Date: July 22, 2018
I know one should never say that awful cliché, "What goes around, comes around.” Jacob had outfoxed his twin brother, Esau, cheating him out of his birthright. Then he convinced his visually impaired father, Isaac, into giving him the paternal blessing that had been meant for Esau. Not exactly a flattering portrayal of Jacob.
In this week’s story, the wily trickster meets his match. He has come to his mother's homeland and he has been welcomed by Laban, his uncle. When Laban asks him what his wages should be, Jacob asks for Rachel, Laban's younger daughter, in exchange for seven years of labor.
The seven years end, and Jacob is eager to claim his bride. Then, on the wedding night, the trickster is tricked. Laban gives Jacob his older daughter Leah instead of Rachel.
There is a sense of poetic justice that goes farther than saying the deceiver was deceived in the reading this week because the story does not end there. Though Jacob is a liar and a trickster, God graciously gives him the blessing God gave to Abraham and to Isaac. In addition, God promises to be with him and to bring him back to his homeland.