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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

2018.08.22 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 29:1-14

Questions for Littles: To what land does Jacob come (v1)? What does he find there (v2)? What were lying by it? What was on the well’s mouth? At what point would they roll the stone away (v3, 8)? Who was coming (v6, 9)? What did Jacob do by himself in v10? What did Jacob tell Rachel in v12? Where did she go? Whom did she tell? Where did Laban go in v13? Who told Laban the same things that Rachel had just told him (v13)? What did Laban say in v14? Where else have we heard this particular phrasing (cf. 2:23)? How long did Jacob stay with him at this point? What had Jacob’s mission been (cf. 28:1-2)? 
In the passage for this week’s Old Testament reading, we have what is getting to be a familiar romantic theme. Boy meets foreign girl at well. Boy goes home to girl’s family. Boy marries girl and takes her to a different country.

There are two stories that depend upon the outcome. The smaller one is the story of Jacob getting a wife. Of course, he really didn’t need one so long as he was Rebekah’s mama’s boy. But then came the whole Esau mortal-revenge problem, and finding an appropriate wife became a handy excuse.

Now, Jacob the deceiver, son of Rebekah the schemer, is getting himself entangled with an entire family of people of similar character. That doesn’t bode very well. We do, incidentally, find out something moderately impressive about him: when push comes to shove, he’s able to lift a stone with the strength of many men in order to get a private audience with a gal.

The bigger story, of course, is the one of how the Lord is defeating the serpent by bringing a Son of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob into the world. As we are becoming familiar with noticing, His method in the history of redemption is to use messed up sinners to bring the Redeemer into the world.

Laban, for selfish reasons, announces that Jacob is his bone and his flesh. That sacred statement with which we were introduced to the holy, creation ordinance of marriage, is twisted into an instrument by which Laban hopes to profit as much as possible from his connection to Jacob.

But there is another sharing of bone and flesh that will come through this. The Word will become flesh and dwell among us. God the Son will take to Himself a bride, and just as He has taken on her flesh and bone in the incarnation, so also He will give her new, eternal life, of both soul and body. Little could Laban have known what glorious grace toward which his words were pointing!

In your daily life, dear Christian, the Lord is not bringing Himself into this world to accomplish salvation, but He is indeed working that salvation out. As He applies His redemption, one day at a time, He is working through lives like Jacob’s and like ours—messed up sinners as we are—so that all would be to the praise only of His glorious grace!
With what greater story is this week’s story of your own life intertwined?
Suggested songs: ARP23A “The Lord’s My Shepherd” or TPH256 “God Moves in a Mysterious Way”

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