Genesis 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.
Before Jacob’s life became complicated (29:21-30) he had a simple and pure desire to love Rachel. Jacob’s actions reveal that his love was not merely a casual affection. The way he demonstrated his love for Rachel should challenge us to reveal our love to others in tangible ways.
Jacob loved Rachel with creativity, commitment, and contentment.
Jacob was creative with his love. Jacob had no money by which to compensate her family, as was the custom, so he offered his service instead. If he was going to take her as his bride then he would have to conceive a plan to convince Laban, his would-be father-in-law, to agree to give her in marriage. The cliché is true, “Money can’t buy you love.” Jacob offered something far greater: himself. He gave something he would never get back: his time. The sweat of his brow and the years of his life are invaluable treasures that, when given, showed a heart of love. Service to and sacrifice for others are the utmost acts of love. You do not need money to show your love; find a way to love others by serving them.
Jacob demonstrated commitment in his love. Seven years was a considerable amount of time especially considering the exhausting nature of animal husbandry. He made a promise, and he refused to quit until his oath was fulfilled. He did not stop after five or six long years; he endured to the end. Love demands commitment. There may be hard, challenging years, but vows should be respected and promises must be kept. Loyalty to your love should win the day, every day.
Jacob experienced contentment through his love. Jacob fulfilled his seven-year promise, which seemed to last just “a few days” despite the rigor of the work. The years passed swiftly for lovestruck Jacob. Jacob knew his long wait was worth it. Contentment is pervasive when love is your life’s theme. Although the world around you demands instant gratification, love offers deeper satisfaction. Do not sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate.
Although this story of relational love provides insight, we would be remiss if we did not come to a deeper understanding of God’s love. Though he offered himself a ransom for us, Jesus did so with his precious blood rather than with venal money. Jesus’ immense loyalty to the Father’s plan and our redemption won the worst day in history – the day of his crucifixion – and it has won every day as his grace abounds toward us. Jesus’ love permeates every aspect of our lives. His love is vast beyond all measure, a permanent promise enduring into eternal life with him. Recall how God’s love envelops you, and rejoice that his love endures forever more!