By Scott Brown
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Waverly
Focal Passage: Genesis 29:16-30
God is pleased to use crooked sticks to draw straight lines. God chose to bless the nations through a broken, corrupted family.
I am so grateful the Bible has stories like this as they remind me how God does indeed use imperfect people with imperfect lives to advance His perfect plans.
Jacob sought to follow his father’s advice and marry someone from his own people. He chose Rachel and proposed to Laban that he work seven years for her hand. At the end of the seven years Laban threw an incredible wedding banquet and gave his daughter to marry Jacob, but not the daughter he expected.
Jacob consummated his marriage with the wrong woman and all his happiness turned to anger when he discovered this the next morning. I’ve always been curious if Jacob, after seven years with Laban, expected anything like this?
Remember that Laban is Rebekah’s brother. Rebekah was the very one who hatched the plot for Jacob to lie to his weak eyed father and steal his brother’s birthright. Should Jacob really be surprised when Laban did the same thing to him?
We tend to excuse our sins against others yet become outraged when it happens to us. Likewise we overlook, excuse, or rationalize our sins before the Holy God and choose to live in bitterness over a lie someone or something a family member did to us years or even decades ago.Shouldn’t we be more upset about our sins before God than others’ sins against us rather than the other way around?
When Jacob confronted Laban, he gave him an obvious excuse about a custom in the surrounding country.
This is definitely information he should’ve shared with Jacob seven years before and not the day after the wedding. It’s amazing even in the midst of the deceit of Isaac by Jacob and now against Jacob by Laban that God has a sovereign plan that He is working out perfectly.
While it appears to Jacob that all his plans are falling apart, all of God’s plans are falling into place. This same thing is true for us today.
As Spurgeon says, “When we cannot trace God’s hand we must learn to trust His heart.” At the end of the weeklong marriage celebration Jacob is finally given Rachel for whom he has now promised to work another seven years.
Jacob now has to work seven more years to redeem what should already have been his. Jacob now has his wife, Rachel, and he works the seven years gladly for her. This is the first time in Scripture that we see Jacob acting with any real integrity by staying on to fulfill what he promised.
God blesses Jacob, his family, and his work because of his integrity and He does the same for us today. B&R — Brown is pastor of First Baptist Church, Waverly.