Jacob’s love for Rachel was never ending and unchanging. When he first met her, he knew she was the one for him. He was arriving to a new country Pandan-aram. He was excited, but also arriving with some fear of what had already happened to him and wondering what was to become of him. However, all along the way, God assured Jacob and reassured him, “I will be with you.” He had prevailed in his life and challenging encounters. He was born out of struggle in his mother’s womb with his twin brother, Esau. He and his mother, Rebekah, had deceiving his father and her husband, Isaac. Isaac had planned to bless Esau with the blessings of the birthright meant for the firstborn. Rebekah overheard the plan and intervened by explaining to Jacob what he must do and she was skillful in convincing Jacob to do what she said. She told Jacob to place kid’s fur on his hands to lead Isaac to believe that he was Esau. Isaac (you will recall he was the chosen spiritual heir born to Abraham and Sarah). Jacob asked questions about what his mother was telling him to do. She assured him that whatever the consequences, she would take on the responsibility. Jacob’s personality was a placid, calm and not high strung. Obviously, he listened to his mother and cooperated with her, believing what she was advising him to do.
One of the areas which we do not know is that we don’t know what all he had heard before about Esau’s personality and his actions. What we do know is that Esau married women who were pagans and idolaters. Jacob on the other hand was unmarried, worshipping God and may have heard the worries and concerns that his parents had about this matter of marriage. Rebekah says, I am grieved with the daughters of Heth. I don’t want Jacob to marry one of them. Isaac listened to his wife after it was realized that Esau was going to kill Jacob because he (Esau) had sold his birthright privileges and blessings to Jacob for a bowl of stew. So that’s why Jacob is called “heel-catcher” and “supplanter.” Isaac is not altogether innocent bystander, because when a father or mother has a favorite child among the family, there can be intense jealousy. Rebekah and Isaac realizing the danger Jacob was now subjected to, they sent him away to Rebekah’s relatives, He meets Uncle Laban, one who has a similar personality as Jacob. I think it is appropriate to talk about Rebekah’s actions. It appears Rebekah had to have heard from God to make this pivotal decision to honor the younger one, Jacob above the older, son Esau. No, it’s not like God said, deceive your husband, but remember, it was Rebekah who had talked to God about these twins struggling in her womb. (We’re not altogether sure what all God said to her; but He did say there are two nations in your womb). So, Jacob’s parents require him to leave. Rebekah thinks he will be able to return in a “few days.” However, that was not the case. Jacob ends up becoming “a slave” to Laban. Jacob is tricked into marrying Laban’s older daughter, Leah, the woman Jacob never loved and never wanted. It was Rachel he loved. Jacob spends seven years in serving Laban so he could marry Rachel. Laban simply says, the older daughter is married off first. Jacob spends some more time beyond the seven years of service before Laban allows him to marry Rachel, but not an added seven years. Jacob’s love is strong and unchanging. Things got so bad that Leah, who had six boys by Jacob and daughter, Dinah, she paid Rachel to sleep with Jacob. In the process of time, Jacob consulted with his wives (there were also maidservants like Bilhah and Zilpah, who also had children for Jacob) and they had to escape the servitude (slavery) of Laban. Laban realized that Jacob had favor with God and he was blessed and Laban was blessed because of Jacob.
Jumping to the end of the story, they all escaped after Jacob had served 20 years with Laban. Jacob was very afraid to meet Esau because of what had happened between him and his brother about the birthright and of course, Jacob knew Esau wanted to kill him before! Jacob loved Rachel til the end when she dies in childbirth with the youngest of the twelve brothers and Benjamin was born. I hope you can see the deep love in this story that Jacob had for Rachel…how he honored her throughout and provided for her and his family…hardworking and blessed by the Lord.
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Jeanette Grattan Parker Ph. D-Founder-Superintendent Todays Fresh Start Charter School www.todaysfreshstart.org (323)293-9826 4514 Crenshaw Blvd. Los Angeles, California 90043: firstname.lastname@example.org Weekly Columnist for LA Sentinel News & LA South Chamber of Commerce email@example.com articles copyright October 18, 2020 all rights reserved© “Inquiring Minds Want To Know” ©website askdrjeanetteparker.com “©The Father Famine” “Ask Dr. Jeanette”™