“...Rachel came with her father’s sheep: for she kept them. And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.”
Genesis 29: 9-11
King James Version
“Love at First Sight”
The Girl Who Won Jacob’s Heart
“We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the solution is love and that love comes with community.”
Have I ever found myself longing for the comfort of someone who cares for me?
“Love is a fruit in season at all times.”
“Love, like poetry, is a kind of homesickness.”
Several months ago, my niece, who lives in Dallas, Texas came home to visit. One afternoon, we spent time wandering a local mall – more to talk and spend time together – than to shop.
We pushed the stroller carrying her new little baby boy, Alton. As we entered one store, the sales clerk, trying to be pleasant, began to gush to me, “What a beautiful daughter you have and this must be your grandson?” I smiled and said, “No, I’m the much blessed Auntie Effie.”
“Well,” the clerk continued, “You and your niece look so much alike I was certain she had to be your daughter.” Of course, proud aunt that I am, I would claim either of my nieces as my own children but I found it quite special that because of such a close resemblance, someone who didn’t know us, knew we were family.
If you remember from previous studies, when Abraham wanted a wife for his promised son, Isaac, he sent his chief steward back to the family home where, at a watering well for the animals, Rebekah came and offered to not only give water to the steward, but to his 10 camels, as well. The Bible describes Rebekah as a beautiful woman.
Now we will turn the clock ahead!
Time has gone by. And an almost identical story is replayed. This time it is the lost and lonely Jacob, who has had to flee his home and leave his mother whom he adored. He uprooted himself from a place, his home, that he loved and where he was loved.
The Bible tells us that when Jacob asked some men near a well where they were from, they told him, Haran. Can you imagine how those words sounded to Jacob? I’m certain that many times his dear mother, Rebekah, had told him about her home and family in Haran. To Jacob, this was a moment of overwhelming joy. But there was more happiness to come. For just as his mother came to a well when she was a girl, now Rachel, Jacob’s cousin, approached the well. We’re told she, too, was beautiful. And there is the tired, lonely Jacob. When he saw Rachel, the Bible says he wept.
If we look at our text today, one thing we find is that the phrase “mother’s brother” is repeated three times.
The Bible says:
1. Rachel was the daughter of Laban, Jacob’s mother’s brother.
2. The sheep were Laban’s, Jacob’s mother’s brother.
3. The flock was Laban’s, Jacob’s mother’s brother.
Do you see a pattern here? There’s a lot of reminders about Rebekah. And I just wonder if, like my niece who looks like me, that Jacob wasn’t overcome to the point of tears when he laid his eyes on beautiful Rachel, because she reminded him of his dear mother.
Jacob told Rachel who he was and where he had come from and soon the whole family welcomed him with open arms. What’s more, in Genesis 29:18, we are told that “Jacob loved Rachel.” From the moment he met her, his heart opened to her. In fact, the Bible says that Jacob willingly promised to work for seven years to be given the opportunity to have Rachel as his wife and that those years…“seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her” (Genesis 29: 20, K.J.V.).
In our world today, nobody wants or likes to wait for anything. Now, now, now is our mantra. We want to get rich quick. We want to feel good fast. And when it comes to love, we want everything to happen immediately. We don’t want to wait for love to grow and blossom. Sometimes, we don’t even want to wait for the right person God has for us. So we rush into relationships that are ill-advised or ill-suited to us and then weep our eyes out when things don’t work out as we planned. Many times, we can look back on tragic relationships, only to see that when God isn’t in the center of our choices, we will find that the entire relationship can crumble.
These words by Neville Ward in describing the marriage relationship provide each of us with a profound ideal which should be the standard we aim to incorporate in Godly relationships:
“The fulfillment of marriage is the joy in which each lover’s true being is flowering because its growth is being welcomed and unconsciously encouraged by the other in the infinite series of daily decisions which is their life together.”
May the lesson of waiting for God’s guidance in our relationships be one we learn from the love of Jacob for Rachel.
“Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.”
“Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to ever wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out ev’n to the edge of doom.
If this be error, and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.”
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meet Jesus
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