Devotional from
The Rev. Dr Mark Cooper
Last week’s lessons were interesting and hard to choose from. 

Great story: Jacob, Esau’s twin brother, was a good cook and fooled his first-born brother and took his inheritance. This was a story about “what goes around comes around”. Esau was understandably upset and their mother Rebecca felt that Jacob needed to leave home to stay alive. So he goes to visit his mother’s brother, Laban, and falls in love with his younger daughter. Uncle Laban and Jacob agree on a deal, he will work for Laban for seven years for the opportunity to marry his daughter Rachel. They agree and the time passed quickly “for him they seemed but a few days because of the love he had for her”. The seven years pass, the wedding party celebrates. The next morning Jacob discovered himself married to Leah, the older sister, and not to Rachel whom he loved. His father-in-law reminds him of the law that says: The firstborn has to be married before the younger daughter”. Surely Jacob knew that law but overlooked it with stars in his eyes. For his part, Laban probably thought he had seven years to marry off the younger daughter so what’s the problem. Well, it didn’t work out and Jacob worked another seven years for his original choice.

There seem to be several lessons in this story from the first book of the Bible. 

First, always read the fine print!! The law is the law or at least for Jacob it was, he was now stuck because he let his emotions keep him from seeing the facts. 

A second lesson would be that if you love the goal you have set for yourself life/work goes quickly, listen to your heart. 

A third lesson tells us a lot about our foundations, our belief system came from a time when men were in charge, women were objects to be traded, firstborn sons had the privilege, and younger sons had to find another way. Hard work pays off.

Finally, Jacob became a wealthy man but he needed to go home and make peace with his brother - unfinished business needs to be attended to. 

So we’ve learned a lot and more: the emotions that Jacob, Esau, Laban exhibit are as true today as they were in the beginning. We can learn from experience and from an honest approach to life and its dealings.
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