Chapter 29, verse fifteen, opens with what appears to be a great jester on Laban's part. Verses 15-18 state, "Laban said to him, just because you are a relative, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be." Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah and the name of the younger Rachel. Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, I'll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel." Jacob knew the value of partnership, after all. He grew up watching his mother and father. This choice speaks directly to Proverbs 18:22, which states, "He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord," In verses 18-21, Laban agrees, and so as the chapter continues, Jacob works for Rachel for seven years. Talk about waiting for what you want. Many of us cannot wait seven minutes without agitation. Imagine seven years. In verse 22, the wait is over. It states, "So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast." A wedding feast, but a twist is coming in verses 23-24 "But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob made love to her. And Laban gave his servant Zilpah to his daughter as her attendant." Wait, what is happening? Jacob worked seven years for Rachel, not Leah. Verse 25 states, "When morning came, there was Leah! So, Jacob said to Laban, what is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn't I? Why have you deceived me? If you recall the story of Jacob and his brother, you may say he deserved this treatment. I wonder if that thought crossed Jacob's mind as well. I wonder if, at that moment, he remembered God's promise from Genesis 28:15 "I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." In verses 26-30, Laban explains, and Jacob agrees to work another seven years for Rachel. This unexpected detour did not void or derail God's promise to Jacob. As we read through God's word, none of His promises to His people depends on our performance or other people keeping their word. God's love for us is unscathed by the hills and valleys of life. This unexpected twist was a surprise to Jacob but not to God. And all of life's unexpected detours are accounted for in God's will for our lives. Allow the words of Genesis 28:15 to be your beckon of hope "I am with you and will watch over you where you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you. Hold on to God even when life does not offer certainty.
Remember, God loves you very much, and so do I.