Jacob met Rachel at a well near Haran. Rachel was a shepherdess and was watering her sheep. He saw her, came near rolled the stone from the well’s mouth and watered the flock of Laban (his mother’s brother). He kissed Rachel and wept aloud. Jacob told her he was her father’s kinsman – Rebekah’s son – she ran to tell her dad. Laban ran to meet him and embrace him and kissed him and brought him to his house. He stayed a month. Laban said asked what wages Jacob wanted for serving him. Jacob asked to marry Rachel for serving 7 years. Laban agreed. The 7 years of work seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her. Jacob asked for his wife. Laban made a feast, and brought Leah to Jacob. They were intimate, and in the morning he realized it was Leah! He waited a week with Leah, and then Laban gave him Rachel to be his wife too. Jacob was intimate with Rachel and loved her more than Leah. He then served another 7 years for Rachel. The Lord saw that Leah was hated and opened her womb. Rachel was barren. Here are the children of Jacob from this chapter:
- Reuben – “The LORD sees” or “see, a Son!”
- Simeon – “The LORD hears”
- Levi – “My husband will be attached to me”
- Judah – “I will praise the LORD” or “May God be praised”
God is sovereign and works to establish His people even through their sin. God providentially uses their sin sinlessly to continue to fulfill His promises to His people. We are undeserving of God’s grace, and yet God swore to Himself that He will establish His people and bring a Messiah through them to save them from their sin. Laban sins against God, his daughters, and Jacob by tricking Jacob. Jacob sins against Laban, Leah, Rachel, and God to marry two wives. Yet God is still unstoppable to fulfill His covenant through Jacobs sin. This is the beginning of the nation of Israel. This is the point where the tapestry of the history of God’s redemption is starting to come in view. Give thanks to God that even though this first family didn’t deserve God’s kindness, and even we don’t deserve God’s kindness, He still worked through their depravity to accomplish His promise to give us Jesus Christ!