May 21, 2017
Gen 29:20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.
Jacob had been fearfully fleeing from his bitter brother Esau. Then an unexpected ladder-from-heaven-experience changed his focus. He was no longer merely trying to escape. He wanted to discover. When you have an escape mentality everything you do is dictated by what you see in the rear view mirror. You are conflicted by the past; you are concerned about the ramifications of decisions made in your past; you are conformed to an image of terror by night and paranoia by day. Who’s going to find out you deceived people? Who’s going to uncover the severity of your flaws and use them to imprison you? When the past haunts you, you never stop looking over your shoulder. Burned over fields. Dead trees of faith. Forgotten withered up patches of hopes. Overgrown weeded dreams never to bloom. This is what is seen from the perspective of the past. You see what’s been withered, weathered, and wasted. But after an encounter with God, not necessarily as physically dramatic as Jacob’s angel trafficking ladder close encounters of the Divine kind; but even better, an encounter with a Savior whose blood can clean away any stain of character, any stress of conflict, and any storm of conscience. You can be changed. You can become a new creation in Christ. You can stop looking over your shoulder just waiting for the condemnations and shame to catch up; you can begin to look forward, discovering the pleasures of living for God every step of the journey.
Now, Jacob is on a different trail. He has been promised the seed of His father and grandfather, a covenant blessing that is encouraging and empowering. But he must have a wife. Where will he find a woman to share this magnificent destiny with?
So, he confidently marches over new lands. (In fact the phrase “he continued on his journey” literally means he picked up his feet, to indicate the haste with which he traveled). He heart-fully listens to the bird songs and the night owls, not as morbid companions of the past few weeks that seemed to add to his fear driven ambience of each mile as a fugitive, but now as a curious observer of better things to come. And he comes to the people of the land of the east.
Outlined in the distance he can see a curious sight…Listen now.