as it was written 2,400 years ago:
The Deceiver is Deceived
July 22, 2011 by Dale Argot
Proper 12 (17)
July 24, 2011
Genesis 29:15-28; Psalm 105:1-11, 45; Romans 8:26-39; Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
15 Laban said
to him, “You shouldn’t work for me without pay just because we are relatives. Tell me how much your wages should be.”
16 Now Laban had two daughters. The older daughter was named Leah, and the younger one was Rachel. 17 There was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes, but Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face.18 Since Jacob was in love with Rachel, he told her father, “I’ll work for you for seven years if you’ll give me Rachel, your younger daughter, as my wife.”
19 “Agreed!” Laban replied. “I’d rather give her to you than to anyone else. Stay and work with me.” 20So Jacob worked seven years to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days.
21 Finally, the
time came for him to marry her. “I have fulfilled my agreement,” Jacob said to Laban. “Now give me my wife so I can marry her.”
22 So Laban invited everyone in the neighborhood and prepared a wedding feast. 23 But that night, when it was dark, Laban took Leah to Jacob, and he slept with her. 24 (Laban had given Leah a servant, Zilpah, to be her maid.)
25 But whe
n Jacob woke up in the morning—it was Leah! “What have you done to me?” Jacob raged at Laban. “I worked seven years for Rachel! Why have you tricked me?”
26 “It’s not our custom here to marry off a younger daughter ahead of the firstborn,” Laban replied. 27“But wait until the bridal week is over, then we’ll give you Rachel, too—provided you promise to work another seven years for me.”
28 So Jacob agreed to work seven more years. A week after Jacob had married Leah, Laban gave him Rachel, too.
This is a really interesting story — thing about how you would feel if you were in Jacob’s shoes. Jacob sees this beautiful woman and works out a way that he can work for her or pay the dowry. He worked for Rachel for seven years – that must be an amazing kind of love. On his wedding night, he finds out he was tricked and didn’t get the younger Rachel but the older sister Leah. Laban says that’s alright, as soon as we get done celebrating this wedding, I’ll give you Rachel if you work for me another seven years — that must really be some kind of love. He worked for get Rachel for 14 years. In some ways this could be considered justice – since Jacob deceived Esau out of his birthright and blessing.
However it does show Jacob’s great love for Rachel a love that was so great that he would work for his father-in-law for 14 years. It’s much like the great love that God has for us. The New Testament passage this week describes that great love — even when we didn’t deserve it.
31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31:38)
That is an amazing love – God worked to have us – even though we rejected Him. Instead of deceiving us and us getting our just desserts. God loved us and provided a way to bring us back to Him – that is amazing!