Most couples enjoy telling the “how we met” story. It is fun to hear what brought two lives together. In Genesis 28 and 29, we learn the love story of Jacob and Rachel. When Jacob left home, his father instructed him to go to his uncle’s home in Paddan Aram, and “take a wife for yourself there” (28:2).
On the way, Jacob had a dream—and the Lord spoke the covenant over Jacob. What had been promised to Abraham and Isaac would now be his. Jacob was astonished. “If God watches over me, then He will be my God,” he vowed. This is our first indication of Jacob’s spiritual state.
When Jacob arrived in the east, he met shepherds by a well and asked if they knew his uncle Laban. They did (29:5), and Rachel—Laban’s daughter—entered, providentially, right on cue (v. 9). Laban greeted Jacob with hugs: “My own flesh and blood” (v. 14). Jacob arranged to work for seven years for Rachel’s hand in marriage. He was so in love that those years seemed like days. But on their wedding, Laban played a trick on the trickster. He sent Leah to Jacob in the dark of night (v. 23). When Jacob awoke, he was dismayed. “Why have you deceived me?” he asked (v. 25). The two men made another agreement—another seven years of work for Rachel. It is hard to feel too sorry for Jacob who suffered the consequences of his own tricky behavior. He was treated in the same way he had treated others. His own character stood between him and the full blessing of God.
>> At some point, each of us has received a “taste of our own medicine.” Someone has acted toward us just as we have acted toward them or others. To Jacob’s credit, he didn’t lash out or deceive Laban in response. How have you responded in similar circumstances?
Sometimes we despise others because we see in them the same sin we see in ourselves. We ask that you humble us. May we see these relationships as opportunities to extend the grace you granted us.