Gen. 29:14b-20 – “Laban said to [Jacob], 'Just because you are a relative of mine, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.' Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel was lovely in form, and beautiful. Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, 'I'll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.' Laban said, 'It's better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.' So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. (emphasis added)
- From the sound of Laban's lack-luster response, I'm thinking he wasn't thrilled when Jacob proposed Rachel as wages. Wasn't it more reasonable to pay wages in silver or gold, flocks or herds – even servants? But daughters? Laban may have asked for Jacob's input, but it seems he had a pre-determined idea of what was reasonable and he found it difficult to adjust to someone else's plan. Sound familiar?
- What might have happened during Jacob's seven years of service to Laban that changed Jacob's tone so completely? The demanding words and voice lead us to believe Jacob might have expected Laban to double-cross him...and he was right. But is a tantrum justified when others threaten our expectations?
- Even though Jacob expected it, Laban found a way to double-cross him. Sometimes people live up to our low expectations, and the pain crashes into our lives and others' – creating dominoes of expectations for generations. How did Leah feel when her new husband railed at being “stuck” with her? How did Rachel feel at being passed over because she was the younger sister? When reasonable expectations are dashed, it's seldom only one person who is hurt.