by Tony Nester

This content is part of a series.

Jacob Gains Rachel for His Wife (3 of 5)
How God Changed “Jacob” into “Israel”
Tony Nester
Genesis 29:15-28

Sometimes you walk into a building and see a sign that
says, "Under Construction - Pardon Our Mess." Many of
us could wear that sign on our chests: "Under
Construction - Pardon My Mess." That's certainly true
of Jacob whose story we're exploring from the Book of
Genesis. God puts Jacob through a process of
transformation that reconstructs his character. He
will cease being called "Jacob" and become known
instead as "Israel."

Today we look at another step in Jacob's
transformation. This one begins in a very
unsuspecting way. Jacob falls in love with the
beautiful Rachel, but he has no idea what he is in

Genesis 29 reports that Jacob arrives in the land of
Haran where his mother, Rebekah, had sent him to
escape Esau's wrath, and where he was to find a wife.
Rebekah's brother, Laban, lived in Haran and had
acquired land, sheep, and servants. Laban was doing
very well for himself. And in addition, he had two
daughters, Leah, and her younger sister Rachel.

The Scripture describes Leah as having "lovely" eyes.
Scholars aren't quite sure what that means. It might
mean that Leah had very soft and lovely eyes that
pointed to her inner beauty, but that outwardly she
wasn't especially attractive.

But there is no question about the description given
to Rachel. Of Rachel the Scripture says: "Rachel was
graceful and beautiful." (Genesis 19:17). Her outward
beauty was remarkable.

Jacob first meets Rachel when she comes to draw water
from a well. There was a heavy stone cover over the
well which prevented Rachel from watering the sheep.
Rachel was going to wait for other men to arrive who
would remove the stone lid from the well. But Jacob
had stopped at that well. When he saw Rachel he was
immediately attracted to her and in a show of manly
strength removed the s ...

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