It is not the most romantic way to get married but considering the customs of the day and the fact that an 84 year old man was willing to work seven years to marry; it is a true love story. Jacob had fled from the wrath of his brother Esau and came to Padan Aram to find a wife from his mother’s family (Genesis 28-29). After a month of arriving at Laban’s home, an agreement was made that Jacob would work seven years and be wed to Laban’s youngest daughter Rachel. The story changes when after seven years Laban tricks Jacob into marrying Rachel’s older sister, Leah. Jacob would go on to marry Rachel that year but have to work another seven years for Laban.
When it was agreed for the first seven years to receive the hand of Rachel, Moses writes: “So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her” (Genesis 29:20). Here is deep romance as his love for her made time go by as but days instead of years. His spirit was filled with how beautiful Rachel was and how much he longed to live with her and be with her. The hard labors of the day did not seem quite so difficult because he knew at the end of his labors his life with Rachel would begin.
There were hard days for Jacob. Every week had a Monday and it would seem things would always go wrong on Monday. Working the herds was tedious work. Digging wells was hot and difficult work. The heat of those seven years burned heavy on the body. Sweat was not a guest but a part of the family. Many days were filled with joy and the refreshing rains helping bring a sense of peace and calm. Ewe lambs reminded Jacob of the preciousness of life and seeing families sharing together in the course of life lifted his spirits to long for his own family. Life with its ups and downs was not a burden to Jacob. His love for Rachel was his morning motivation, his drive in the afternoon and his calm mediation in the night.
Jacob loved Rachel. He loved her with all his heart and he tried his best to please her. They talked long hours about the time they would share together. The joy of their relationship was built upon a common bond of devotion and love. Two thousand and fifty five days did not seem such a long time when they thought of each other and how much they loved one another.
The Hebrew writer reminds us we have two appointments we must keep: “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Hebrews 9:27-28). Emphasis is often place upon the reality of death and certainty of judgment. Yet found in the last part of that plea is the love we have for the Lord to “eagerly wait for Him.” This same idea is expressed by Paul in Philippians 3:20 as we “eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Jacob’s love for Rachel was so full that seven years seemed like days. Our love for the Lord should not be found in the appeals of this earthly habitation but the new creation found in eternity. To eagerly wait for something is to have the feelings of longing, desire, expectation, wanting and love that burns in our hearts because we are separated from our Father. It is easy to become so enamored with the weight of the world that our love for God is diminished. Jesus explained the kind of love we should have in Mark 12:30 – “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
Call Jacob silly but he loved Rachel like nothing else. He just loved her so much he could not stop thinking about her. His desire was to spend every moment with her. Isaac’s son loved this girl with all his heart, his soul, his mind and his strength. Should we have any less love than that for God? People in love act like people in love. They think of whom they love often and they talk to whom they love often. Their one desire is to spend time with one another. There is nothing they will not do to have time with one another.
Life can be hard. We have a lot of Mondays. Trials and tribulations flood our days with its misery and sorrow. But the love we have for God gives us the heart to see through all of that and long for a time we can see the face of God. “No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads” (Revelation 22:3-4). The more we love God the more we want the Lord to return. “Surely I am coming quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).
Do we experience separation ‘anxiety’ because we are not with the Lord in eternity? Paul felt the pains of his love for the Lord when he writes, “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8). Love makes us want to be with the Lord and talk with the Lord and share with the Lord. In our endless world of talk, talk, talk on cell phones, smart phones, texts, FaceBook, Twitter and every communication module known to man how much does our love for Jesus Christ cause us to stop and spend time with the Lord; with His Father; with the Holy Spirit; with the WORD OF GOD?
Jacob’s love for Rachel shows me that my love for God makes my day easier. Those hardships are not so bad anymore because of my love for Him. He promised that He would never leave me and that is love (Hebrews 13:5). He gave me His only begotten Son and that is how I know how much He loved me (John 3:16). Jesus gave His life for me – what greater love is there (1 John 3:16)? Let me show my love for him every day. Help me to tell others how much I love my Lord. May they see my love for Him in my life every day. Let my heart be lifted up to His love. God – I love you.