Now Jacob loved Rachel, so he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than to give her to another man; stay with me.” So Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her. Genesis 29:18-20 NASB
When Isaac’s time to marry had come, his father Abraham made the move, got him a wife, and brought it to him to marry. Isaac too, accepted the father’s choice of a wife, and lived happily with her in love and unity.
For Jacob, however, it was different. Instead of Isaac helping him to get a wife, he sent him out to get a wife for himself. That was the story behind the entrance of the first polygamist amongst God’s covenanted persons: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
After the Bethel encounter, there were no records, whatsoever, that Jacob walked in the consciousness of the God of Bethel. Rather, he continued to live his life normally, and to make his normal choices.
When a man encounters God in a season, it is important to realize that every meeting with God is supposed to set him in a place of authority and relevance in your life. It is not enough to say that a religious meeting somewhere ‘blessed’ your life, or touched you. Rather, did you see yourself submitting to the claims of God over your life? After that meeting, did you rise up to become a man or woman walking in the consciousness of the Divine One?
Jacob was led all the same, because God was showing him mercy. He led him to a well, where shepherds gathered to fetch water. Rachael, the daughter of Laban, and Jacob’s cousin, was a shepherdess.
Jacob went up to the shepherds and asked them information about Laban. They told him that he lives in the city, and that his daughter Rachael comes to water the flock.
As they were discussing, Rachael came to the well to water her flock. When they saw her and remarked this to Jacob, he immediately rolled away the stone at the well, and watered Rachael’s flock. Then he did something funny, he kissed Rachael, lifted up his voice and began to weep.
I sometimes wonder why he was weeping. I sometimes wonder why the emotional display. If Jacob had known that his story will be read throughout all generations by billions of persons all over the world, will he had acted this way? Will he had displayed this unnecessary emotional outburst?
You know, sometimes we look down on ourselves. We take certain actions because we think we are small and no one will notice us. What we do not realize is that notes are being compiled concerning our lives, and some people will even have their stories told through all generations in this present earth. There is nothing hidden that will not be made known. May this ‘scare’ us into living a life worthy of emulation both now and forever.
After Jacob had introduced himself to Rachael, she went home and told her father who came out and received him. Jacob stay with Laban for about one month, and served Laban.
Then we saw Laban asking Jacob to work for him for a pay, and what did Jacob ask for? 7 years labour in order to marry Rachael! Many things were wrong with that request:
Firstly, how many years did his father, Isaac, suffer and labour before he got Rebekah? None. Rebekah was found for him and given him “while he was out in the fields meditating.” Jacob could have had any of Laban’s daughter without having to go through 7 years of stress.
However, he is not accustomed to receiving things by mercy. He loves working his blessings out by his own power. God promised him a blessing, without any conditions attached… Jacob woke up, and began to bargain with God on how he would give him a tenth of all IF God will keep his promise. The same thing is happening here. Jacob with his own mouth agreed to ‘work’ in order to obtain Rachael, and even gave the number of years he would labour – not 7 days, nor 7 weeks nor 7 months but 7 years!
There are many who are like Jacob today. They do not know how to stretch forth their hands and receive mercy. They belong to a generation that wants to “work it out.” They labour, fight, fast and pray in order to obtain what God, through rest, could have freely given them through the extravagance of His Grace. So, they miss out on God’s best. This was how Jacob also missed out on God’s best for his life.
Secondly, he did not even enquire as to whether God approved of his choice of Rachael. As far as he was concerned, he liked Rachael, and was going to marry her, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. His ‘love’ for Rachael blinded him to the stupidy of spending 7 years trying to obtain what God could have freely and effortlessly given you by His Grace and Mercy.
Jacob’s love for Rachael prompted him onwards in his service, and even the Bible remarked that the 7 years were nothing to him, because of his love for Rachael.
AND SO? Though there’s no step by step biblical guidance for enacting the marriage covenant, it is clear that God wants everyone entering into such covenants to be conscious of the Spirit’s leading, and to ensure that he is doing God’s will in the midst of it all. Our emotions and desires are secondary to the will of God for our lives, and we must ensure that we follow through it all patiently, diligently, and with much carefulness in our hearts.
In the coming days, Jacob was going to pay for his carelessness with a move that made him the only one of the patriarchs who was a polygamist (a clear break from the traditions of his fathers).