Then Jacob did so and fulfilled her week. So he gave him his daughter Rachel as wife also. And Laban gave his maid Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as a maid. Then Jacob also went in to Rachel, and he also loved Rachel more than Leah. And he served with Laban still another seven years. (Genesis 29:29-30)
Even though he had not intended to marry Leah at all, to his credit, Jacob fulfilled her wedding week so as not to repudiate her. At the end of the wedding feast, he married Rachel and then labored another seven years to “pay” for her. Jacob’s expectations had been to be joined to the “stunning one,” not the tender one. Nevertheless, it was Leah who gave Jacob more sons than any other, including the line that would bring forth king David and the Messiah. It was Leah, not Rachel, who was buried with Jacob at Machpelah. From the Biblical account, there is no reason to believe that Leah wasn’t a good wife to Jacob. Still, he loved Rachel more.
As the old saying goes, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.” That certainly can be applied to this situation. We have our plans and expectations and then others have their own plans and expectations that spill over into ours. Then there is the fact that, while we all have our plans, God has His and He seldom gives us all of the details at the outset.
So then, our job is to discover what our job is — that is, to discover God’s plan for us. Most of the time those plans aren’t clear to us and, thus, it is necessary that we are faithful to walk in what we know to do until He shows us what else to do. We must continue to do right until He gives us more light to see the way forward. Doing right includes doing right by others even if they aren’t always doing right by us. This is an attribute that Jacob displayed often and one that we all must strive to emulate. Life is certain to be full of surprises that we hadn’t counted on and so we must be certain to count on Him.
Blessings and Shalom,