by Christina Farris
1 Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land of the people of the east.
2 And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and, lo, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks: and a great stone was upon the well's mouth.
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 his place.
4 And Jacob said unto them, My brethren, whence be 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 he well? And they said, He 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 till they roll the stone from the well's mouth; then we water the sheep.
9 And while he yet spake 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.
15 And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be?
16 And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.
17 Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.
18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.
19 And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me.
20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.
21 And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her.
22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.
23 And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her.
24 And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid.
25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?
26 And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn.
27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.
29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.
30 And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.
31 And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.
32 And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.
33 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon.
34 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi.
35 And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing. There is a difference in welcoming family from some distance and not welcoming them. Depending on your family you may have kin from distance away and other family members might be close by. Now Jacob when he found his mother people he was happy and told them willing who he was. He did not hide his family ties to these people. He came in friendship as a family member. He did not come as betrayers of the family. His uncle welcomed him into the family as long lost kin. If you ever had family come to spy or to betray you, you never want to meet them again. They are not worthy to be your family. If there only intent is to be your friend to hurt you, then they are not your family. It does not matter how thick blood lines are they are not family. If there intent is to protect and to aid you then they are family. Jacob reason for going to Laban was for protection and livelihood because he left his mother and father because of fear of his betrayal of his brother Esau, by stealing his birthright.
Now Jacob would be deceived by Laban for he would work for a wife and his choice was Rachel but by tradition he knew not he could not have Rachel until Leah was married. Leah and Jacob would spend a honeymoon of not love, but of marital and family commitment. Then he married Rachel whom he loved and worked another seven years for payment for Rachel. Leah knew she was hated and that Rachel was loved. Jacob only Leah as a burden in his family though God would still bless her first with sons. God eventually would enable Rachel to conceive as well. A family tore apart by lies, but not built on love but deception and the other built on love alone and commitment. He was willing to serve total of 14 years for the woman Jacob truly loved.
It appears despite the love and hate relationship Jacob had with two woman, both would have children by him, but one knew she was not loved, and it was not necessarily her fault. Jacob choose to abide by the rules of the land despite his feelings for Leah. He gave her honor has his first wife despite the situation. In way the honor was love, but it was not love from the heart but respect. Rachel he loved from the heart.
If we talk about loving one another some love is out of respect only some love is from the heart for another, and sometimes it only hate and tolerance. Most people can get along with anyone, but it does not mean they love them. Love is something more then just care, and compassion it comes from deep within and emotion that is far greater then just respect. Love is respect or should be. It is not always. I want to make a point this morning. when Jesus says love one another, he did not mean just show some respect, but take it to the heart. To love like his Father God loved his children. God showing no particiality for another, but loving his children unconditionally, allowing them to make the choice to know him and to return his love.
We are told in scripture to love and not to hate not even our enemies. Jacob broke this golden rule within his heart but not in his actions. We often break the rule of love with our thoughts and heart depending on situations that cause problems in our life. We might not even realize how that hate or love effects another. It sometimes still shows, for even Leah knew she was hated though she blessed by God. It is a hard to grasp the love and hate situation that Jacob had. Yet we know he respect Laban enough to abide by his rules.
This Thanksgiving countdown day 13 on Friday the thirteenth can we love those who hate us as well as those that we love, can we be thankful for their existence, for the fact God allows them in our life. Hard question to answer when we understand there more then actions that portray us. To Love is to love others as yourself. How would you treat you in a betrayal that intention was for a life time. How would you learn to love for a life time.
Dear Heavenly Father there are times of betrayal and times of true love. Let us look to our own human heart and learn to love despite what others do. Help us to love others outwardly as well as inwardly despite justified or unjustifiable reasons to hate or to not love. In Jesus precious name, Amen.
Thanksgiving Day Countdown Day 13: Thank you for those around me including family. Help me to love even when hate is reasonable response. Help me to consider their well being as I would myself.
Continual Scripture Study:Mark 12:30-31 KJV
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
1 John 3:10-13 KJV