Jacob obviously loved Rachel a lot. You might say he was a fool for love. He worked for seven years for his kinsman Laban in return for Rachel’s hand in marriage. After being tricked by Laban into marrying Rachel’s sister Leah, the elder of the two daughters, he agreed to work seven more years to be able to marry Rachel as well.
Jacob’s love and devotion, as well as his loyalty to his kinsman Laban, not to mention his patience, are all admirable. But in this narrative, Leah and her sister Rachel have no say in the course of events. Indeed, they are treated as property of the men. So Jacob’s actions, though admirable in some ways, are unjust by standards of our time and place.
The reading reminds us that the Bible, consisting of different kinds of writings over many centuries of oral and written traditions, is often foreign to who we are in the contemporary world. Despite this, we affirm it carries the truth of our faith and the good news of what God does for us and the world.
God worked in and through those ancient people and their customs. Even so, God works in and through us in our limitations.
Revealing God, open our minds and hearts to your word in scripture. Amen. — TDW