Seven years! Seven long, hard years of making eyes with the girl he wanted to marry and not being able to do anything about it. Three years short of a decade of controlling his thoughts and guarding his eyes. Jacob was ready to get married. He was like any other man that had walked the earth and who would ever set foot here. He was ready to get down.
Of course, Jacob felt like the time spent earning his future bride was short. He was determined to the best he could so he wouldn’t mess anything up. The time flew by because he was always busy working for Laban. Truthfully, he was exhausted more often than not. He was ready for a break. At the end of the day that ended the seventh year of work he said, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to make love to her.” (Gen. 29:21 NIV) Obviously, he didn’t want to beat around the bush.
Because it was time, they had a feast, celebrated the marriage. When it was over, the one who would eventually be called, “the man formerly known as Jacob” to consummate his marriage, Leah showed up. It must have been dark and he might have been drunk. I’m not sure, but it isn’t often that a man marries the wrong woman. Regardless, he rolled over in the morning and found the older sister in Rachel’s place.
Furious, Jacob approached Laban. “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?” (Gen. 29:25 NIV)
Laban was only watching out for his first daughter, but he was entirely dishonest with Jacob. Of course, to make up for tossing the older girl in through the tent door when it was dark out, he offered Rachel to Jacob but required another seven years of work.
Jacob loved Rachel enough that he did it.
Sometimes, you work really hard for something. You sacrifice years of your life expecting to get the girl with a lovely figure but in the end, you get the one with weak eyes (Bible terms here, not me, I promise). You might have even been promised the former, but the latter turned out to be your reality. Jacob could have left with Leah. He would have been entirely justified in deserting Laban with his other daughter and saying, “You’re a crook. Forget you.” Jacob probably could have married both and not worked that extra seven years because his father-in-law was a tool. But Jacob loved Rachel, so he stuck with it.
I think that life tosses the wrong reward or result through the tent door sometimes. Maybe it’s God doing it, which makes us feel even more ripped off because of anyone, He should know what we wanted, prayed for and expected. When this happens, I think we’re entirely justified in saying, “Well, that didn’t work like I expected. Time to move on.”
But there might be a reward in sticking it out and dealing with the dishonest idiots, the flakes who never follow through and even the losers that take advantage of us. Then again, we need to ask ourselves, “Do I really want this?” Because Rachel turned out to be kind of a pain in the butt, even though Jacob thought she was hotter than her sister and polygamy just looks like so much effort, too.
How many of you have been in a situation like this, or you’re experiencing it right now?
*This post was inspired by amazing friends from Florida. You know who you are.