The wrong one
The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
The Wrong One
There is a common saying that you have likely heard. You may have even used it. “God has a plan; One man for every woman and one woman for every man.” Many have the belief that the secret to a happy marriage is finding that one man or woman and marrying them. This statement is very romantic, very religious sounding from the western view, and very wrong. But, then, it depends on how it is applied. I have seen marriages fall apart because one, or both, members of a marriage determine, “Oops! I didn’t marry the right one. I’ve got to keep looking."
In the 29th chapter of Genesis, Jacob married the “wrong one” and he knew it from the beginning. He loved his Uncle Laban’s second daughter, Rachel, very much. Although he knew the custom was for the oldest daughter to marry first, he asked for Rachel’s hand in marriage. Laban offered Jacob a deal. “You work for me 7 years and I’ll give her to you.” Jacob thought it was a fair deal if he could marry the girl of his dreams. So the deal was set.
Seven years later the wedding occurred. Jacob was excited. The way their wedding went, was there was a big party with lots of drinking and dancing. But, the groom did not see the bride until after the marriage was consummated in the bridal tent. The next morning, when Jacob woke up he discovered that he had consummated his marriage with Rachel’s older sister, Leah.
Jacob was furious! He complained to Laban about the deceit. Laban explained that he could not marry off the younger sister until the older one had been married. But, he could still marry Rachel if he would agree to work for the father-in-law seven more years. Begrudgingly, Jacob took the deal.
What I want you to see here is the fact that Jacob never sought out a way to unload the wife he didn’t want. Over the years he kept his commitment to love her and cherish her because he knew it was the right thing to do. Throughout the years, Jacob had 12 sons and one daughter. Two of his sons came through Rachel. Four sons came through his wives’ female servants and six sons and one daughter came from the wife Jacob didn’t want. All six sons would have tribes of Israel named after them. One son, Judah would be the ancestor through whom the Messiah, Jesus, would come.
Because Jacob realized that marriage was a commitment to God, he took it seriously. He eventually learned to love Leah. When Jacob was near death he gave orders that Leah would one day be buried in the family cave where his ancestors, including Abraham and Sarah had been buried and the resting place of Jacob as well.
Our problem today is that we are seeking happiness in marriage first rather than obedience. In fact, that is often our problem with much of life. But we don’t realize that obedience is what brings ultimate joy. The Bible teaches us that God blesses obedience, not happiness.
Many times over the years I have met people who wanted to dissolve their marriages for reasons such as “We’ve just grown apart” or “I just don’t love her/him anymore” or “We’re just not right for each other” and a number of similar reasons.
Jesus hated divorce, see Matthew 19. At the same time, it he knew that there would be people who would just decide they wanted to leave a marriage without the agreement of the other and that there would be husbands or wives who simply would not be faithful. He hates divorce, not divorcees.
The imperfection of humanity will lead to things that Jesus hates.
But he never hates people.
That said, Jesus will bless the faithfulness of those who will make a commitment before God and stick with it. God is faithful to us in the same way. Do you think that you never disappoint God? I know that I have. But amazingly, he still loves us and remains faithful to us.
There is not a successful married partner who has felt love toward the other 100% of the time. We get on each other’s nerves, disappoint the other by our choices and decisions. None of us looks our best every day and age tends to mess with that whole package for us all. But, when we remember our pledge, “’til death do us part” that we made to our partner, the witnesses and, most importantly, to God, love will revive and grow. It did for Jacob and Leah, even though she was the wrong woman, and it will do it for you.
This Sunday, September 20, we will continue our sermon series, Any Nobody Can Become Somebody The transformative power of God in people, with a message titled What Goes Around Comes Around based on Genesis 29. I hope you will join the FCC family in worship and teaching.
Striving for Obedience,