There are two main ideas in this text: Man is sinful and God is righteous. One cannot read the things that either Jacob or Laban did and be proud of either. Scripture is amazing because here is a story that paints the nation of Israel in a bad light. The law prohibits marrying two sisters, yet the nation of Israel began this way. Jacob desired Rachel but he was given Leah as a wife first. Leah would bare six of the twelve tribes of Israel, namely Levi and Judah; Levi would become the priestly line and Judah the royal line through whom David and Jesus came. Because of the rivalry of two sisters having the same husband, each used her maid, which Jacob took as wives also, and each maid bore him two children a piece. Rachel remained barren but eventually she gave birth to Joseph, Joseph would become two tribes in the northern kingdom and be divided from his brother Judah in the southern kingdom. We would hear no more of Joseph after the exile but Judah, Leah’s son. would become prominent. Children can be born from fornication, adultery and many other sinful unions but marriage is between one woman and on man for life. Though Jacob desired Rachel, it was God’s will that he should marry Leah and he used Laban’s deception to bring this about. It was also God’s will to prosper Jacob and the Lord used Laban’s greed to prosper Jacob by turning Laban’s plan to Jacobs favor.
I understand that the Lord works in mysterious ways. God is sovereign over all things, which includes the affairs of the heart and the economy of man. I do not understand what is happening in our world today. There is a global pandemic that has spread from a single place in China to the entire world. It has been somewhat squelched by the government’s influence but now another situation has occurred where large numbers of people are rioting together in the city against the police. Will this cause the virus to spread wildly? How will the Lord use the anger of these people to bring about his will? I do not know the answer to these questions but I do know that I shall trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28, NASB)
Much in the story of Jacob, Laban, Leah and Rachel are so very strange to us. However, relationships are still strange and men are still greedy. These things are just played out today, in differing ways, in a different culture. The main idea that we should glean from this text: Though man is by nature sinful, God is Sovereign over all and His will, will be done.