Thursday after the Third Sunday after the Epiphany of our Lord
Posted on January 31, 2019 byunder
Scripture: Genesis 29:1-20 (NKJV)
29:1 So Jacob went on his journey and came to the land of the people of the East. 2 And he looked, and saw a well in the field; and behold, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks. A large stone was on the well’s mouth. 3 Now all the flocks would be gathered there; and they would roll the stone from the well’s mouth, water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place on the well’s mouth.
4 And Jacob said to them, “My brethren, where are you from?”
And they said, “We are from Haran.”
5 Then he said to them, “Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?”
And they said, “We know him.”
6 So he said to them, “Is he well?”
And they said, “He is well. And look, his daughter Rachel is coming with the sheep.”
7 Then he said, “Look, it is still high day; it is not time for the cattle to be gathered together. Water the sheep, and go and feed them.”
8 But they said, “We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together, and they have rolled the stone from the well’s mouth; then we water the sheep.”
9 Now while he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 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 Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice and wept. 12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s relative and that he was Rebekah’s son. So she ran and told her father.
13 Then it came to pass, when Laban heard the report about Jacob his sister’s son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him and kissed him, and brought him to his house. So he told Laban all these things. 14 And Laban said to him, “Surely you are my bone and my flesh.”
And he stayed with him for a month. 15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what should your wages be?”
16 Now Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah’s eyes were delicate, but Rachel was beautiful of form and appearance. 18 Now Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, “I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.”
19 And Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.” 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.
Jacob had just finished a long journey from Beersheba to Laban. He had received the reassuring vision from God at Bethel, and now knew that whatever happened in his life, his God was with him. He would need that knowledge, as he would soon be tested by his opportunistic Uncle Laban. Jacob had met his daughter Rachel at the well upon entering the town. He was immediately struck by her beauty and desired to marry her.
Laban and Jacob entered into a deal: “Then Laban said to Jacob, ‘Because you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what should your wages be?’ Now Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah’s eyes were delicate, but Rachel was beautiful of form and appearance. Now Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, ‘I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.’ And Laban said, ‘It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.’ So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.”
But all the while Laban was plotting yet again. Leah would be “substituted” for Rachel in order to gain seven more years of labor out of Jacob. Greed and deception would continue to permeate the life of Jacob, but this time he would be on the receiving end.
“Lord, keep us steadfast in Thy Word; curb those who fain by craft and sword would wrest the Kingdom from Thy Son and set at naught all He hath done.” (TLH 261:1)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.