Updated: May 1
Genesis chapter 29 opens after Jacob's dream and reassurance of God's promises. Jacob finds himself looking for a family connection and finds more than he could have imagined. Verses 4-6 state, "Jacob said to them, "My brothers, where do you come from?" They said, "We are from Haran." He said to them, "Do you know Laban, the son of Nahor?" They said, "We know him." He said to them, "Is it well with him?" They said, "It is well, and see, Rachel, his daughter is coming with the sheep!" Imagine the feeling of relief to know that he had arrived and here is one of his family members. The chapter continues in verses 9-14 "While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. Now soon as Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban, his mother’s brother, Jacob came near and rolled the stone from the well’s mount and watered the flock of Laban, his mother’s brother. Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s kinsman, and that he was Rebekah’s son, and she ran and told her father. As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he ran to meet him and embraced him and kissed him, and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban all these things, and Laban said to him, surely you are my bone and my flesh! And he stayed with him a month.”
And there it is in those last verses, acceptance. The need for acceptance is one that all humans are hardwired to long for and value. We see a picture of this longing in John 12:42, "Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue." God reminds us throughout scripture that His love for us is inclusive and that we are accepted. In Romans 2:11, "For God does not show favoritism." 1 Corinthians 6:20, "for you were bought with a price. So, glorify God in your body." And one of my all-time favorites is Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." We are not perfect, and we never will be, and God accepts us as we are. We never have to worry about feeling rejected by God. He is not a man who should lie, and His love for us is not based on us. It very simply is His nature. His love is true. So come as you are, but understand that love changes you, and life with Christ is ever-changing.
Remember, God loves you, and so do I.
See you next week as we continue to look at Genesis chapter 29