Don’t worry, this hasn’t turned into a Buddhist or Hindu blog. But, karma is an interesting word to consider when reading this chapter of Genesis and reminds me of some scriptures from Galatians 6 that means much the same thing.
Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. v. 7-8 (MSG)
There is so much going on in this chapter. It is easy to feel sorry for Jacob as he is tricked into marrying the “tender/weak-eyed” Leah instead of his true love, Rachel. Can you imagine how betrayed and devastated he must have been when he awoke the night after his wedding on for his bride to remove her veil and find the wrong girl? I wonder what their marriage ceremony was like? Traditionally, the bride was veiled, but it must have been a lot of veils to hide a completely different person. Plus, they must not have said, “Leah do you take this man, Jacob, to be your lawful wedded husband . . . ” or he certainly would have caught on before the next morning.
Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to make love to her.” So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast. But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob made love to her. And Laban gave his servant Zilpah to his daughter as her attendant. When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?” Genesis 29:21-25
But even with all of those thoughts of anger, resentment, betrayal and confusion racing through Jacob’s head, you can’t help but wonder if he thought of his own father at that moment. The father who he had deceived when he stole the blessing of his older brother Esau.
This whole birth order thing was SUPER important in those days. Jacob stole the older brother’s blessing and now he was stuck with the older sister before he could have the younger one because of tradition and custom.
Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.” Genesis 29:26-27
I wonder if Jacob was beginning to realize his sin had circled back on him. Now, not only did he have to work for 14 years instead of 7, but he was going to have 2 wives instead of the one he truly desired. We have already seen in Genesis how this two wife thing works. It doesn’t. So sit back and hold on as we continue in Genesis and see the hurt, jealousy, and pain that this causes Jacob, Rachel, Leah and their children.
I know God will have some exciting new revelations for us in this familiar story.