Children’s Study – Jacob, Part 6, Jacob’s Two Wives
Jacob – Part 6, Jacob’s Two Wives
Last time, we saw Jacob meeting Rachel for the first time. It turns out that Rachel is Jacob’s cousin, the daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother.
Gen 29:13 (ERV) When Laban heard the news about his sister’s son Jacob, he ran to meet him. Laban hugged him and kissed him and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban everything that had happened.
Gen 29:14 Then Laban said, “This is wonderful! You are from my own family.” So Jacob stayed with Laban for a month.
Gen 29:15 One day Laban said to Jacob, “You are a relative of mine. It is not right for you to continue working for me without pay. What should I pay you?”
Today, we will also meet Leah, Laban’s older daughter, and Lord willing, we will see what these women, Leah and Rachel, symbolize.
Gen 29:16 (KJV) And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.
Gen 29:17 Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.
Tender eyed means having weak eyes. Here we see Leah’s weak eyes being compared to Rachel’s beauty and being “well favoured”. The word “favoured” is mostly translated as appearance, but it is also translated sight or vision a lot of times.
It makes sense then that Leah’s weak eyes are being compared to Rachel’s good sight or vision. But let’s ask why God thought it was important to point these details out. Does He have anything against people with weak eyes? Of course not! God is not against people with blurry vision as much as He’s not against red-skinned and hairy people like Esau. He is just using these physical appearances to illustrate the spiritual lessons that He wants to teach us.
So what spiritual lesson does God want to teach us about people with spiritual “weak eyes”.
Mat 13:14 (CEV) So God’s promise came true, just as the prophet Isaiah had said, “These people will listen and listen, but never understand. They will look and look, but never see.
Mat 13:15 All of them have stubborn minds! Their ears are stopped up, and their eyes are covered. They cannot see or hear or understand. If they could, they would turn to me, and I would heal them.”
This is what we are when we listen to the teachings in Babylon or false churches. We have spiritual “weak eyes” when we look and look but we never see the truth. Why? Because God has given us stubborn minds!
When we are in Babylon, we don’t care what the Bible says, we just care what our teachers say. This is the time when we are too lazy to read our Bible and see if what these teachers are saying are really based on the Bible. What happens to us when we follow these false teachers?
Mat 15:14 (CEV) Stay away from those Pharisees [false teachers]! They are like blind people leading other blind people, and all of them will fall into a ditch.”
Falling into the ditch means going deeper and deeper into darkness and getting further and further from God.
On the other hand, when we have good spiritual vision (with Rachel as our symbol), then we understand God’s words and are able to do what He wants us to do:
Eph 1:18 (KJV) The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
When we understand God’s words, we know to go after spiritual blessings “the hope of his calling”. We stay connected with His body and seek the spiritual riches in the saints.
It is also said that Rachel was beautiful:
Gen 29:17 (KJV) …but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.
You may have noticed this pattern in Sarah, Jacob’s grandmother and Rebekah, Jacob’s mother:
Gen 12:11 (ERV) Just before they arrived in Egypt, Abram told Sarai, “Look, I know that you are a very beautiful woman.
Gen 26:7 (ERV) His wife Rebekah was very beautiful. The men of that place asked Isaac about Rebekah…
So Sarai who was later renamed Sarah, Rebekah, and now Rachel, all are said to be beautiful. Again, this is not because God favors those who are beautiful over ugly people. We have learned before that God is not concerned about our appearance, He is concerned about the beauty of our character.
1Sa 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Eliab is tall and handsome, but don’t judge by things like that. God doesn’t look at what people see. People judge by what is on the outside, but the LORD looks at the heart. Eliab is not the right man.”
The Lord does not judge by our outward appearance, but by what is in our hearts.
We should have the same mind as the Lord, we should not judge people by how they look, but how they behave towards others.
We are living in a world which is obsessed with looking good. Just look at the billions of dollars people spend on beauty products and fashionable clothing. In the mean time, we are also seeing how this world is getting worse and worse in its rebellion to God.
Here’s the apostle Peter telling us the qualities of those who are given good spiritual eyes by God.
2Pe 1:5 (ERV) Because you have these blessings, do all you can to add to your life these things: to your faith add goodness; to your goodness add knowledge;
2Pe 1:6 to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add patience; to your patience add devotion to God;
2Pe 1:7 to your devotion add kindness toward your brothers and sisters in Christ, and to this kindness add love.
2Pe 1:8 If all these things are in you and growing, you will never fail to be useful to God. You will produce the kind of fruit that should come from your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So those are the qualities that God consider beautiful: faith, goodness (also translated virtue or moral excellence), knowledgeable in God’s words, having self-control, patient. Peter continues that we must add to this patience our devotion to God (or holiness), then we must add kindness and then finally we must add love. Love as we learned before is obeying God’s commands.
But here’s what the apostle Peter calls those who lack these qualities:
2Pe 1:9 (ESV) For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
So blindness is not limited to not understanding the words of God, but it includes lacking those qualities that the Lord wants in His followers.
Let’s continue the story:
Gen 29:18 Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”
Gen 29:19 Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me.”
Gen 29:20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.
Jacob’s love for Rachel is a symbol of the Lord’s love for His wife, the church.
Eph 5:28 (MKJV) So men ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
Eph 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord loves the church.
Eph 5:30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.
Eph 5:31 “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two of them shall be one flesh.”
Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
After Jacob served seven years for Rachel, he now asks Laban to give him his wife:
Gen 29:21 (MKJV) And Jacob said to Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, so that I may go in to her.
Gen 29:22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.
Gen 29:23 And it happened in the evening, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to him. And he went in to her.
Gen 29:24 And Laban gave Zilpah his slave woman to his daughter Leah for a handmaid.
Gen 29:25 And it happened in the morning, behold, it was Leah! And he said to Laban, What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you tricked me?
Did you notice that, kids? Laban switched Leah for Rachel, and it happened in the evening.
Gen 29:23 (MKJV) And it happened in the evening, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to him. And he went in to her.
In the evening, there is not much light, so we can’t see much. When we are in spiritual darkness, we think we are serving the true church, but then in the morning, when we can see clearly, we find out that we are serving a false church.
Gen 29:25 (MKJV) And it happened in the morning, behold, it was Leah! And he said to Laban, What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you tricked me?
Gen 29:26 And Laban said, It must not be done so in our country, to give the younger before the first-born.
We all first serve in spiritual darkness, following the rules of our church more than the commandments of our Lord.
Mat 15:8 (MKJV) “This people draws near to Me with their mouth, and honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.
Mat 15:9 But in vain they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
We don’t grow in these churches. Their teachers teach the commandments of men over and over again, but they don’t see the hidden spiritual lessons in these stories because God did not grant them this wisdom.
These people put a lot of effort in their traditions and rituals. They put a lot of money to build their grand temples and cathedrals to appear godly to others. But these people forget that God sees what’s in their hearts.
Mat 23:25 (ESV) “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
Babylon or the false churches of this world is symbolized in this story as Leah who has weak eyes, meaning they don’t have the understanding of God’s words and the qualities that the Lord is looking for in His spiritual wife.
Gen 29:27 (ERV) Continue for the full week of the marriage ceremony, and I will also give you Rachel to marry. But you must serve me another seven years.”
Gen 29:28 So Jacob did this and finished the week. Then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as a wife.
Seven is the number for completion. Jacob finished the week (seven days) of the marriage ceremony with Leah and then Rachel was given to him as a wife. Jacob’s seven years of service to Laban for what turned out to be for Leah instead of Rachel symbolizes our complete service to God while we are in spiritual darkness.
Gen 29:29 (Laban gave his maid Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her maid.)
Gen 29:30 (ESV) And he also went in to Rachel. He also loved Rachel more than Leah, and served with him still seven more years.
God loves the world, even His rebellious wife, Babylon. But He loves His body, His obedient wife, a lot more than Babylon. So that is what Leah and Rachel symbolizes: Babylon and the body of Christ. There are only a few people in this world that are called out of Babylon and granted to be part of Christ’s body. My prayer is that everyone who listens to these studies will be granted that blessing.
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