This map traces Jacob’s travels as written in Genesis 29. He set out from Beersheba, a desert town in the extreme south of Palestine. The he stops around the 2nd or 3rd night hundreds of miles away and has a dream at Luz or Bethel. This is where “Jacob’s Ladder” is mentioned. Then he arrives at his uncle’s home near Haran.
After Jacob meets Laban’s daughter Rachel, he falls in love and tells Laban that he would work for seven years for him if he would give Rachel to him in marriage. The seven years went by fast because of his love for Rachel. After seven years, Laban gave a feast with much to drink and eat. The night came and Laban had his daughter Leah taken to Jacob instead of Rachel. Jacob made love to Leah instead of Rachel (v. 24).
Upon awaking the next morning, Jacob realized it was Leah and not Rachel so he went to Laban to make his complaint known. Jacob had been a hypocrite by saying he would give Rachel to Jacob but not doing what he said by giving his older daughter Leah to him.
Laban then explained it was the custom to give the oldest daughter first and made a pledge to him. If Jacob would finish the bridal week with Leah, He would give him Rachel in exchange for another seven years of labor.
Jacob is being taught by God the lesson of trust but verify. People make agreements but then find ways to break the agreement. There is also a secondary lesson that I see. It is that our love for someone motivates us to work hard. It is much easier when we have something to look forward to and there is a reward for our work.
Jacob agreed to work for Laban for another seven years in return for his daughter Rachel in marriage. I found it interesting that this work arrangement is similar to what is called an indentured servant in more modern times. These were young people that worked for an employer in the 18th century in exchange for passage to the American colonies.
As we continue our journey through life, let us be constantly reminded that there is an amazing future with God. Let us be aware of the reward when we dare to be different, work hard, and turn over our life to God. God has demonstrated his love beyond measure for us through is his Son and this puts us in the right frame of mind for an amazing day.