Genesis 29 English Standard Version (ESV)
15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my kinsman, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?” 16 Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. 18 Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” 19 Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.
21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my time is completed.” 22 So Laban gathered together all the people of the place and made a feast. 23 But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and he went in to her. 24 (Laban gave his female servant Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her servant.)25 And in the morning, behold, it was Leah! And Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?”26 Laban said, “It is not so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. 27 Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years.” 28 Jacob did so, and completed her week. Then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29 (Laban gave his female servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her servant.) 30 So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served Laban for another seven years.
Jacob’s marriage to two sisters, and acceptance of their servants as concubines was not immoral by the standards of his culture. Yet the conflict in Jacob’s home suggests how wise it is to adopt monogamous marriage, as God intended.
Each of the main characters strived for something he or she did not have, rather than seeking contentment in God’s gifts. Rachel could have been happy in Jacob’s love, but was jealous of her sister’s fertility. Leah could have found satisfaction in her sons, but yearned for Jacob’s love. Laban could have valued people rather than wealth, and would have been loved by them all. Jacob could have taken a stand against his father-in-law and his wives, but allowed each of the others to bully or take advantage of him. Yet, despite their flaws, God used each of these individuals to create a family that would become the instrument of His blessing to the world. And, despite the dissatisfaction each felt, each truly was blessed.
How we need to accept ourselves and our limitations! And how we need to rejoice in what we have, rather than make ourselves and others miserable in pursuit of what we do not have!
Are you dissatisfied with yourself or someone else? Practice “Counting Blessings”. List 10 blessings in your life in the past week, month or year and thank God for each one of them. Ask God to help you understanding that you are truly blessed.