Jacob continues his journey to his uncle Laban’s home in Paddan-Aram. As he gets there, he runs into Rachel, Laban’s daughter, by a well, and falls in love with her right away. For Rachel’s hand in marriage, Jacob consents to work for Laban for seven years.
After the seven years are over, Laban connives to get Jacob to wed Leah rather than Rachel. For Rachel’s sake, Jacob consents to marry her after serving Laban for an additional seven years. Leah, Rachel, their maidservants Bilhah and Zilpah, and Jacob all have children in the end.
The familial patterns and relationships that will influence Israel’s history in the years to come are generally well-explained in Genesis 29.
Leah and Rachel’s competition for Jacob’s love and attention is also discussed in the chapter, along with the tension and rivalry between them. The names and ancestry of Jacob’s twelve sons, who would later lead the twelve tribes of Israel, are also revealed.
From the story of Jacob and Rachel itself, we can learn some lessons. First, we can decipher from the event that, like Jacob, we can still find forgiveness from God despite our faults and failings. Jacob lied to his own family, but he eventually practiced humility. Although he continued to deceive, he eventually repented and was accepted and blessed by God.
Second, despite our petty jealousies and all imperfections, God has a plan that He will carry out. God created people out of what appeared to be a disaster, despite the sibling disputes between Rachel and Leah and the addition of two additional spouses to their already overcrowded marriage.
Third, Jacob freely gave up his right to Rachel in order to take her as his wife, demonstrating the love of Christ. Jacob endured pain to gain Rachel. In the same vein, we are aware of the great love God has for us and the lengths He will go to win our hearts and souls for Himself.
Thank you for the story of Jacob and his family in Genesis 29. Please help us to persevere through challenges and to cultivate loving relationships with our family and friends. Guide us to use our talents and abilities to serve others and to follow your will. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
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Please also visit www.wisdombegun.com/genesis for more thought-provoking discussions on the Book of Genesis plus free downloads and presentations about the Genesis story – ideal for use at Bible Study groups or Sunday school lessons.
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Featured image attribution:
Rachel. Unknown date. Harold Copping. This image is in the public domain. Cropped from original.
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