Lasting Lessons from Long-Ago Lovers: Jacob & Rachel (and Leah…)
Abraham & Sarah’s son Isaac married Rebekah, and they had twin sons: Esau and Jacob.
A Set-up for Dysfunction:
Genesis 25.28 “Isaac loved Esau … but Rebekah loved Jacob.”
Deception: What goes around comes around.
Genesis 27.36 “Esau exclaimed, ‘No wonder his name is Jacob, for now he has cheated me twice. First he took my rights as the firstborn, and now he has stolen my blessing.’”
Jacob deceived Esau and Isaac. He stole his brother Esau’s birthright and his father’s blessing – at the initiative of his mother Rebekah.
Devotion: True love is sacrificial.
Jacob and Rachel: kissing cousins
Rachel: Drop-dead gorgeous
Leah: “She has a nice personality.”
Genesis 29.20 “So Jacob worked seven years to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days.”
But the trickster was tricked, and wound up married to the wrong sister!
Difficulty: God remembers those who experience trouble.
Genesis 29.30 “So Jacob slept with Rachel, too, and he loved her much more than Leah. He then stayed and worked for Laban the additional seven years.”
Genesis 30.22 “Then God remembered Rachel’s plight and answered her prayers by enabling her to have children.”
Death: Beginnings emerge from endings, life from death.
Now the deceiver, Jacob, outwits Uncle Father-in-Law Laban.
Genesis 31.20 “Jacob outwitted Laban the Aramean, for they set out secretly and never told Laban they were leaving.”
Sadly, Rachel dies after giving birth to her second and final son.
Genesis 35.18 “Rachel was about to die, but with her last breath she named the baby Ben-oni (which means son of my sorrow).”
But the family tradition of playing favorites continues…
Genesis 37.3 “Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe.”