Daily reading assignment: Genesis 27-29
“Esau the Carnal; Jacob the Conniver” (Genesis 27)
The strife between Jacob and Esau continues in our study of Genesis with Jacob and his mother scheming to steal his brother’s birthright (Genesis 27). Benefiting from his father’s blindness, Jacob posed as Esau and successfully stole his brother’s birthright (27:18-29).
Learning his birthright was mistakenly given to Jacob, Esau vowed vengeance and determined to murder him (27:41). Before Esau was able to make good on this threat, Rebekah interceded with Isaac and requested that Jacob be sent away to seek safety and find a wife among her people (27:42-46).
Jacob’s flight from home is recorded in Genesis 28. Cut off from his parents, family, and land (28:1-5); Jacob is at the end of himself. In his flight to Haran, the ancestral home of Abraham (11:31; 28:10), the LORD appeared to Jacob in a dream and assured him he was heir to the covenant promises God made to his grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac (28:11-15).
Traveling east, Jacob came to Haran, and there he met Rachel, the beautiful young woman who would become his wife (29:9-12). [As a side note, Rachel was Jacob’s cousin and their marriage in our day would be genetically ill advised; however, nearly 4,000 years ago the bloodlines of humanity were free from many of the genetic disorders that plague our day].
Falling in love with Rachel, Jacob soon realized he had met his match in her father Laban who was a notorious schemer in his own right! Laban required Jacob labor seven years for the right to take Rachel as his wife (29:15-20). In a beautiful poetic portrait of love, Jacob agreed to the father’s terms and we read the seven years he labored for Rachel’s hand “seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her” (29:20).
The seven years being ended, Jacob demanded his right to marry Rachel (29:21), but was beguiled by Laban into marrying her elder sister Leah (29:17). Veiled as a bride, Jacob discovered the morning after his wedding that he had been deceived and had married Leah and not his beloved Rachel (29:24-25). Demanding his right to marry Rachel, Laban forced Jacob to agree to another seven years of labor for her hand (29:26-30).
A passing phrase in this story forewarns us to the troubles that will follow Jacob’s household in the years ahead: Jacob “loved also Rachel more than Leah” (29:30).
An old idiom reads, “Chickens come home to roost!” As it is the nature of chickens to roost in their coop each night, it is also true that sinful choices invariably catch up with us all.
Although he was hundreds of miles from home, Jacob fell victim to his father-in-law’s schemes and was reminded of the consequences of his own scheming ways; Be sure your sins will find you out!
Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith