“After Jacob had stayed with Laban for about a month, Laban said to him, ‘You shouldn’t work for me without pay just because we are relatives. Tell me how much your wages should be.’

Now Laban had two daughters. The older daughter was named Leah, and the younger one was Rachel. There was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes, but Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face. Since Jacob was in love with Rachel, he told her father, ‘I’ll work for you for seven years if you’ll give me Rachel, your younger daughter, as my wife.’

Agreed!’ Laban replied. ‘I’d rather give her to you than to anyone else. Stay and work with me.’ So Jacob worked seven years to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days. Finally, the time came for him to marry her. ‘I have fulfilled my agreement,’ Jacob said to Laban. ‘Now give me my wife so I can sleep with her.’

So Laban invited everyone in the neighborhood and prepared a wedding feast. But that night, when it was dark, Laban took Leah to Jacob, and he slept with her. (Laban had given Leah a servant, Zilpah, to be her maid.) But when Jacob woke up in the morning—it was Leah! ‘What have you done to me?’ Jacob raged at Laban. ‘I worked seven years for Rachel! Why have you tricked me’?” Genesis 29:14-25 (NLT)


Jacob’s father had blessed him and sent him back to find a wife among his people. Jacob sat down by a well outside of Haran, and he asked the shepherds watering their flock about his relative, Laban. They knew of him and suddenly Laban’s daughter, Rachel, was headed toward the well to water Laban’s flock of sheep. Jacob stayed with Laban, and began to work for him. Laban decided to establish a wage for Jacob’s work, and Jacob offered to work for seven years to marry Rachel. It was the dowry so that he could marry Rachel. They agreed to the terms, seven years passed, and Jacob was to marry Rachel. He had spent years and years in the fields, working toward this monumental occasion in his life. The wedding came and Jacob’s bride was fully veiled, as was customary in that day. Yet, Jacob’s dream was shattered when the morning dawned and he realized he had been deceived. Laban gave Jacob his other daughter instead of Rachel. Jacob had kept his ending of the deal but he was overwhelmed with emotion when he realized he did not end up with that which he had strived to obtain.

Have you ever worked for a long time for something that you loved only to end up with nothing that you strived to obtain? In the short-term, it can seem like we have been shortchanged, and God was overlooking our present reality. Jacob was deceived. In the short term, it looked like Jacob didn’t get what he wanted. Do you remember the story of Joseph being second in command in Egypt and saved everyone from a famine? Joseph was Jacob and Rachel’s son. Looking at the situation in the long-term, the wrong actions of Laban were rectified. If your short-term realities look similar to Jacob when he was deceived, take a step back and look at your situation from a long-term perspective. What you are working for today that hasn’t materialized doesn’t indicate that your tomorrow will be shortchanged by today. If you are facing a disappointment that costs you years, get back up. The long term outcome will outweigh the short term setback if you don’t give up.


Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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About Hona Amer

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