by Christopher Harbin

Awaiting God's Treasure
Christopher B. Harbin
Gen 29:15-28; Ps 128; Mat 13:31-33, 44-52; Rom 8:26-39

Waiting is not one of those parts of life we look forward to. It is not a natural thing to desire to wait for the blessings of life that we anticipate. It may be that the anticipation is the best part of a much desired experience. It is not, however, the waiting that we crave. Patience may be a virtue, but it is not the kind of virtue we relish and enjoy. The more important question, however, may be what do we do as we wait? How do we anticipate the blessings of God that still lie in the future?

Jacob was apparently a hard worker. He may have been a trickster, deceitful, and underhanded at times, but he was also industrious. Having fled his brother's wrath and unexpectedly found God at Bethel, Jacob journeyed on to his mother's kin. At a well he found Rachel and went to her father Laban's home. Enamored of Rachel, he sought to have her as his wife, beginning a course of years of labor for the prospect of her hand in marriage.

I don't know about your courtship histories, but in my book, seven years of engagement is a long time. I tried to convince Karen that ten months was too long, but her mind was set. Seven years would have found my patience long exhausted. Then again, that was Laban's seeming intent. He did not want Jacob to marry his daughter Rachel. He wanted an energetic worker like Jacob for the simple cost of room and board. He wanted him to give up on marrying Rachel. He expected to exhaust Jacob's patience and be rid of him. Jacob persevered.

At the end of seven years of labor, Jacob the trickster was fooled by Laban, being given Leah in Rachel's place. This did not deter Jacob, either. I am sure he had a few choice words to say and years of private grumbling regarding his father-in-law's character. Regardless, he saw in Rachel sufficient reason to go through another seven years of labor to count her as his wife. The tex ...

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