PATHS In Bible Chapters

Genesis 29
Theme: Receiving Wages
Key Text: Verse 1


            Although the principle of “an honest day’s work” being recompensed with “an honest day’s pay” has been hinted at from the beginning, we are confronted in this chapter with the occurrence of the word “wages” (29:15) for the first time. The basic idea set forth is that of “a reward, or payment,” a concept even further established when this same word is later translated “reward” (Ruth 2:12). Paying someone for his or her work or labor is only right! It is the debt owed for the work rendered. As we will learn here, however, sometimes the law of harvest involves more than that for which we bargain!


1. The Wages Of Deception
            Jacob’s journey was a lengthy one, but he arrived safely in “the land of the people of the east” (29:1), the land of Syria. After being welcomed by “his mother’s brother” (29:10), he soon became ensnared by a deceptive scheme.  He agreed to serve Laban “seven years for Rachel” (29:25), and loving her so much, “they seemed unto him but a few days” (29:20). But, he who had played the role of a deceiver, experienced the inevitable, being “beguiled” (29:25) himself. Instead of Rachel, Leah was given to him, illustrating the words of Paul, “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7).


2. The Wages Of Division
            After being married to Leah for a week, Rachel was given to Jacob, but he had to serve his father-in-law “yet seven other years” (29:30). Having two wives, however, was not a double blessing! It only brought division and strife, which led to judgment. Because of Jacob and Rachel’s attitude toward Leah, the Lord caused Rachel to be “barren” (29:31). This is not to say that all barrenness signifies the judgment of God! Sometimes, it may be a blessing in disguise (see Isa. 54:1; Luke 23:29)! Here, however, and in other biblical cases, as well (see Gen. 20:18; 2 Sam. 6:23), these severe wages came from God.


3. The Wages Of Desperation
            While Rachel suffered the pains of barrenness, Leah experienced the joy of fruitfulness. Her comments after the birth of each child suggest that she was very conscious of divine intervention.  When Reuben was born, she concluded, “Surely the Lord hath looked upon my affliction” (29:32). Then, she testified at Simeon’s birth, “Because the Lord hath heard that I was hated, He hath therefore given me this son also” (29:33). Through little Judah, she said, “Now will I praise the Lord” (29:35).  She seems to say with another, “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psa. 34:4).


A Christian man hired a boy in his neighborhood to mow his grass for ten dollars. When the boy saw that the lawn was rather large and hilly, he wished he had not taken the job. But, what he didn’t know was that there would be lemonade and cookies, and even an extra five dollars for gathering up the excess grass and spreading it around the flowers. Actually, he not only was paid well, but also received more than he expected! Oh, dear friends, is there not a lesson for us here? For sure, we will reap what we sow, whether it be good or bad! But, often we get much more than we expect! Oh, may we be careful how we live our lives!