Read Genesis 29 – Oh what a tangled web we weave… or so the saying goes.
Jacob, the trickster, arrives in Paddan-Aram, aka, Uncle Laban’s neighborhood. He waits beside the well, chatting with the local shepherds… they were the news source of the day. He inquired about Laban, they said, yes, this was his land, and his daughter Rachel was the woman approaching with her flocks (she was a shepherd, she worked).
Notice the build up of vs :10. Jacob’s heart must have been racing! And vs :11, “Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and he wept aloud.” That must have made for some fun stories to tell the grandkids.
Laban takes Jacob in and they make a dowry deal that Jacob will work for him for 7 years, then marry Rachel. Notice the symbolism… Jacob came from a wealthy household, yet now he was essentially a servant to Laban. Jesus is LORD, yet He came from heaven to earth to serve. (Matthew 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.)
But on the wedding night, Laban tricks Jacob by giving him Leah and not Rachel, saying it was the custom that the older daughter be married first. Laban presents a new deal that he will give him Rachel next week, provided Jacob agrees to another 7 years of service. Remember in Chapter 27 when I said Jacob would face a refining period because of his trickery? Well, here is 14 years of it.
Now poor Leah, she is unloved by her husband, but the LORD sees her sorrow and blesses her with 4 sons… one of which would be the priestly line of Levi, another of which would bring forth Jesus Christ, our Messiah, from the line of Judah!
Beloved, the LORD sees you too. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. The LORD lifts up the humble. The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. (Psalm 147:3,6,11).