Israel’s Soap Opera Life

Scripture:  Genesis 29:

After Jacob had stayed with him for a whole month, 15 Laban said to him, "Just because you are a relative of mine, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be."

16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah had weak [a] eyes, but Rachel was lovely in form, and beautiful. 18 Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, "I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel."

19 Laban said, "It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me." 20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.

Genesis 29,30;Luke 12 – Passage Lookup – New International Version –

Observation: It’s really amazing how God can orchestrate our lives to make things all work together to accomplish His good will and purposes.

Application:   What an odd turn of events happen in chapters 29,30 of Genesis, it is really very much like a soap opera or a movie drama that you might see on TV.  Jacob falls in love with beautiful Rachel and works seven years for her father so that he might have her as his wife.  But Laban, Rachel’s father,  tricks Jacob after the seven years are up and secretly gives him his older daughter Leah.  Jacob must not have taken the time to remove the veil from her face for the first few hours, because he consummates the marriage before he discovers that she isn’t Rachel!

A second deal for another seven years of labor is made for Rachel and so Jacob continues working for Laban so that he might have better luck the next time getting the girl of his choice.  Finally all that hard work pays off and after fourteen years of working for Laban Jacob has married both daughters and then come the children. 

Twelve brothers come from Jacobs loins.  From four different women, because the two sisters start competing with each other as to which one can bear the most children for Jacob, and when they realize that they can’t they toss their maidservants into bed with him so that they can bear children for Jacob in their place. 

It makes me think of the old saying “Oh what a tangled web we weave.”  it has all the elements of a good soap opera.  There is love, deceit, secrets, envy all rolled up together in this story which is the history of a nation.  For Jacob is later called Israel and his twelve sons become the Twelve Tribes of Israel.  And all of this – ALL OF IT – is Gods doings.  God is fulfilling a promise that he made to Abraham by establishing him as the father of a great nation.

Let me restate my earlier observation. It’s really amazing how God can orchestrate our lives to make things all work together to accomplish His good will and purposes.  And you know what?  As I look at my life and all the drama, all the good times, and the hard times and the boring times and the exciting times and all the weird things that have happened, and even all the mistakes I’ve made have all played a part in bringing me to this place in time right now.  As I write these words I am in awe of all the things that have happened to bring me to this point in my life, and even more so when I realize that God has been there with me through every step of the way.  Not one thing has gone un-noticed by God and not one thing has been unexpected nor has God ever been unprepared for the ways that my free will choices have caused things to unfold.

As I think about the Soap Opera way that Israel came into existence I can’t help but to wonder what God has in store for my children and those who come after me.  And I have to laugh at the apparent haphazard but ultimately well orchestrated way that it all comes together through our Great and Glorious Father.

Prayer: God Almighty,

Thank you for being there through all the crazy curves and turns that my life has taken.  Thank you for guiding me even when I didn’t understand that you were doing so.  Thank you for protecting me even when I didn’t know that you were.  And Thank you for loving me even before I loved you.

Love Michael


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