Seven Years and One Month
Heavenly Father, as I look back over the past and see Your loving care and leading, I’m so very grateful.
Read Genesis 29:14-30
 Then Laban said to him, “You are my own flesh and blood.” After Jacob had stayed with him for a whole month,  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.”  Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.  Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful.  Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”  Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.”  So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.  Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to make love to her.”  So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast.  But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob made love to her.  And Laban gave his servant Zilpah to his daughter as her attendant.  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?”  Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one.  Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.”  And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife.  Laban gave his servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her attendant.  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. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow did Jacob show his great love for Rachel?
Jacob meets someone as wily as himself! Laban drives a hard bargain and consents to Jacob’s marriage plans in return for 14 years of labor (18,27). Even though Jacob clearly asks for Rachel (18), Laban succeeds in giving him his other daughter, Leah (27). Laban’s defense is one of local custom (26), but Jacob believes he has been deceived (25). The cheat becomes the cheated. There’s a happy symmetry here, a kind of natural justice, but that’s not the point of the story. God’s purposes are always greater and more far-reaching. Where Jacob hopes for a wife, God envisages a people who will fulfill his purposes on earth. Where we are bound by time, he scans the generations for his glory. He sees past, present and future at the same time as he designs his plan. His ways may seem inscrutable, but they are wise and good. We may not understand or like our lives at present, but we can give ourselves to his loving and personal care. Even when we feel alone and adrift in life, God is with us. He is caring for us and working out his good will and purpose. Count on it.
If you’re struggling to understand what God is doing or are feeling adrift in life, bring those cares to God now.
Good Lord, Your ways often seem inscrutable to me, but I thank You for Your loving care each and every day.
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