Today’s Reading: Genesis 28-30
Today’s Reflection: Genesis 29:25
25) And in the morning, behold, it was Leah! And Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?”
When Jacob fled Esau’s murderous wrath, he went to stay with his uncle Laban. Jacob quickly fell in love with Laban’s younger daughter Rachel, and he agreed to work 7 years to earn her hand in marriage. After he had kept his part of the bargain, he was married to his true love. Or so he thought. Jacob awoke the next morning to find Laban’s older daughter Leah lying next to him. He demanded to know why Laban had deceived him.
It was an interesting question for Jacob to ask, considering he had twice tricked his older brother Esau in order to gain position as heir of the family. He had first swapped the family birthright for a simple meal while his brother was weak with hunger (Genesis 25:29-34), then conspired with his mother Rebekah to trick his father Isaac into giving him the blessing (Genesis 27:1-47).
Even though it was God’s intention for second-born Jacob to be first in the family (Genesis 25:23) and continue the covenant He had made with Abraham, Jacob and Rebekah had taken it up on themselves to use human wisdom and deceit to bring about God’s purposes. Truly Jacob had lived up to his name: “he who causes others to stumble” or “he who cheats”. This penchant for trickery caused strife within the family that would continue to echo on for generations to come—Esau’s descendants, the Edomites, would go on to become a constant enemy to Israel, Jacob’s descendants.
This trait was something God had to deal with, and He chose to do it by allowing Jacob to be on the receiving end of what he had been inflicting on others. Truly God did continue to work in this situation. Jacob was eventually allowed to marry Rachel as well, and even though he and his two wives became an object lesson for why God’s plan for marriage is one man and one woman, this difficult family would gave birth to the nation of Israel and its 12 tribes. But for Jacob these challenges brought the consequences of his past deceits to daily remembrance, and allowed God to bring him to repentance.
Just as God used Jacob to do great things, God desires to use you as well. But at times He is prevented from doing so because of a habit or character trait you possess. And often in these situations, God will give you a taste of what you’ve been giving to others. He doesn’t do this to punish you, or hurt you, but to help you understand just how destructive these little habits you’ve been so quick to excuse really are. If this is happening in your life, be encouraged. It is a sign that God has big things in store for you, if you learn your lesson and allow God to change your ways, as Jacob did.
Revelation 3:19 – Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.