Last week we saw how the Lord appeared to Jacob in a dream. It was an amazing dream that showed how God cares for man and has made a way for him to get to God. In the dream God also spoke to Jacob and promised to always be with him as He accomplished the Abrahamic covenant through him.
[Read Genesis 28:13-15.]
Jacob awoke from this dream a new man of faith. After Jacob spent some time worshipping God in that place he set out to complete his mission of journeying to his mother’s homeland to find a wife. And throughout this mission and consequent events we’re going to see the faithful hand of God once again upon His people.
[“Man on a mission” Uhaul story.]
Everyone in this story seems to be on a mission. And it all starts with Jacob’s journey.
I. Jacob’s first mission is accomplished by God’s providence
Jacob’s 1st mission – journey to his mother’s homeland and household 500+ miles away
[Read Genesis 29:1-6.]
Look at how the Lord has blessed Jacob. He makes it through this harsh journey, ends up in the right country, ends up in the right community, finds some people that know Laban, finds out Laban is still alive, (97 years have passed since Laban’s sister Rebekah left with Isaac), and then here comes Laban’s daughter walking right towards him! Amazing! Jacob’s head must be spinning right about now. But look at what he does next.
[Read Genesis 29:7-8.]
Jacob tries to get the men to hurry up and water their herds and get out of there so he can have some alone time with Rachel. But even though it doesn’t work, he’s still been able to accomplish his first mission and make it to his mother’s household.
[Read Genesis 29:9-14.]
What a beautiful event this was. Long lost family members getting to know each other for the first time. When Jacob kissed Rachel it was a customary greeting between family members. But what is so touching is when Jacob wept after the kiss. He was realizing how good God had been to him in helping him accomplish this mission of finding the family. Tears of relief flowed as he realized his journey was complete. Gad had watched over him just as He had said.
This journey of his is very similar to that of Abraham’s servant who went to this household to find a wife for Isaac almost a hundred years earlier. But with one, strikingly ironic difference. In the servant’s journey, Rebekah met him at the well and poured water for him. This time at the well, the man pours the water for the woman.
But Jacob’s even though Jacob’s first mission was complete, the second mission was still looming. He’d found the girl he wanted to marry, but could he get her family to agree? Remember, Abraham’s servant brought with him all kinds of valuable gifts, the wishes of the great Abraham, and the promises of God to help convince the family to let loose of Rebekah. Jacob had nothing. But as we’re going to see:
II. Jacob’s second mission is accomplished by his love for Rachel
Jacob’s 2nd mission – gain a wife from mother’s household
[Read Genesis 29:15-20.]
So beautiful! Jacob offered to be Laban’s servant for seven years just for the rights to marry Rachel. To me, that’s a long time! I know she must have been worth it, but c’mon. Seven years? That’s one long engagement!
And you know Jacob’s years of work were hard. He wasn’t set up with some cushy job in an office somewhere. He became a servant working the land and working the herds all day every day. It was a high price to pay.
But Rachel was worth it to him. Every day when he’d be out with the animals he’d see her pass by on her way to the well. He’d stop and just watch his future bride go by. He couldn’t take his eyes off of her. Maybe they’d talk a little about the day. Maybe they’d even talk a little about the future. She’d go on her way and he’d get back to work. But the rest of his day would be filled with thoughts of one day marrying the love of his life.
[Read Genesis 29:20.]
They say time flies by when you’re having fun. Now Jacob probably wasn’t having fun in the line of work he was in, but his love for Rachel masked everything else and the years just flew by. His love helped him accomplish his mission of gaining a wife.
Now after seven years Jacob’s mission was almost complete. Rachel was about to become his wife. But Jacob’s uncle Laban had a mission of his own. Laban’s mission was to marry off his daughters – both of them. Not just the young pretty one.