Scripture: And in the morning, behold, it was Leah! And Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?” Genesis 29:25 ESV
Observation: After Jacob’s encounter with God in a dream where angels ascend and descend a ladder to heaven and where the Lord reaffirms the Abrahamic covenant (chapter 28), Jacob precedes to his Uncle Laban’s home in Padam Aram (modern-day Turkey). Similar to the story of Abraham’s servant finding a wife for Issac, Jacob meets his future bride at the same community well in Haran. News travels fast, and Laban rushes to the well to meet his nephew and escort him to his house. Then, having worked for Laban for a month, Laban insists on compensating Jacob with wages. Jacob counteroffers that he will continue working for seven years if Laban grants Rachel to be Jacob’s wife. Laban agrees, and seven years later, they celebrate the wedding with consummation verified by sexual union. But Laban deceitfully brings his older daughter Leah to the marriage bed under the cloak of darkness. Jacob, likely intoxicated, fails to discern his bed partner until the morning light and promptly confronts Laban for deceiving him (above verse).
Takeaway: All sins have consequences, but those we commit against others sometimes boomerang. As the expression goes, “What goes around comes around.” Deceitful Jacob, who stole his brother’s birthright and blessing, now tastes his own medicine. Often, we gain the best insight into our sinful behavior when others act similarly toward us. And like Jacob, initially, we are deeply offended. But by God’s grace, his Holy Spirit enlightens our minds to the reality that we do the same toward others as they have done toward us. In those moments, we can agree with Holy Spirit, forgive our offenders, and continue to grow in grace. Or we can justify our positions of unforgiveness and anger and keep encountering boomerang sins until we learn our lesson. Just saying, life is less stressful if we choose the former—lol!
Prayer: Father God, we thank you for those teaching moments in our lives when your Holy Spirit shows us how our sinful behavior has boomeranged us. Would you please humble our hearts in those moments that we might repent, forgive, and continue to grow in grace? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling