Soap operas can be interesting and a little far-fetched, too. When I was younger, I enjoyed watching them but as I got older, wiser and busier, they’re no longer my cup of tea. Nevertheless, I still get a good share of them from the Bible. The story of Jacob and Rachel Genesis 29:1-12 is one of such soaps.
The story of Jacob, the swindler, who later God changed his name to Israel, spans a whole ten chapters of the book of Genesis. Chapter 27 gives an account of how he received his blessing from his father, Isaac by treachery. Although old and dim sighted, Isaac could tell that something wasn’t right when Jacob presented himself for the blessing; the voice and skin texture didn’t match. Nevertheless, Isaac must have remembered this prophecy:
23 And the Lord said to her:
“Two nations are in your womb,
Two peoples shall be separated from your body;
One people shall be stronger than the other,
And the older shall serve the younger.” – Genesis 25:23
After usurping his brother, Esau, (Genesis 27:36) to avoid his wrath, Jacob escapes to his maternal uncle, Laban’s home. (This is the same Laban who negotiated Rebekah’s dowry when Eliezar was sent by Abraham to find a wife for Isaac.)
In the East, he arrives by a well where he meets some people; they engage in a conversation and he learns that they knew Laban. They also inform him that the shepherdess who was coming in their direction is Rachel, Laban’s daughter. Jacob tries to get these people to water the sheep and then go feed them, but they say that they’re waiting for everyone else to come so that (in numbers) the stone can be rolled for the flock to be watered. Translation: Man, this stone is too heavy for the few of us – we can’t, so let’s wait for more manpower.
Jacob’s love for Rachel was so deep that it could wait
Jacob sees Rachel and is instantly love-struck and energized. Not waiting, he rolls the stone all by himself and waters Rachel’s sheep (Genesis 29:10)! Then kisses[i] Rachel, and weeps aloud (Genesis 29:11).
Far from infatuation, Jacob’s love propels him to offer to work (without pay) for 7 years for Rachel’s hand in marriage.
20 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 29:11
Isn’t it noteworthy that true love CAN wait?
Jacob’s love for Rachel was so determined that it could never give up
Something bizarre happens and Jacob ends up with the wrong woman.
25 So it came to pass in the morning, that behold, it was Leah. And he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I served you? Why then have you deceived me?” – Genesis 29:25
The swindler has just been swindled! Unbelievably, Jacob doesn’t throw in the towel. He serves Laban still another seven years for the love of his life (Genesis 29:30b).
To what lengths can you go for the woman that you love?
Jacob’s love for Rachel was so considerate that it could protect
After being married many years, when time came to leave Laban’s and journey back home, Jacob’s love for Rachel can be seen in how he planned the procession. He puts Rachel behind everybody so that should they come in the face of danger, the last shall be saved. He protected her and the sons she bore to him Genesis 33:2.
Jacob’s love for Rachel was so patient that it could endure
Suffice to mention here that Rachel’s initial struggle with infertility was not an issue for Jacob. He loved her, regardless.
Is your wife conscious of your love right now? Does she sense anger, bitterness or coldness from you today or is it love?
At 147 years old, Jacob was still talking about Rachel, who had died many years before.
7 But as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died beside me in the land of Canaan on the way, when there was but a little distance to go to Ephrath; and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).” – Genesis 48:7
Rachel was not forgotten by Jacob.
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