Genesis 29-30; 35:16-30
Jacob and Rachel
Jacob, who had deceived his brother Esau of his birthright travels to the safety of his uncle Laban where he falls head over heel in love with Rachael, agreeing to work for Laban seven years for Rachael’s hand in marriage. Jacob however is deceived on his wedding night as the bride was veiled - and Jacob did not notice that Leah - Rachel's older sister, had been substituted for Rachel. Whereas "Rachel was lovely in form and beautiful," Leah, on the other hand “had tender eyes." Jacob must now work an additional seven years for the hand of Rachael. Paybacks are sometimes painful. Jacob, who had made it a habit of practicing deceit, falls victim to dishonesty himself.
Lent is a time for us to take serious inventory not only or our words and actions but upon the motivations for our speech and acts. Have we been completely honest with our words? Have we acted dubiously, not always being forthcoming with our explanations? Have our actions been sometimes suspect? If we are honest with ourselves, we will have to confess that we have sinned against God and our neighbor in our thoughts, our words, and our deed. Jacob made it a habit of manipulating people, often the people from his own family. He often found himself on the receiving end of dishonest and distorted behaviors. Jacob serves as an example for us the hurt and mistrust, which many times can befall us when we are less than honest with ourselves and with those close to us. For our offences, the Son of God suffered and died, and for these transgressions of dishonesty and manipulation, He bore the burden of our sin on the cross. As we journey through Lent, ask the Lord for a pure heart and an honest spirit.
Merciful God, we humbly implore You to cast the bright beams of Your light upon Your Church that we, being instructed by the doctrine of the blessed apostles, may walk in the light of Your truth and finally attain to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Schnorr von Carolsfeld Woodcut used with permission © WELS
Collect for the Church, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis