived in the country of his kin. His eyes immediately fall on a shepherdess, the lovely Rachel. He can’t take his gaze from her. I’m sure she wasn’t “dressed to kill” at this first meeting. She probably had the odor of sheep, too. But it is love at first sight for Jacob.
Jacob’s uncle is elated at his good fortune to find kin for his daughters and schemes to get both married off to the unsuspecting bachelor. For Leah, “nice eyes”, it was love at first sight for her even though she knew Jacob was in love with Rachel. And the drama begins.
Is Jacob getting “played” because of his own previous schemes and manipulations?
God had forgiven Jacob for his previous misbehavior, passing onto to him the Promise of Abraham. We watch as God works in and through Jacob to be the man God wants to use to fulfill HIS plan.
The human drama of love and relationships continue…
Genesis 29, The Message
1-3 Jacob set out again on his way to the people of the east. He noticed a well out in an open field with three flocks of sheep bedded down around it. This was the common well from which the flocks were watered. The stone over the mouth of the well was huge. When all the flocks were gathered, the shepherds would roll the stone from the well and water the sheep; then they would return the stone, covering the well.
4 Jacob said, “Hello friends. Where are you from?”
They said, “We’re from Haran.”
5 Jacob asked, “Do you know Laban son of Nahor?”
6 “Are things well with him?” Jacob continued.
“Very well,” they said. “And here is his daughter Rachel coming with the flock.”
7 Jacob said, “There’s a lot of daylight still left; it isn’t time to round up the sheep yet, is it? So why not water the flocks and go back to grazing?”
8 “We can’t,” they said. “Not until all the shepherds get here. It takes all of us to roll the stone from the well. Not until then can we water the flocks.”
9-13 While Jacob was in conversation with them, Rachel came up with her father’s sheep. She was the shepherd. The moment Jacob spotted Rachel, daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, saw her arriving with his uncle Laban’s sheep, he went and single-handedly rolled the stone from the mouth of the well and watered the sheep of his uncle Laban. Then he kissed Rachel and broke into tears. He told Rachel that he was related to her father, that he was Rebekah’s son. She ran and told her father. When Laban heard the news—Jacob, his sister’s son!—he ran out to meet him, embraced and kissed him and brought him home. Jacob told Laban the story of everything that had happened.
14-15 Laban said, “You’re family! My flesh and blood!”
When Jacob had been with him for a month, Laban said, “Just because you’re my nephew, you shouldn’t work for me for nothing. Tell me what you want to be paid. What’s a fair wage?”
16-18 Now Laban had two daughters; Leah was the older and Rachel the younger. Leah had nice eyes, but Rachel was stunningly beautiful. And it was Rachel that Jacob loved.
So Jacob answered, “I will work for you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”
19 “It is far better,” said Laban, “that I give her to you than marry her to some outsider. Yes. Stay here with me.”
20 So Jacob worked seven years for Rachel. But it only seemed like a few days, he loved her so much.
21-24 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife; I’ve completed what we agreed I’d do. I’m ready to consummate my marriage.” Laban invited everyone around and threw a big feast. At evening, though, he got his daughter Leah and brought her to the marriage bed, and Jacob slept with her. (Laban gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her maid.)
25 Morning came: There was Leah in the marriage bed!
Jacob confronted Laban, “What have you done to me? Didn’t I work all this time for the hand of Rachel? Why did you cheat me?”
26-27 “We don’t do it that way in our country,” said Laban. “We don’t marry off the younger daughter before the older. Enjoy your week of honeymoon, and then we’ll give you the other one also. But it will cost you another seven years of work.”
28-30 Jacob agreed. When he’d completed the honeymoon week, Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. (Laban gave his maid Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maid.) Jacob then slept with her. And he loved Rachel more than Leah. He worked for Laban another seven years.
31-32 When God realized that Leah was unloved, he opened her womb. But Rachel was barren. Leah became pregnant and had a son. She named him Reuben (Look-It’s-a-Boy!). “This is a sign,” she said, “that God has seen my misery; and a sign that now my husband will love me.”
33-35 She became pregnant again and had another son. “God heard,” she said, “that I was unloved and so he gave me this son also.” She named this one Simeon (God-Heard). She became pregnant yet again—another son. She said, “Now maybe my husband will connect with me—I’ve given him three sons!” That’s why she named him Levi (Connect). She became pregnant a final time and had a fourth son. She said, “This time I’ll praise God.” So she named him Judah (Praise-God). Then she stopped having children.
WOW! Are you ready to turn the channel on this deceit and drama? Hold that thought!
WHAT DO WE LEARN FROM THIS PASSAGE?
Life isn’t easy, and what life does to us depends a great deal on what life finds in us. Jacob could have easily left his family problems behind, but he had to take along his biggest problem–himself. During the next twenty years (31:41), Jacob would experience many painful trials in Laban’s household, but in the end, he would become God’s man to accomplish God’s will.
However, don’t read these chapters as an ancient story about one man’s family. This is a contemporary story about all of us who are making important decisions on the road of life, decisions that determine character and destiny.
Jesus made it clear that not everybody is supposed to get married (Matt. 19:1-12). But with Jacob, marriage wasn’t an option; it was an obligation. The success of the covenant promises God gave to Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3; 28:1-4) depended on Jacob’s finding a wife and with her building a family that would eventually become the people of Israel, the nation that would bring the promised Redeemer into the world.
The episode at the well reminds us of the experience of Abraham’s servant when he was seeking a wife for Isaac (24:10), a story that Jacob had certainly heard many times.
We see the providence of God in this meeting. Unbelievers might call this event “a fortunate coincidence,” but believers would see in it the gracious leading of the hand of God. In the life of the trusting Christian, there are no accidents, only appointments.
JACOB’S CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
We also see in this event the beginning of some positive changes in the character of Jacob. For one thing, look at his boldness as he confronted the shepherds, moved the stone, and introduced himself to Rachel. And look at his honesty as he told his story to Laban, Rachel’s father (29:18).
Jacob failed to notice that Laban made no promise that he would give Rachel to Jacob at the end of the seven years. He only agreed to give him Rachel for his wife.
Once again we see growth in Jacob’s character as he patiently served Laban for seven difficult years. Shepherding isn’t an easy vocation, and seven years is a long time, but Jacob’s love for Rachel took the burden out of the work and caused the time to pass quickly.
It’s been well said that happiness consists of having someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to; and Jacob had all three.
The man who deceived his father (Jacob) was deceived by his father-in-law, and the man who passed himself off as the firstborn son now receives Laban’s firstborn daughter to be his wife. It’s an inescapable law of life that we eventually reap what we sow (Gal. 6:7-8). God in His grace forgives our sins when we confess them (1 John 1:9), but God in His government allows us to suffer the painful consequences of those sins. This disappointment was just the beginning of the harvest for Jacob.
“I feel that Leah was a willing accomplice, happy to get a hardworking husband like Jacob, who would inherit Isaac’s wealth and enjoy the covenant blessings of Abraham. Certainly she knew that Rachel would also be part of the bargain, but was willing to risk whatever problems might ensue. Leah may have “borrowed” some of her sister’s garments and even learned to imitate some of her personal mannerisms. If so, she was treating Jacob just the way he had treated his father when he pretended to be Esau.” Warren Wiersbe
JACOB IS GRACIOUS
Jacob protested the way Laban had treated him and Rachel, but he meekly accepted his lot and went back to work for another seven years. Little by little, Jacob was learning to submit to God’s loving hand of discipline and was growing in faith and character.
GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL
Laban must have congratulated himself on the success of his scheme, not realizing that the Lord was ruling and overruling in the entire event. “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord” (Prov. 21:30 niv). As Jacob’s son Joseph would say many years later, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Gen. 50:20 nkjv). Christians today would quote Romans 8:28.
What are you going through right now that seems out of control?
What is God doing in you as you struggle with unfairness and seeming injustice?
“…But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” Romans 8:25-30, NIV
God is transforming us day by day, developing the characteristics of Christ, His Son in us. Be the clay. Let God be the molder of the clay.
In this human drama, watch how God works. See who God is. Rejoice in Him. Be glad He does not give us what we truly deserve but keeps working on us until we are all He intended for us to be.
Thank you for saving my soul. Thank you for constantly redirecting my path to You.
In Jesus Name, Amen