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Scripture Text (NRSV)

Genesis 29:15-28


29:15 Then Laban said to Jacob, "Because you are my kinsman, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?"

29:16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.

29:17 Leah's eyes were lovely, and Rachel was graceful and beautiful.

29:18 Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, "I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel."

29:19 Laban said, "It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me."

29:20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.

29:21 Then Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my time is completed."

29:22 So Laban gathered together all the people of the place, and made a feast.

29:23 But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob; and he went in to her.

29:24 (Laban gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her maid.)

29:25 When morning came, 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?"

29:26 Laban said, "This is not done in our country--giving the younger before the firstborn.

29:27 Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years."

29:28 Jacob did so, and completed her week; then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as a wife.



Lot's of things here to bring out. The King of Cons gets conned! But let's look at leah and Rachel, Leah fair eyed (nearsighted) Not as loved by Jacob, but loved by God, favored,The worker Hey she mothered 10 boys and 1 girl. And Rachal, more beautiful supposedly, only had two boys, and died givinglife to one. And her son was a great leader and savior of the people of the world at that time. Leah-homemaker, worker; Rachel-more spiritual . Compare these two to Mary and Martha Martha-action, worker, cook...Mary-sit at Jesus feet learning. If any had to be woman of action was Leah- 11 kids to raise, busy soccer mom LOL. and Rachel- spiritual side, waiting for a long time for blessing from God. Pastor Mary in OHio

Pastor Mary, Interesting focus on the productive Leah/busy Martha v. the beautiful Rachel/spiritual Mary.

Compare to the Gospel lection parables of divesting all for the pearl of great vaue and sorting out the good fish from the bad.

What is the Godly criteria for determining value? It is early in the week. I'm all questions and no answers. tom in TN(USA)

It is fun to watch Jacob meet his match in Laban. I will probably include further readings where haggling between Jacob and Laban over livestock produce some humorous results. The application of these stories, I think, is simply to reinforce the saying "Honesty is the best policy." -Dale in Chattanooga

This is an interesting passage. Working for a wife, or two... Men can relate to this passage...Keeping your wife secure, etc Could one play the rock song "Working for a living" Or if you are more of a Olivia Newton John Fan---Torn between two lovers---and let's get physical---to Their giving (Jacob ) A Heart attack!! I bet with two wives he had a VELCRO FLY-ZZ TOP! OK OK I 'll stop!!! Hyper preacher Girl from OH

Remember the parable of the farmer and the mule? A farmer's mule fell into the well. After some deliberation, the farmer felt that neither the mule nor the well were worth saving, so he began to shovel dirt into the well to bury them both. The mule was greatly distressed and at first began to panic... then he had a thought, "If I just step up upon each mound of dirt that comes down upon me I will get closer to the top." That is what he did. As each shovel full of dirt hit him, he would "shake it off and step up." The mule persisted until finally he reached the top of the well and stepped out... alive and well. The moral: When life throws dirt on you, shake it off and step up!

Lots of dirt being flung in these stories... Jacob, the trikster being tricked. Leah and Rachel each disappointed and hurt in her own way... But, something is happening, God is at work and each steps up and comes closer to the glory of God.


"Deceiving the Deceiver"- I believe it is a quote from a literary work by Horatio dealing with military strategy: "O the tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive." Only God could lead Jacob out of his web of tangled lies and change his name from scoundrel to a Israel. TN Mack

So we've got the whole "Life's not fair, but God will make something good come of it" thing going on with Leah, and I can agree with that, but we also have to be cautious with it because it's thoughts like that that kept slavery going and today that keep us from stepping in to fight for the oppressed and disenfranchised today. Life's not fair by our standards, sure, bad things happen to good people, but life is also not fair in our favor - If God used our standard of fairness I don't think one of us would be the redeemed children of God that we are. None of us qualify; God doesn't treat us "fairly" by our standards and THANK GOD - from the Romans text, nothing external can separate us from the love of God, but neither can anything internal. It wasn't fair that God sent the son to die for us, but thank God God did. I end up in the not-lectionary-now parable of the workers in the field who all get paid the same for working different amounts of time, but I can't seem to get back to my original Genesis text too easily. Sure Jacob the deceiver doesn't deserve to become great because of how he got there, but I'd like to look at Leah more maybe because I feel like I identify with her as the overlooked sister! :) Well, here's a lot of unorganized rambling. It's been a rough week with 2 funerals, Vacation Bible School, Wednesday night worship, and an in-town mission project all on the senior pastor's first week of vacation. I'm behind and I'm struggling!