Summary: God is at work in and through our lives despite our dysfunction.

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Title: And You Think Your Family Is Messed Up! (Part II)

Text: Genesis 29:15-30

Thesis: God is at work in and through our lives despite our dysfunction.


I have a method to reading the Denver Post every day. I separate the sections removing all the ads. I begin with the Editorial page then move to the front section making my way through the Denver and West, the Business and National News sections. I then move to the Living section turning to the last page where I read Ask Amy. (Then I read the comics and work the puzzles. Then I read the Sports section.)

Amy Dickinson of Ask Amy gets lots of head-shaking mail.

• Dear Amy: My daughter is almost 4 months old, and I feel as though my in-laws don’t love her as much as they do her male cousin who is 2…

• Dear Amy: My mother raised 12 children. None of us asked her to baby-sit our children, as we felt her work was done. My daughter-in-law has now asked me to watch her 2-month-old on a specific day because she has to work. I told her, “Yes, but when you are making money, I will charge you.” She sent me an email expressing her disbelief and letting me know her mother would never charge for to baby-sit.”

• Dear Amy: My older sister is getting married. Her fiancé and his family are a very Christian conservative family. I am gay so my sister sent me an email telling me she did not think I should attend her wedding. When my mother found out she was outraged and now my family will not attend my sister’s wedding.

A common thread in most Dear Amy letters is family dysfunction. There is an undercurrent of perceived personal slights, insults, the absence of moral character, perceived injustices and unfairness and the like. The saga of Jacob is one of dysfunction and unfairness.

Last week we saw: God is present and at work in our messed-upness ( I know. Not a word but you get the idea.) and culture does not deter God

A third take away is the often needed reminder that life is not always fair.

III. Life is not fair

When Jacob woke up in the morning, it was Leah! “What have you done to me?” Jacob raged at Laban. Genesis 29:25a

Seven years passed and having struck a deal for his arranged marriage to Rachel, Jacob reminded Laban of their agreement and Uncle Laban threw a big wedding feast after which it was apparently the custom of the father to deliver the bride to the groom’s tent for the consummation of the wedding.

So as Jacob waited expectantly in the darkness as Laban brought him his bride.

The next morning when Jacob woke up he was shocked to discover he had married the older sister, Leah, rather than Rachel. Jacob was obviously unhappy and raised a ruckus with his new father-in-law who informed him that culturally, the younger daughter could not be married before her older sister so essentially tradition trumped the details of the agreement. So to appease Jacob Laban suggested he work an additional 7 years for Rachel… however in this agreement he would receive Rachel as his bride up-front rather than at the end of 7 more years.

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