When Jacob clamped eyes on Rachel, he was smitten (Gen.29ff). He apparently didn’t even give Rachel’s older sister, Leah, a second look—poor Leah. Rachel became his sole focus for the duration of the seven-year contract he made with Uncle Laban. The contract designed to secure Rachel as his bride. The years passed quickly, the work seemed as nothing, the wedding was a raving success, and the new day’s sun was set to rise on the best day of…Rachel’s sister’s life. I have to restrain myself from laughing out loud at this part of the story. It’s a shame that cell phone cameras weren’t around to record the look on Jacob’s face the moment he realized that it wasn’t Rachel that he had woken up to. Jacob’s protestations meant nothing to Laban. Laban was the Law, and Jacob was a young man with few options.
Jacob lived up to the meaning of his name when he tricked his brother, Esau, out of his birth right. Now Jacob had met his match in the art of deception. A new deal was offered by the patriarch: If you want Rachel, you can have her, but you will have to work another seven years for her. Today, most men would have bolted. For the rest of their days they would have cried, ‘foul.’ Jacob could have cut his losses and walked away, too. But love binds the heart to commitment—no matter how seemingly unreasonable the circumstances. Laban had shown his true colours and nothing was going to get any better. The deceptive events that Jacob and his mother had set into motion back at home had brought him to a place where he knew that he was just going to have to suffer if he wanted his heart’s desire. It was a test of love that he passed easily. Jacob proved to show special love towards Rachel and her children till the end of his days. It wasn’t hard. He had set his heart on her—the love of his life. If you want to know what you love, then just check the things you work for. Jesus says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Mt.6:21). Fourteen years is a long time, but for this man it was just one of the things you do for love.