Loving Father, may I never forget that You oversee all things. Trials remind me that I must worship You and trust Your sovereign will.
Read Genesis 29:14B–30
14 Then Laban said to him, “You are my own flesh and blood.”
Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel
After Jacob had stayed with him for a whole month, 15 Laban said to him, “Just because you are a relative of mine, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.”
16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah had weak[a] eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful. 18 Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”
19 Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.
21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to make love to her.”
22 So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast. 23 But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob made love to her. 24 And Laban gave his servant Zilpah to his daughter as her attendant.
25 When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?”
26 Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. 27 Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.”
28 And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29 Laban gave his servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her attendant. 30 Jacob made love to Rachel also, and his love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years.
- Genesis 29:17 Or delicate
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIf God sees even the sparrows, who could be likened to the ‘sparrows’ (people considered worthless) in your community?
I wonder when the conversation took place – and how it went. ‘Leah, that wedding dress that Rachel has been preparing – you’re going to wear it. You’re marrying Jacob!’
Was Leah a willing participant? Did she have any right to argue with her father or was she just a chattel to be disposed of as he wished? What was it like to go through the wedding ceremony and celebrations, knowing that he thought she was someone else? Was there a moment of triumph that the marriage was consummated without a hitch? (Was Jacob too drunk to notice?) What did it feel like when Jacob looked at her with horror the morning after (25)? And to be supplanted a week after her wedding day – what was that like?
Where was God through it all? He is not even mentioned. Was it all a terrible mistake?
Jesus on the cross felt deserted by God, and cried out, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ (Matthew 27:46). Praise God that He hadn’t forsaken Jesus (or Leah) and can work out His holy purposes despite human treachery and deviousness.
There are many organizations that work to share God’s love and help people access their rights. How might you join the effort?
Loving God, I know there are so many people around the world trapped in appalling situations. Send those who can offer Your hope.