‘Jacob & Rachel!’
Passage: Genesis 29-30
Visual Aids (powerpoint)
Why do people work? [For money, for room and board, for experience, to help others, to protect the nation, to support a charity]. In the next part of the Bible story we see someone who works for 14 years to marry the women he loves.
Jacob continued his journey to his uncle Laban’s home. It was a long journey and would have taken him about 3 weeks to get there. As he arrived at the town where Laban lived, he saw a group of shepherds gathered around a well. Jacob went over and asked them if they knew Laban. They said they did and pointing to a young girl coming towards them said, “Here comes his daughter Rachel.”
When Jacob saw Rachel it was love at first sight. Rachel ran home to tell her father that Jacob had come and he was welcomed into the family, and Jacob began to work for Laban.
When Laban said to Jacob that he wanted to pay him for the work he was doing, Jacob said that he didn’t want money. “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.” (Genesis 29:18)
It was a deal. Those seven years passed by so quickly because Jacob loved Rachel so much, and soon it was the day of the wedding. Jacob was married, but then came a big shock! As he lifted up the veil to see his new wife, the woman looking back at him was not Rachel, but her older sister Leah. He had been tricked!
Laban told Jacob that it was traditional for the older daughter to marry first, but that he could marry Rachel too, if he would work for another seven years, which he did.
Jacob found himself married to two women, but he loved only Rachel. His two wives were jealous of each other and in the end Jacob found himself marrying the servant girls of both Rachel and Leah, four wives in all, who between them would give birth to 12 sons and 1 daughter.
But in the middle of all the trickery and jealousy and weddings, God was keeping His promise. [Look at the family tree]. The promise of a big family was being kept. Also there was something special about two of Jacob’s sons, but we need to read a bit more of the story to find out why that is.