This chapter is difficult for me. It raises many questions about Old Testament practices, but provides many answers applicable to our present-day lives. Why did Jacob have two women as a man of God? Was this allowed? How awful must Leah have felt to know he loved her younger sister more. But that is why we must dive deeper. In Part I, we will talk about Jacob reaching his final destination. In Part II, we will talk about Jacob and his two women, who were sisters.
Without google maps or a GPS, Jacob continued towards the land of the Gentiles to find a wife. As discussed in Genesis 28, Jacob proceeded on this difficult, lonely journey with delight and comfort knowing that the Lord would guide him. God sets out a path for us, giving us a purpose in Him. We too should run towards His commands with cheerful hearts, delighted in the understanding that the Lord our God has something much greater in mind for both our earthly and eternal lives.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” – Hebrews 12:1
God’s care and protection brought Jacob to his final destination. At the well, shepherds from different backgrounds came together to take care of their flock. Their kindness towards one another and consideration for all members of their flock are a reflection of Christ our Good Shepherd. Christ gathers, protects, preserves, and lays down His life for His flock (us!). His kindness towards strangers and those of different backgrounds is something worth imitating.
“Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds…” – Proverbs 27:23
“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep…I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” – John 10:11,14
“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:31
Jacob came from a family of great wealth but remained civil and respectful when speaking to shepherds. In return, he was addressed in the same manner he displayed. Jacob then sees Rachel, one of his own kind, and too addresses her with kindness, respect, love, and a servant’s heart – the keys to a happy marriage. Like Jacob, we too will weep tears of joy when we reach our final destination after a long journey towards God’s purpose for us.
In Part II we will see how we often fall in the same manner we have tripped others…