Summary: Part 3 of 5 in a series on the false gods of this world (i.e. of our own creation) that vie to be the ultimate object of our worship.
INTRODUCTION: To begin with let me ask you a question… as a culture is we an “obsessive” people?
• We obsess over money; often wanting the lifestyle it brings, and being secretly jealous of those who we think have it!
• We obsess over looks; often wanting the trim and toned perfect body and all the attention it brings, and being secretly jealous of those who we think have it!
• We obsess over fame; often wanting the glitz, glamor, and bling that it brings, and being secretly jealous of those who we think have it!
• We obsess over power; often wanting the thrill, exhilaration, and sense of control that it brings, and being secretly jealous of those who we think have it!
• We obsess over toys, often wanting the next best thing on the market, and the status it brings, and being secretly jealous of those who we think have it!
• We obsess over being loved or in love, wanting that “storybook” romance with the “fairytale” ending, and being secretly jealous of those who we think have it!
BACKGROUND: That which we obsess over, will in the end be what we worship, and that which we worship we will become a “slave” to. In our society, the church included the greatest obsession we have is with being in love or being loved, in fact our culture holds it up as the greatest and noblest of pursuits. We are indoctrinated by our culture to believe that the need to be loved or in love is built into each one of us, so that we instinctively yearn for it… so did God create us to be loved, and to love others? Most certainly, if in doubt go just read the Song of Solomon… While we were created to be loved our culture has inflated the idea to crazy proportions, but we weren’t the first to do it!
JACOB – OBSESSED WITH BEING IN LOVE
• In Genesis 29 we read a love story that seems to fit more in the world of reality television than in the pages of the annals of the Patriarchs – It’s the Bachelor BC!
• The key players in our story are Jacob, the son of Isaac and Rebecca and his wife Leah, the elder daughter of his uncle Laban
• After all the turmoil of the Jacob/Esau incident, Jacob flees to his uncles place, and Laban gives him a job, upon seeing how able of a manager Jacob is Laban asks him; “what can I pay you for your services?” – Jacob’s answer was one word… Rachel (Genesis 29:16-20)
• Jacob offered 7 years labor in return for Rachel, an enormous price at that time, but they seemed like only a :few days: to him because of his love for her (vs. 20)
• Then look at vs. 21 – this phrase is unusually bold, graphic, and sexual for ancient literature
• Imagine saying to your soon to be father-in-law. “I can’t wait to have sex with your daughter, give her to me now” – that’s exactly what Jacob says to Laban
• Why? Jacob’s life was empty, bad relationships with parents, siblings etc… he was looking for love, and all the longings of his heart were fixated on Rachel He was a man truly “obsessed”
• This situation has been described as an “apocalyptic romance,” where our sense of meaning, our identity that should have been found in a relationship with God, is sought out in a relationship with another.
LEAH – OBSESSED WITH BEING LOVED
• Jacob’s inner desires made him vulnerable, and Laban took advantage of that vulnerability
• He never actually says “yes” to Jacobs wage (vs. 19) and this vague answer cost’s Jacob greatly – seven years more labor, and not one, but two wives – and Leah, the “ugly” sister gets the short end of the stick…
• While is obsessed with his love for Rachel, Leah is obsessed with being loved by Jacob, and it’s a vicious cycle (vs. 31-34)
• What was she doing? Trying to find her identity though traditional “family values”
• In the time of the Patriarchs the best position a woman could be in was to mother “sons”
• She thought that if she had “sons” then her husband would love her and her unhappy life would be fixed – well guess what… it wasn’t!
• Jacob = if I get Rachel I’ll be fulfilled – Leah = if I get the love of Jacob, I’ll be fulfilled
• They both have flawed expectations, and end up worshiping idols of their own making!
• If there’s anyone in this reality television story who finally “gets-it” and makes some spiritual progress it would have to be Leah. (Jacob’s progress comes in a WWE bout with an angel)