Last week I wrote about the fake obedience in the family of Isaac, which centered on the deception of Jacob; the younger son pretended to be his big brother in order to receive the blessing his father meant to give him.
Jacob’s brother Esau was furious and sought to kill him, so Jacob fled to his mother’s hometown. There he met Laban and arranged a deal: he would work seven years on his farm for the right to marry Laban’s daughter Rachel. The seven years flew by because of the love Jacob had for Laban’s younger daughter. The morning after the wedding, however, Jacob realized he had been tricked.
Laban instructed his older daughter Leah to pretend to be her sister (the custom was that the younger daughter could not be married until the older daughter was). Veiled during the ceremony and hidden by darkness in the bedchamber, Leah tricked Jacob into fulfilling the marriage with her.
Note the irony: Jacob tricked his father, but now was tricked by his father-in-law. Jacob pretended to be the firstborn, and now accidentally married the firstborn. Jacob, assisted by his mother, once dressed like his brother in order to deceive; Leah, assisted by her father, dressed in her sister’s bridal gown in order to deceive Jacob.
Jacob’s deception and subsequent victimization provide a perfect example that we reap what we sow. Jesus told Peter that he who lives by the sword will die by the sword; we may add to that, “He who lives by deception will also be deceived.” Lying, scheming, and manipulation are no way to live; honesty is always the best policy.
So it came to pass in the morning, that behold, it was Leah. And Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I served you? Why then have you deceived me?”