This is a fascinating love story for the ages.  More importantly, the account of Jacob and Rachel is a lesson for us.  Concerning the events of the Old Testament, we read in 1 Corinthians 10:11, “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”  We do not have space here to read the complete story, so I encourage you to read Genesis 28-29.  With that said, let’s look at Jacob and Rachael.

Let’s look at the first time Jacob saw Rachel.  Genesis 29:10-11 tells us, “And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.”  We might say that Jacob was immediately smitten with Rachel and he cried tears of joy and thankfulness at the blessings of the Lord in bringing them together.  After meeting Laban, Rachel’s father, Jacob abode with him for one month.  Let’s read Genesis 29:15-18, “And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be? And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured. And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.”  It was because of Jacob’s love for Rachel that he offered to work seven years that he might have her hand in marriage.  To accent that incredible love, we read in Genesis 29:20, “And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and THEY SEEMED UNTO HIM BUT A FEW DAYS, for the love he had to her.”

After working for seven years, Jacob asked Laban for the hand of his daughter that he might marry her.  Unfortunately, Laban was not such an honorable man.  Genesis 29:22-25 says, “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. And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid. And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?”  Under the cloak of darkness, Laban sent his daughter, Leah, into Jacob’s tent to consummate the marriage.  It wasn’t until the morning that Jacob realized what had happened.  It seems that Leah was also complicit in this scheme.

Upon approaching Laban, Jacob was given the task of serving Laban for seven more years for the hand of Rachel.  We read in Genesis 29:26-28, “And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years. And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.”  After the seven day wedding feast, Laban gave Rachel to Jacob to wed.  Although he did not have to wait seven years for her, he did have to serve Laban seven more years.

Often, there is more than one lesson in an event told in the Old Testament.  One is a lesson on consequences.  Jacob had once deceived his brother Esau and had tricked him out of his rightful birthright. Now it was Jacob’s turn to be tricked.  Galatians 6:7 warns us, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”  Jacob sowed deception and he reaped deception.

A glorious lesson from this story is this amazing love that Jacob had for Rachel.  So much so that he worked 14 years to have her.  I suppose the second seven years were as the first in that they “seemed unto him but a few days.”  Doesn’t this remind you of the love of Christ who gave Himself for our sins that He might have us as His bride?  He gave all He had to have us for Himself.  Ephesians 5:2 tells us that, “Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”  We read in Galatians 2:20  that Christ, “…loved me, and gave himself for me.”  What love!  Boundless love!  Unmerited love!  As we sometimes sing, “Praise the Savior, ye who know Him.”  (352.4)