He Wanted Sarah But Got Leah

After Jacob had stayed with him for a whole month, 15 Laban said to him, “Just because you are a relative of mine, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.”

16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful. 18 Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”

19 Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.

21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to make love to her.”

22 So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast. 23 But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob made love to her. 24 And Laban gave his servant Zilpah to his daughter as her attendant.

25 When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?”

26 Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. 27 Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.”

28 And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29 Laban gave his servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her attendant. 30 Jacob made love to Rachel also, and his love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years. Genesis 29:15-30

Jacob may have been chosen to continue the Abrahamic line, but he certainly wasn’t the brightest bulb on the tree. Deception ran deep in that family.

I don’t blame Laban totally because Jacob probably knew that the oldest was usually betrothed first in most families. It would be odd for him to be expecting to marry Leah’s younger sister. Give Jacob credit, though, for working hard to pay for a girl he wouldn’t get for another seven years.

What was it like, though, for those seven years. He was married to and sleeping with someone but really wanted the girl’s sister. Laban would be getting grandchildren out of the arrangement on top of free labor. This is one seriously dysfunctional family.

But God.

But God knew all of that when he laid the foundations of the world. He knew their dysfunctions, sadness, joys, and frustrations, but he chose this family as the line that would eventually usher in the Savior. They were flawed diamonds in the rough to put it gently.

But they were God’s chosen people.

We look at a passage like this and wonder how God could have chosen such a feeble and failed family.

Fortunately God does this every day.

That’s what He does.

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