Lesson 4: "Reaping What We Sow" Genesis 29, 30:1-24
"When morning came, there was Leah!" Genesis 29:25
Shepherds from Haran
Jacob hurried on his way, strengthened by the encounter with God, and arrived at Haran
Jacob finds out Rachel will be coming with Labanís sheep, and gets all flustered. He starts telling the shepherds how to do their job! (29:7) Jacob must have known that this is how is father, Isaac, through Eliezer, met his mother, Rebekah.
Upon seeing Rachel, Jacob makes like Hercules and moves a large stone, and kisses her.
Itís not clear what Rachel must have been thinking (v. 12) or what Jacob told Laban (v. 13)
A Full Circle Experience
Deceitfulness just seems to run in this family. Laban offers to pay Jacob wages, but accepts Jacobís willingness to become little more than a servant
Jacob, for his part, must have been plotting. He knew the social customs dictated the eldest daughter should marry first. So, he seems to have calculated the kind of "wages" that would entice Laban to look the other way when it came to the customs. He offered to work for seven years for the younger daughter (v. 18)
Jacob serves his time gladly (v. 20) but in the end, Laban plays a heartless trick (v. 23)
Jacob is understandably angry, and asks Laban three pointed questions (v. 25). Labanís response is not terribly apologetic (v. 26-27)
One wonders what Leah and Rachel knew of the trick. It certainly didnít help their relationship with each other. And it lay the seeds for trouble to come in later years. It was clear from the start Jacob didnít want Leah, only Rachel.
Two Pagan Practices
Though God had called Abraham out of a pagan culture, those influences still lingered. Jacob ended up marrying two wives, and had children by surrogate mothers.
Laban didnít seem to mind. In fact, he was practicing idolatry (31:30-32)
Now, consider poor Leah. She is a constant reminder of Labanís trick. She became the focus of Rachelís resentment, and was never what Jacob wanted. It was unavoidable that this tension spilled over into the family and the children.
Leah ® Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah; later, Issachar, Zebulun, and a girl, Dinah
Bilhah ® Dan, Naphtali
Zilpah ® Gad, Asher
Rachel ® Joseph, Benjamin
#1) The degree to which we suffer the consequences of our sins depends on the nature of the sins
God can create something beautiful out of something that is ugly, sinful, and sad