The Cheater Gets Cheated

Today’s Readings
Genesis 29-30
Matthew 9:1-17


20 Jacob worked for Rachel for seven years, but it seemed like a few days because he loved her. 21 Jacob said to Laban, “The time has come. Give me my wife so that I may sleep with her.” 22 So Laban invited all the people of that place and prepared a banquet. 23 However, in the evening, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and he slept with her. 24 Laban had given his servant Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her servant. 25 In the morning, there she was—Leah! Jacob said to Laban, “What have you done to me? Didn’t I work for you to have Rachel? Why did you betray me?”

26 Laban said, “Where we live, we don’t give the younger woman before the oldest. 27 Complete the celebratory week with this woman. Then I will give[c] you this other woman too for your work, if you work for me seven more years.” 28 So that is what Jacob did. He completed the celebratory week with this woman, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife. 29 Laban had given his servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her servant. 30 Jacob slept with Rachel, and he loved Rachel more than Leah. He worked for Laban seven more years.

In our reading on Wednesday, Esau sold his birthright to his brother Jacob for a bowl of stew. It was a very shortsighted exchange on Esau’s part. Before all was said and done (part of yesterday’s reading), Esau believed Jacob cheated him out of his birthright. At least as we read it, Jacob, in my opinion, did not cheat Esau. At least not in this part of their story.

While I don’t believe Jacob cheated Esau out of his birthright, there is no doubt that Jacob was a primary player in cheating Esau out of his blessing. Without question, his mother Rebekah played a major role in it, but Esau could have said no. He cheated his brother and for his trouble, he had to run for his life. All this happened in part of yesterday’s Genesis reading I didn’t focus on for yesterday’s post.

Rebekah sends Jacob running for cover, back to her family. Once there, he discovers the love of his life, Rachel. In the end, it results in more trouble for Jacob as the cheater is about to meet his match in Rachel’s father Laban.

Laban has Jacob work for him for seven years to get Rachel’s hand. Jacob does but when wedding bells rang, he finds he has not married Rachel, but her older sister Leah. After that, Laban makes Jacob work for him another seven years to marry his real love, Rachel.

There is something within most of us that wants to see the cheater get caught.  When I was in college there was a student who was well known as a cheater by other students on campus. Once it became clear the kind of person he was, most of us wanted nothing to do with him. He was a nice guy but his ethics left a great deal to be desired. As far as I know, he was never caught by a professor. I have often wondered if he has had the same lack of ethics in his working career as he had in his academic career.

Most of us have known someone who has cheated to pass a class or cheated to succeed in business or cheated someone out of something. I can’t help but believe, these events are sad not only to those of us who observe, but they are sad to God as well.

But, grace is also there. As we will see, through the marriage Jacob waited so long to have, God would save the family and ultimately the nation.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved



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