Jacob said to Laban,“. . . Why have you deceived me?”
Jacob’s stated purpose in fleeing to Harran was to find a wife (Genesis 28:2), and it did not take him long to fall in love. Jacob’s polygamy and some other marriage customs described here may be foreign to many of us today, but they were not unusual in Jacob’s day. The fact that they are included in the Bible does not mean God approves of them; it simply means that God can work to redeem people’s hearts even through existing cultural realities.
On the night of his wedding, Jacob the deceiver is himself deceived. In the morning he finds that he is married to Leah instead of Rachel. Laban has played a nasty trick, and it will hurt his daughters as well as Jacob. But Jacob’s favoritism will also take a toll, setting the stage for resentment and bitterness that will plague his family for a long time.
It is easy to see the wrong in others. Jacob is quick to name Laban’s fault. But Jacob seems to miss the fact that only a short time earlier, he had committed a similar sin against his own father and brother. We are responsible for the sinful ways we act, and we are more like Jacob than we might like to think. We get irritated when others sin against us, but we are quick to justify our own wrongdoing. Thankfully, God kept working on Jacob—and he keeps working on our hearts too.
Heavenly Father, we easily ignore our own sins, but we get upset when others sin against us. Help us to see our hearts as you see them and to forgive others as you forgive us. Amen.
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