Did you know that God is able to guide us into the right place at the right time to meet the right person? He did it for Abraham's servant when he was seeking a wife for Isaac. And, in this story, God did it again for Jacob who was sent by his father to Padanaram to seek a wife from among his father's people. We marvel at God's guidance to Jacob for as soon as he arrived in the land of the east, or Syria, he was truly in the right place at the right time to meet the right person.
Jacob arrived at a well that was used to water several flocks of sheep. Wells are meeting places where people talk and learn about each other. Jacob introduced himself to some men at the well and asked if they knew a man called Laban, the son of Nahor. They said they did. They said that he was doing well and that Laban's daughter, Rachel, was on her way to the well to water her father's sheep. Aha! This was perfect timing. God makes no mistakes.
As soon as Rachel came near to the well with her father's sheep, Jacob went over to the well and removed the stone from its mouth so that he could draw up lots and lots of water for all the sheep in Rachel's flock. That humble act of service made it easy for Jacob to introduce himself to Rachel. He greeted her with a friendly courteous kiss and then burst into loud cries of amazement. He shed tears of heartfelt joy and thanksgiving unto His God. This was a sacred moment. It was a key event that would open up new chapters in both their lives. God was truly guiding Jacob to find a wife. God was going before him in a wonderful way.
That is the kind of thing that Christians can expect in their lives, for it is true that God works by design. He organizes events to lead us on the right path. Just as Abraham's servant said, "I being in the way the Lord led me." Jacob could say that he was led right to Rebekah.
Every Christian who is praying for God's guidance can also expect special events and meetings to take place so that they are in the right place at the right time to meet the right person. So it is right to pray for God's guidance. It is true as Romans 8:28 states, "All things work together for good to them that love God…"
You can expect that when you are living for the Lord's glory and not living selfishly that God will work things out for you.
Afterward, Rachel ran to tell her father that she had met a man called who was Rebekah's son. Now Rebekah was Laban’s sister who had married Issac, so he ran with excitement to meet Jacob. He greeted him with a hug and a friendly kiss. He brought Jacob to his home as a welcomed guest, because he was a nephew and, therefore, one of the family.
Jacob stayed with Laban for a whole month. During that month he must have worked very hard and proved that he was a good worker and worthy of becoming a husband to Rachel. It’s a good thing to work and put your time to good use. You create good opportunities when you prove yourself as a dependable hard worker. It certainly opened up doors of opportunity for Jacob for Laban asked Jacob what he should have as wages, meaning repayment for his work.
Now Laban had two daughters, Leah was the oldest and Rachel was the youngest. Jacob had his eye on Rachel, Laban's younger daughter, who was very beautiful. He asked to have Rachel as his wife and her father, Laban, agreed, as long as Jacob would work seven years for Rachel. That became a deal, and for the love of Rachel, those seven years seemed as a few days. Jacob so delighted in his future life with Rachel that he was the happiest man on earth.
Now, this is where the story of Jacob becomes interesting. At the end of the seven years, he said to Laban, Rachel’s father, give me Rachel to be my wife. Laban said, “yes” and called all his family and friends to a marriage feast. It was a really happy day for everyone. But Laban planned to deceive Jacob. Instead of giving him Rachel as his wife, Laban gave him Leah, his oldest daughter. She may have been covered in a veil so that Jacob didn’t realize it was the wrong sister he was taking in marriage. So, Jacob had been deceived.
The next day, when Jacob protested to Laban, Laban made the excuse that it was not customary to marry off the youngest daughter first. Then Laban offered to give his youngest daughter, Rachel, to Jacob also to be his wife and they were married one week later. Perhaps that was the length of the marriage feast. So Jacob married Rachel also, but he had to work another seven years with Laban. Though he had been deceived Jacob was willing to do this out of his great love for Rachel.
This deception that cost Jacob another seven years of work with Laban was a harsh reminder to him of the pain and sorrow he had caused by his deceptions. A lie is a bitter thing. It is an offence to God, and it hurts people deeply. Lies are to be repented of and only the truth should be spoken at all times.
So, Jacob had two wives, Leah and Rachel. In total, Jacob had twelve children. Six were the children of Leah with two more born to her handmaiden, Zilpah. Two children were born to Rachel, Joseph, and Benjamin, while another two more were born to Rachel’s handmaiden, Bilhah. Note that Rachel was the wife of Jacob’s first love and you will note that her sons, Joseph and Benjamin were the sons of his special love. Think of Joseph with a coat of many colours.
We must see that the bible is faithful in recording people’s sins as well as their strengths. The Bible always gives a true picture of people and their actions.
Did you know that God is recording your life? What sins would He record about you? If you want to know your true character, read the Bible. It will faithfully show you the real person that you are in God’s sight. The Bible is like a mirror to show you your true character. God will note all your achievements and service to Him, but he will also note your failures and your sins.
That is why the stain of sin needs to be washed away. Do you know that only the blood of Jesus can wash away your sins and make you white as snow in God’s sight? This is the good news of the gospel. Listen to the words of the Lord, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18.
Even Jacob’s sins of lying and cheating could be washed away because of God’s infinite mercy to all sinners who seek to be washed in the blood of Jesus. Your sins can be washed away too. Though you are guilty of terrible sins, you can be made white as snow in God’s sight. Think of Martin Luther’s illustration of a dunghill covered over in pure white snow. That is how God sees believers who believe in His Son, Jesus. They are pardoned and perfectly suited to enter heaven.
How about your standing before God? Are you black with sin, or are you washed white as snow? Only blood-washed sinners will enter heaven.