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Jacob’s Love

June 25th, 2014

So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.

Genesis 29:20

There is in these few words a picture of genuine love of a man for a woman. This is wholesome love, not unholy lust that misuses the term “love.” He loved her deeply and worked seven years for her. The rest of the story turns out not so good for all, because of Laban’s trickery Jacob ended up being married to Leah, the sister, and not Rachel. He had to work another seven years for Rachel, and then he entered into a polygamous relationship with both sisters being his wives, as well as having other children through their handmaids – whence the twelve tribes of Israel.

But consider this love in its purity, for sacrificial love is the highest thing a human can aspire to. First, his love was based largely on grace. He loved her because he was attracted to her, the mysterious feelings we have for some people, not for what she had done. Second, his love was redemptive, in nature, as all true love is, helping someone become something that they are not yet. Love does not demand that people be perfect before we love them, rather love lifts them up to help them become a better and a finer person. Third, his love cost him something, but the price seemed insignificant to him. True love does not lament the cost paid for another’s happiness and fulfillment. True love has the power to dismiss failures and not hold them over someone’s head. While we cannot condone polygamy, and the original creation of Adam and Eve clearly pictured husband and wife living in equality and in love – the two became one, and we cannot honor this scripture or the plan of God with several spouses, yet we can admire the love that Jacob had for Rachel.

As all true love does, it mirrors the love of Christ for us. Christ’s love is grace-based. He loves us because He does. The love of God for the world originates within His heart and not within our own worthiness. “While we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8), declares the scripture. Second, Christ’s love is redemptive. He lifts us from the dunghill of moral and spiritual defeat and places us in exalted positions. “God raised us up with Christ and sated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6-7). Third, His love cost Him something. Christ died for our sins and in heaven, though fully glorified, He is still seen in light of His wounds on our behalf.

No doubt young Rachel was encouraged about herself by the love of Jacob – a man who worked fourteen years for her. But a much greater One that Jacob loves you and me, Christ Jesus Himself, who loves us and gave Himself for us (Gal. 2:20). Let His love have the desired effect on your soul – see yourself as loved of God, for that is exactly what you are.

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