Pruning • That Crazy Uncle
James Clouse | Student Pastor
Passage: Genesis 29:21-30
Do you have the one relative that everybody avoids during all of the family gatherings? What makes them the outcast of the party? Why does everybody avoid that person? It is possible that the person may have caused a bunch of trouble in the past and is now kind of the outcast of the party.
While it is good to make sure we forgive people of their past and move on, we also should be careful of family members that have a bad reputation. There are instances where I may be careful which relatives I let watch my daughter or to which relatives I lend money.
Jacob also had an uncle that was not worthy of his trust.
“Then Jacob said to Laban, ‘Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my time is completed.’ So Laban gathered together all the people of the place and made a feast. But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and he went in to her.”
“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?’ Laban said, ‘It is not so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years.’ Jacob did so, and completed her week. Then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife.”
“So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served Laban for another seven years.”
(Genesis 29:21-23, 25-28, 30)
To give some context here, Jacob was sent to find a wife from his family. So Jacob went on a journey to find a wife (not so different from now). As Rachel, a shepherdess was coming to water her sheep Jacob noticed her. He showed off his muscle and won her over.
Jacob then spoke with Laban, her father, saying he wanted to marry her. Laban agreed but with a price; Jacob was to work for him for seven years. Jacob did so without any argument. The day of the wedding Laban gave him the wrong wife (talk about crazy!). I am sure that Laban could have told Jacob that Leah had to be married first before Rachel, but instead, he chose to take advantage of Jacob.
But instead of arguing with Jacob and going after him with a vengeance, Jacob did what he needed to do to marry Rachel, the one whom he loved.
We can learn from Jacob when it comes to our relatives who are hard to deal with or cause problems. We need to learn to forgive, but also be cautious of them. I am sure that Jacob thought twice in the future before letting Laban get too close to his family.