Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God’s Plan? Part 13

This entry is part 13 of 45 in the series Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God's Plan?

Recap of Part 12: Isaac is tricked by his son Jacob and gives him the blessing of God, rather than his favorite son Esau. Rebecca instructs Jacob in this deceit because she is aware of God’s plan: “And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger” (Genesis 25:23). Also, the boys had been elected: “For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth. It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” (Romans 9:11-13). Part 13

Jacob receives instruction from Isaac not to take a wife from the people of the land, but to go back to his kin and take one of their daughters. “Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother’s father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughers of Laban thy mother’s brother” (Genesis 28:1-2). He intended to keep the bloodline pure. Jacob is agreeable and takes an oath to accept his father’s terms. Next, he begins his journey to the distant land.

Jacob finds the land, finds his people, and questions them if they know Laban his uncle. They give him a good report that his uncle lives and that his daughter waiting to water the flock as they spoke. Jacob helps to water Rachel’s flock and kisses her. “And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept. And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s brother, and that he was Rebekah’s son: and she ran and told her father” (Vs. 11-12). Laban is happy to meet his nephew and offers him work. The two make an arrangement were Jacob would work 7 years for his daughter Rachel because Jacob had no money and could not afford the traditional dowry. “And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her” (Vs. 20).

What did Jacob think of his father’s strange request not to marry certain women? Why was it so important to keep the bloodline pure? What did he think of the new land he lived in, Padanaram? Did his uncle seem to be the gracious host he presented himself as? Or did Jacob have suspicions?

When Jacob completed his years of service he asked for his compensation. “And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast. And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her” (Vs. 22-23). When he awoke in the morning and noticed this great deceit he ran to his uncle and questioned him. Laban said: “It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn” (Vs. 26). They next make an arrangement that Jacob will have both Leah and Rachel and will remain and serve Laban 7 more years.

Would you have made this arrangement? Jacob was beguiled after his 7 long years of service to his uncle. Should he trust his word a second time? Why take 2 wives? When we put our trust in man we will always be disappointed. What does God say? “Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited” (Jeremiah 17:5-6).

We must trust and obey, for there’s no other way! “Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee” (Psalm 33:18-22). Stay tuned as we learn what Jacob knew.

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