1 Genesis (2011) 29A Jacb has left fr Haran, t find Isaac s relatives still living in that land He is alne and he is carrying virtually nthing f significance As he left the land, Gd appeared t him prmising t bring him back int the land f his fathers Gd s message was intended t give a Jacb peace and cnfidence abut this jurney But what Jacb lacked in physical baggage, he makes us fr in spiritual and emtinal baggage He is still shws a stubbrn tendency t trust in his wn abilities rather than in Gd s prmises He resrts t deceptin and schemes t get what he wants But in Haran he ll meet his match in Uncle Laban The stry f Jacb s time in Haran lasts three chapters r s, but tells us a lt abut Jacb and the stry f Israel It tells us the stry f hw Jacb btains his fur wives And it shw us hw the peple f Jacb, the peple Gd calls Israel, riginate Gen. 29:1 Then Jacb went n his jurney, and came t the land f the sns f the east. Gen. 29:2 He lked, and saw a well in the field, and behld, three flcks f sheep were lying there beside it, fr frm that well they watered the flcks. Nw the stne n the muth f the well was large. Gen. 29:3 When all the flcks were gathered there, they wuld then rll the stne frm the muth f the well and water the sheep, and put the stne back in its place n the muth f the well. Gen. 29:4 Jacb said t them, My brthers, where are yu frm? And they said, We are frm Haran. Gen. 29:5 He said t them, D yu knw Laban the sn f Nahr? And they said, We knw him. Gen. 29:6 And he said t them, Is it well with him? And they said, It is well, and here is Rachel his daughter cming with the sheep Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
2 Genesis 29A 2 f 10 The pening verse f chapter 29 says plainly that Jacb went n his jurney But the Hebrew is mre descriptive It literally reads Jacb picked up his feet The phrase is similar t the English cllquialism, a spring in his step It suggests Jacb was encuraged by Gd s appearance in Bethel, and s Jacb leaves the land with a measure f cnfidence He s need that spring in his step because the walk t Haran is 450 miles Like walking frm Austin, TX t Tulsa, OK And in the summer time This is rughly the same trip that Abraham s servant tk t find Isaac s wife, Rebekah And like the servant befre him, Jacb arrives at a well Jacb is in the land f the sns f the east This is a reference t the branch f Abraham s family wh remained in the east rather than mving t Canaan Of curse we knw that any reference t the east is a warning sign that we re dealing with men wh d nt knw the Lrd There is a reasn why these family members remained in the east while Abraham mved west int the Prmised Land Gd called Abraham - and nly Abraham - t enter Canaan, because Abraham alne was selected t receive Gd s prmises The rest f Abraham s family remained as they were: pagan wrshippers Jacb enters the pastures near Haran, and he cmes upn a well in a field The well was literally the lcal watering whle fr shepherds grazing their flcks 2012 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
3 Genesis 29A 3 f 10 Three shepherds had assembled their sheep at the well and were waiting t water their flcks We re tld the well was cvered by a large stne, s the shepherds culdn t water their herds As Jacb apprached he wants t knw hw clse he is t his gal, s he inquires abut Haran They tell him in vs.5-6 that they knw Laban and in fact his daughter is appraching nw This is almst exactly like the encunter the servant had at the well in the earlier stry But there are differences The servant prayed fr Gd t give him clear directin and signs And when they came, the servant thanked the Lrd and gave Him glry Here Jacb never bthers t seek the Lrd s help, either taking it fr granted r verlking it entirely And yet Gd s fingerprints all ver these circumstances Gd is n less in cntrl; the nly thing that s changed is the beneficiary s perspective Unlike the servant, Jacb remains unaware f the Lrd wrking in this mment Because he isn t seeking t knw the Lrd s will much less hw he can jin the Lrd in the wrk Jacb is a useful illustratin fr us in the perils f making decisins and wrking ur plans withut a slid prayer life and an attitude f seeking the Lrd in all we d Gd is always at wrk in and arund us But if we dn t check in with Him, we miss that wrk It still happens ne way r anther, but we re blivius 2012 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
4 Genesis 29A 4 f 10 S we can t see the Lrd s wrking, adapt t it, wrk with it, and glrify Him fr it We need t remember that ur prayers aren t fr Gd Prv. 15:29 The LORD is far frm the wicked, But He hears the prayer f the righteus. They create pprtunity fr us, blessing fr us Our weekly prayer time n Tuesday nights isn t smething Gd needs and it s nt a chre It s the privilege reserved fr thse called the children f Gd Jhn 9:31 We knw that Gd des nt hear sinners; but if anyne is Gd-fearing and des His will, He hears him. We alne have the pprtunity t apprach Gd in prayer, s we shuld take advantage f it Jacb cntinues t mve frward in life withut cnsidering Gd s rile in his daily life As far as Jacb is cncerned, Gd is back in Bethel sitting n his staircase But n, Gd said He wuld be with Jacb wherever he went, and here he is wrking t bring Jacb t exactly the right place in perfect timing t meet Rachel, Laban s daughter As Jacb and the men watch Rachel apprach, Jacb asks why they are waiting in the ht midday sun Gen. 29:7 He said, Behld, it is still high day; it is nt time fr the livestck t be gathered. Water the sheep, and g, pasture them. Gen. 29:8 But they said, We cannt, until all the flcks are gathered, and they rll the stne frm the muth f the well; then we water the sheep. Gen. 29:9 While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father s sheep, fr she was a shepherdess. Gen. 29:10 When Jacb saw Rachel the daughter f Laban his mther s brther, and the sheep f Laban his mther s brther, Jacb went up and rlled the stne frm the muth f the well and watered the flck f Laban his mther s brther Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
5 Genesis 29A 5 f 10 Jacb is an experienced shepherd, and s he recgnizes this is a strange situatin Shepherds sitting in the midday heat with the sheep gathered is nt nrmal Nrmally, animals were gathered in safety at night, then watered in the mrning Then they mved ut int the pasture t graze in the safety f the daylight As night apprached, the herds are regathered, and usually they are watered again at night S Jacb asks why are yu still sitting here nw? The shepherds say they must wait until all the herds have gathered befre they pen the well and water the herd Wells were ften sealed by rcks t prtect them frm peple r animals falling in r sand strms cvering it ver, r anything else that might cntaminate r ruin it Rachel s herd is the last ne f the grup t gather, s she is the ne everyne has been waiting fr Frm the sund f it, they have been waiting fr the entire mrning, which is nt a prductive day fr a shepherd S why d they have t wait fr every flck t gather? Why didn t the shepherds just mve the stne, water their flck, and then let the next shepherd d the same? Why must everyne be there tgether? Perhaps because it tk the cmbined strength f all the shepherds t rll the stne? But that can t be the reasn, because in v.10, we see Jacb alne rlled the stne away Obviusly ne man can manage the task The real reasn is Rachel, wh was cming with her father s sheep Rachel s name is a play n wrds in this cntext, because her name means a ewe lamb S a girl lamb is leading the sheep 2012 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
6 Genesis 29A 6 f 10 This well is wned by Laban, and Rachel is his daughter we re tld All these shepherds are prbably grazing n Laban s land Sme f them might have been emplyed by Laban But in either case, they were bligated t fllw Laban s rules if they use his well It s likely that Rachel did nt have the strength by herself t rll the stne away S Laban prbably required the men t wait fr Rachel everyday befre watering their wn flcks This way Rachel culd gain access t the water as well But here cmes Rachael strlling in at midday while the rest f the shepherds waste the day waiting fr her The entire scene paints a picture f a prly run peratin Laban s husehld is in desperate need f smene t step in and get things rganized and running prperly Enter Jacb, the skilled sheepherder He s just the guy Laban needs t get this peratin int shape And as we ll sn see, Laban is a gd judge f talent Jacb is als a take charge guy, which becmes bvius in vs He immediately gets up, mves the stne and begins t water the sheep The text desn t say what Jacb s was thinking, but his actins intimated a certain mindset He jumps up mves the stne and waters the wman s flcks, prbably an act f chivalry fr the ne wman sheepherder It als suggests he was disgusted with the ther sheepherders laying arund in the middle f the wrkday ding nthing useful Gd s handiwrk just cntinues t amaze us 2012 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
7 Genesis 29A 7 f 10 The Lrd guides Jacb acrss 450 miles f desert in search f the family s never met And the Lrd directs him t exactly the right well at exactly the right time T meet exactly the right wman And then t make sure the family respects and welcmes Jacb, Gd has prepared a need perfectly suited t Jacb s strengths When the Lrd appeared t Jacb and declared He wuld keep Jacb wherever he ges The wrd keep in Hebrew is shamar, which means preserve, defend, guard, take care f Gd is ging t ensure Jacb s success in this time, because Gd is faithful t His prmises The Lrd has made similar prmises t believer tday T meet ur needs, t never leave us nr frsakes us, t be with us always, even t the end f the age Just because the Lrd prmises t meet ur needs desn t mean His prvisin will drp miraculusly frm Heaven in the frm f manna He might d that, f curse, but mre ften He wrks in natural ways t meet ur needs, like He is ding here with Jacb Jacb culdn t have asked fr a better pprtunity as he arrives in Haran He finds the family with n struggle and they are prepared t receive him warmly, especially when they learn his talents Gd is clearly at wrk t keep Jacb...but has Jacb taken nte f Gd s wrk? Nt yet 2012 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
8 Genesis 29A 8 f 10 Gen. 29:11 Then Jacb kissed Rachel, and lifted his vice and wept. Gen. 29:12 Jacb tld Rachel that he was a relative f her father and that he was Rebekah s sn, and she ran and tld her father. Gen. 29:13 S when Laban heard the news f Jacb his sister s sn, he ran t meet him, and embraced him and kissed him and brught him t his huse. Then he related t Laban all these things. Gen. 29:14 Laban said t him, Surely yu are my bne and my flesh. And he stayed with him a mnth. There is smething quite unusual in v.11 A man kissing a wman In all the Bible, there are nly 45 mentins f any frm f kiss Only tw f thse are f a man kissing a wman One is here, the ther is in the Sng f Slmn I dn t what is mre surprising...that there is nly 1 mentin f rmantic kissing utside the bk f SS Or that is there is nly 1 mentin f rmantic kissing in the bk f Sngs Given the full cntext f the kiss, this isn t a rmantic kiss thugh Jacb s kiss is ne f jy as he greets his lng lst relative He lifts up his vice and wept It s imprtant t ntice the lack f any reference t Gd in that verse Cntrast Jacb s respnse t his gd frtune with that f Abraham s servant Gen. 24:26 Then the man bwed lw and wrshiped the LORD. Gen. 24:27 He said, Blessed be the LORD, the Gd f my master Abraham, wh has nt frsaken His lvingkindness and His truth tward my master; as fr me, the LORD has guided me in the way t the huse f my master s brthers. Jacb is thankful, but he isn t thinking specifically enugh 2012 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
9 Genesis 29A 9 f 10 He lifts his vice up and cries tears f jy, but he desn t g the final step t acknwledge the Lrd s respnsibility fr these blessings We need t guard against this same tendency In the back f ur minds, we knw the Lrd is at wrk t bless us in ways big r small But in thse mment when things g ur way, d we credit Him? D we say, whether t urselves r thers, thank the Lrd? S Jacb tells Rachel that he is the sn f her father s sister, he is Rachel s cusin Nw when Rachel reaches her father s hme, she annunces Jacb s arrival And the news spread fast Laban learns that his sister s by was in twn, s he runs t meet Jacb His willingness t run cmmunicates his sincere excitement t have a distant relative hnr him with this visit Since it was such a lng distance t travel, it was understd that he wuld be staying a while This is the same Laban that negtiated fr his sister s marriage with Abraham s servant That was 97 years ag, s Laban is an ld man But men are still living nearly 200 years in this day, s Laban is nly a little past middle age Of curse, the first thing that happens with a family reunin, we catch up n all the family news At the end f v.13 it says Jacb related all these things t Laban Meaning, Jacb tld Laban abut all that had transpired t bring Jacb t his drstep Laban s respnse is t acknwledge Jacb is the sn f his sister, and welcme him like a sn 2012 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.
10 Genesis 29A 10 f 10 Once again the circumstances with Laban are perfectly set t ensure Jacb gets a warm receptin...all Gd s wrk Jacb stays a mnth with Laban, we re tld In this day, a visiting relative didn t just spend their days lying arund n the cuch watching the Histry Channel, raiding the fridge and watching everyne else wrk Everyne wrked every day, regardless f where they laid their head S Jacb wuld have gne t wrk immediately in sme capacity while he stayed at Laban s Since we knw Jacb was a shepherd, we can safely assume he went t wrk putting Laban s shepherding peratin in rder And as we ll see in the cming weeks, Jacb quickly becmes a very valuable part f Laban s peratin Jacb is a man blessed by Gd, s it shuld cme as n surprise that Jacb s cntributin wuld bless Laban Remember Gd s prmises in His cvenant Gd will bless thers thrugh the cvenant he makes with Jacb But Laban is a sn f the east, and s he is nt a man perating n gdly principles Which gives Gd an pprtunity t use Laban s sin as an instrument t disciple and teach Jacb We ll watch and learn frm thse lessns urselves in the cming weeks f study 2012 Verse By Verse Ministry f San Antni ( May be cpied and distributed prvided the dcument is reprduced in its entirety, including this cpyright statement, and n fee is cllected fr its distributin.