One of my favorite parts of the Jacob story is when he hooks up with his Uncle Laban. While Jacob might be an amateur con-artist, Laban is a professional. Laban takes advantage of young Jacob in spectacular ways.
The most interesting way that Laban deceives Jacob is on his wedding night. Jacob had fallen head over heels in love with Laban’s youngest daughter, Rachel. It was love at first sight and he worked hard for seven years to earn the right to marry her. Yet, on the wedding night, Laban slipped the older daughter into Jacob’s bed instead. I laugh every time I read the story at the sheer absurdity of it! Imagine that conversation on the morning after!
When Jacob confronted Laban about it Laban said, “It is not our custom to marry the younger daughter before the older one. So, now that you have slept with Leah, she is your wife. But if you want to work for me for another seven years, I’ll let you go ahead and marry Rachel, too.”
Jacob, the deceiver, Jacob, the manipulator, has met his match in Laban. Jacob’s home life becomes challenging with two wives vying for his love and affection. And in the back of Jacob’s mind lies the unforgettable experience that he had with God at Bethel. As we will see next time, the grace of God is never far from any of us.
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