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)
Love is more than just a splendid thing; it is an incredible emotion that bonds two people together that time cannot erase. Jacob had fled from his home in fear of his life. Arriving in Padan Aram, he met a young shepherdess named Rachel. She was beautiful in form and appearance and Jacob fell in love with her. Desiring to marry Rachel, Jacob agreed with her father, Laban, to work seven years. He would have gladly married her as soon as possible but the agreement was to wait seven years. It is hard to imagine being in love with someone and waiting seven years to marry. Long engagements are not unusual and are often for good purpose. Working seven years to marry the woman you love would seem like an arduous task. The Holy Spirit tells us that Jacob did not notice the time as seven years rolled by. He was so in love with Rachel that almost a decade seemed like a few days. Seven years is 84 months or 2,555 days. The love for Rachel helped Jacob fly through the time as if time itself stood still. He was in love.
After seven years, Jacob thought he was marrying his beloved Rachel but through trickery married her sister, Leah. After the deceit was discovered, Jacob had to work another seven years for Laban. Rachel and Jacob were married during this final seven years but Jacob worked 14 years because of his love for Rachel. Sadly, the one who wanted the love of Jacob was Leah but never found the love he had for her sister. God had compassion on Leah and Jesus came through the seed of Leah instead of Rachel. Love is an emotion and it is something learned. Paul tells Titus to have the older women teach the younger women how to love their husbands and their children. Jacob had a love for Rachel that was a deeply devoted love. Seven years seemed like days because his life was dedicated to one woman. There were hard days and there were good days. Love was not something to be cast aside for any reason. Jacob and Rachel kept their marriage vows ending only in death. Rachel would die in childbirth when Benjamin was born.
Jacob’s love is love that sees through the hardships and difficulties with a union of one spirit. Jesus loved His bride to die for her. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Jacob saw only one woman in his life and there would be no other. He was tricked into marrying Leah but Rachel was his true love. Jacob’s love is still possible in the hearts of men who fully give their lives to God first and then to their wives. It must begin with a heart of love for the Lord before it can build in the hearts of men to love their wives. Jacob’s love for Rachel dismissed the seven years he labored to gain her hand. His life was spent in finding ways to show Rachel how much he loved her. He would tell her often. Love for Jacob was the grace of the woman he loved. It was not how she could make him happy; it was what he could do to make her happy.
Mysterious is the fusion of two loving spirits; each takes the best from the other, but only to give it back again enriched with love. (Romain Rolland, Jean Christophe, 1912)