Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I’m not much of a guy for love stories. To me, they are nothing but “chick flicks” which I don’t really enjoy. I’d much rather have a good action show with guns blazing, cars crashing, and buildings blowing up any day of the week. But there is a love story in the Bible that I really do enjoy. In the Old Testament we see the story of a young bachelor named Jacob, the son of Isaac and grandson of the great Patriarch, Abraham. Jacob falls in love with a beautiful young girl named Rachel. It is obvious that this gal has some good looks which are very much appealing to young Jacob. The two fall madly in love.

As a result, Jacob goes to Laban, the father of Rachel, to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Laban agrees but puts down the stipulation that first Jacob must work for him for seven years. Now imagine that. Most men would have decided that this gal isn’t quite worth that, but not Jacob. He agrees and works for seven long years to earn the right to wed the beautiful Rachel.

Finally the day comes that Jacob has long awaited. It’s wedding day in the home of Laban. The bride enters completely veiled so her face cannot be seen as was the custom of the day. The marriage vows are stated and the union is sealed as Jacob and his bride go off to their bridal chamber. Once inside, Jacob receives the shock of his life. As the veil comes off of the bride, he discovers that it isn’t Rachel at all. Instead, he has been tricked into marrying Leah, Rachel’s older sister.

Now while Jacob found Rachel to be very beautiful, the Bible describes her older sister Leah’s looks in one translation by saying she had “weak eyes.” Weak eyes? What does that mean? Well, I never really took any Hebrew classes in college or seminary but I have a hunch that the true meaning of “weak eyes” might just be “butt ugly.” To say she had “weak eyes” would be the equivalent today of having someone trying to set you up on a blind date and when you ask what she looks like being told, “Well, she has a great personality!” When you hear that, the wise guy runs the other direction, right?

So Jacob goes to Laban and demands an explanation. The father explains to his new son-in-law that it was only proper that his oldest daughter be married first. Now think about it. How ugly does Leah have to be for her father to have to trick someone into marrying her? So Laban makes a second offer to Jacob. He agrees to still give him Rachel as a wife as well as Leah if he would work for him for another seven years. Rachel is so very beautiful and Jacob is so deeply in love with her that he is willing to do just that.

Now that’s what I call a love story. It involves a “weak-eyed” older sister; a beautiful younger sister; a very deceitful father; and a young man who is so smitten with love that he is willing to work a total of fourteen years in order to have the love of his life in spite of the fact that he also would be bound to care for her “weak-eyed” sister as one of his wives as well. Maybe if more of today’s “chick flicks” had that kind of story line I’d be a whole lot more interested in watching them. Read it for yourself in Genesis 29.

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