Saturday, June 11, 2011

Genesis 29:2-14

Today’s story is a funny one! Jacob reached a place where there were three flocks of sheep with their shepherds shepherds gathered around a well. The opening of the well is covered by a large stone (probably to protect the water from pollution??). Jacob begins to question the shepherds - first about whether or not they know his uncle, Laban, then about their practices as a shepherds:

Jacob asked the shepherds, “My brothers, where are you from?”

“We’re from Haran,” they replied.

He said to them, “Do you know Laban, Nahor’s grandson?”

“Yes, we know him,” they answered.

Then Jacob asked them, “Is he well?”

“Yes, he is,” they said, “and here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep.”

“Look,” he said, “the sun is still high; it is not time for the flocks to be gathered. Water the sheep and take them back to pasture.”

“We can’t,” they replied, “until all the flocks are gathered and the stone has been rolled away from the mouth of the well. Then we will water the sheep.”

While he was still talking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. When Jacob saw Rachel daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother, and Laban’s sheep, he went over and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle’s sheep. (Gen 29:4-10)

We are performing our class play this morning, and reading this section cracks me up, because it sounds just like a scene from a play: “Oh, look! Here comes the beautiful lady now!” :) Note that Jacob doesn’t suggest the moving of the stone until he sees Rachel. I’m wondering if he wanted to get the others out of the way quickly, so he could be alone with Rachel. . . Remember that Jacob was not the athletic jock of the family. In fact, having been the mama’s boy for so many years, he probably was fairly wimpy! And the three shepherds together had not been able to move the stone, which is why they were waiting for more shepherds before they had enough manpower to roll it away (or maybe they had been lollygagging waiting for the beautiful Rachel to show up). But one look at Rachel, and Jacob all of a sudden develops superhuman strength! The LORD had promised to be with Him, and here He gives Jacob the muscle power to show off for Rachel!

When Isaac had seen Rebekah at the well, SHE was the one who watered the sheep. But in this scene it is Jacob who does the watering! It seems he was smitten! And then he does something truly bold:

Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep aloud. He had told Rachel that he was a relative of her father and a son of Rebekah. So she ran and told her father. (vs. 11-12)

Here’s a case of “kiss and tell!” Rachel races to tell her father about the strong stranger who turns out to be her cousin!

As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he hurried to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his home, and there Jacob told him all these things. Then Laban said to him, “You are my own flesh and blood.” (vs. 13-14)

Now, Jacob must be thinking that surely the LORD is with him, and is about to grant him his heart’s desire on the spot. Laban seems excited to meet the young man - and why not? He remembers the last visit from this side of the family - he remembers the expensive gifts! This could be a bonanza for him! Jacob has just met his match in scheming! So, while Jacob’s expectation is for immediate answer to his prayers - he’s about to learn patience through a very long wait!! We’ll look at that next week.


No comments:

Post a Comment