Lord, thank You for Your Holy Word. Let it be a song in my heart that challenges and changes me.
Read Genesis 29:1–14a
29 Then Jacob [a]went on his journey, and came to the land of the children of the east. 2 And he looked, and, behold, a well in the field, and, lo, three flocks of sheep lying there by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks: and the stone upon the well’s mouth was great. 3 And thither were all the flocks gathered: and they rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone again upon the well’s mouth in its place. 4 And Jacob said unto them, My brethren, whence are ye? And they said, Of Haran are we. 5 And he said unto them, Know ye Laban the son of Nahor? And they said, We know him. 6 And he said unto them, Is it well with him? And they said, It is well: and, behold, Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep. 7 And he said, Lo, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together: water ye the sheep, and go and feed them. 8 And they said, We cannot, until all the flocks be gathered together, and they roll the stone from the well’s mouth; then we water the sheep. 9 While he was yet speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep; for she kept them. 10 And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. 11 And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept. 12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s brother, and that he was Rebekah’s son: and she ran and told her father.
13 And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister’s son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things. 14 And Laban said to him, Surely thou art my bone and my flesh. And he abode with him the space of a month.
- Genesis 29:1 Hebrew lifted up his feet.
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.
ReflectThink of a time when you were in unfamiliar surroundings. Did anyone welcome you and try to help you feel at home?
Here we see God delivering on His promise to look after Jacob: what were the chances, in a world without GPS, maps or even roads, of him turning up at the right well just as Rachel got there (9)? We worry about so many things – how will we make ends meet, how will things work out, etc. Matthew 6:25–34 tells us not to worry: God looks after birds and flowers; how much more will He provide for you!
This passage provides an interesting cameo of the nameless shepherds. Three flocks (and presumably at least three shepherds) had already arrived and were waiting for others to come so that they could work together to remove the stone that protected their well. Sometimes, I feel it might be easier to do something by myself, but when I work with a team there are always so many benefits and blessings. Rather than showing suspicion towards Jacob, a stranger, the shepherds welcomed him and answered politely, even when he tried to tell them how to do their jobs (7)!
Hebrews 13:2 encourages us to be hospitable. What does that look like in your context? Is it easy for you to welcome others into your life? How could you develop your hospitality?
Watchful One, Thank You for today’s reminder that You watch over my coming and going. May I follow Your leading, assured that You will never leave me nor forsake me.