Longing and love. Blessing and trickery. The ways of man and the way of God.
I have been reading Genesis in my personal Bible time- and pondering quietly the ways of man and the way of God toward man and through man.
The tangled relationships puzzle me.
30 So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served Laban for another seven years.
31 When the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. 32 And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben,[c] for she said, “Because the Lord has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.”
The tug of war; the push and pull of woman(women, really) to woman (women) in Genesis 29-30.
My heart hurts, even as I know I do not fully understand. Why is this okay, I wonder?
34 Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel’s saddle and sat on them. Laban felt all about the tent, but did not find them. 35 And she said to her father, “Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the way of women is upon me.” So he searched but did not find the household gods. Genesis 31 ESV
The beloved woman of Jacob. Deception. I am not told why she felt compelled to take and hide these gods. I study a bit in my study bible- but still find no definitive answer. She secretly sits, and no man knows what she has hidden.
The Lord blesses and establishes Jacob. Flocks, and children. Wives. Then, it is time for him to leave. At God’s command:
3 Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.” Genesis 31
Laban cannot divide between what is his and what is not. All that he sees, he believes belongs to him.
Then Laban answered and said to Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine. But what can I do this day for these my daughters or for their children whom they have borne? Genesis 31 ESV
His eyes are blinded to truth and to Jacob.
Yet, even so, my heart grieves:
5 [x] Early in the morning Laban arose and kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then Laban departed and returned home. Genesis 31 ESV
There is an emptiness as he leaves. And, I think, perhaps, he lost it all by immersing so deeply, so fully in his greed and gain. He would not, of his own, let Jacob go freely to live into what was rightfully his. I know it is more nuanced than that- but I think, this is part.
Lord, You show me through Your Word, and through my heart- how much man needs you- how much I need You. Prone to trickery, deceit, blindness, greed, lust, ungodly gain- what are we without You? O Lord, do not leave me to myself. I see how it is the life-giving gift of grace through faith that gives anyone the ability to live a different, better way. Your way. Jesus, captivate my heart with love for you. Amen