Summary: Jacob thought lightly about taking advantage of others, but he didn’t take it so lightly when others took advantage of him.
We think that blended families or other complex families are new to our age; confusing families go back some time, as we see here!
1. Everyone is miserable!
2. A competitive relationship develops between Rachel and Leah
3. Rachael would be Jacob’s favorite wife, but the tribe of Judah, the line of David, and thus Jesus descended from Leah, not Rachel!
4. Although Leah was not favored by Jacob, she was by God; she lived longer and had more children.
5. Jacob wanted things simple; he wanted a wife, which is natural.
6. Because of Laban’s sin, Jacob has a mess on his hands
Jacob thought lightly about taking advantage of others, but he didn’t take it so lightly when others took advantage of him
II. The GOLDEN Rule is the Antidote for Shady Behavior
Both Jacob and Laban violated the Golden Rule. Jesus may have stated the Golden Rule 2,000 years later, but Jacob and Laban knew the concept. They knew their manipulative and dishonest behavior was wrong and took advantage of others.
As followers of Jesus Christ, do we take the Golden Rule seriously?
Luke 6:31 presents the Golden Rule, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
The great Rabbi Hillel, who died when Jesus was a young teen, said, "What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Law; the rest is the explanation; go and learn"
A. EMPATHY: Trying to understand another’s feelings
Jacob had not been concerned with how his deception devastated his brother Esau; Laban was not concerned about how his deception took advantage of Jacob. Sometimes it is not until we taste our own medicine that we realize how bad it is. Even then, many folks do not learn.
B. God often uses IRONY to chastise us
Irnoy is, "a combination of circumstances or a result that is the opposite of what is or might be expected…"
Psalm 7:15-16 states a principle: "He who digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit he has made. The trouble he causes recoils on himself; his violence comes down on his own head."
Both Laban and Jacob paid a price for their schemes.
C. INTEGRITY is part of loving others
The Old Testament Law contains a total of 613 commandments. Many of them deal with sacrifices, rituals, or God’s special governance of Israel. But many of them are moral commands. Jesus summarizes them by 2 of the 613: Love God with all you have, and your neighbor as yourself.
If we love our neighbor, we are going to act with integrity, honesty -- being above board.
Parents need to teach their children lessons of integrity and empathy. A simple peanut butter commercial offers an example.
Two boys are going to share a slice of a peanut butter sandwich. She lets one boy cut, but when she’s done, she allows the other boy to choose the half he wants.
This teaches the boys to try to cut evenly and fairly, and shows that trying to cheat others comes back upon our own heads.
D. MANIPULATING others can sever relationships
"A means of gaining control or social influence over others by methods which might be considered unfair."
Some people earn positions of influence through service, hard work, self-discipline, and self-sacrifice. Others are weasely and dishonest, as in the cases of both Jacob and Laban.