We've all heard the expression “giving someone a taste of their own medicine.” I wonder where it came from? Like, did someone get prescribed the world’s worst tasting cough medicine and then go down to the factory and complain to it’s producers: “This is disgusting! Have you even tried this? I’m gonna give you a taste of your own medicine!”
Yep, that’s probably exactly how it happened.
Anyway, today we will see what happens when the trickster Jacob gets a taste of his own medicine from his uncle Laban.
Please read Genesis 29:21-30.
The irony of Jacob accusing Laban, “why have you deceived me?” is just wonderful. No liar likes getting lied to. No sinner likes being sinned against. And no trickster likes being tricked.
But how exactly was Jacob deceived? Didn’t he know who he was marrying? Well, not exactly. In those days, the bride didn’t walk down the aisle in front of all of her family and friends to join her husband in some grand ceremony on stage. Rather, the entire community gathered with one large celebratory party while the bride’s family prepared a “bridal suite” in which the husband and wife would consummate their marriage. After consummation, the community celebration would continue for a whole week. Jacob, likely inebriated from the party, would have been escorted into a dark tent where he would have met his veiled bride, whom he had never before seen in anything but full flowing clothing, to consummate the marriage.
It wasn’t until the morning sun crept through the tent that he saw Leah beside him on the bed instead of Rachel! Because the marriage had been consummated, it didn’t matter who was in the bed—Jacob and Leah were legally married in the sight of the whole community.
Leah is described as “weak-eyed,” which meant she wasn’t as beautiful as her sister. Jacob apparently had no desire to be married to her and made his feelings known at the earliest possible moment. It’s no wonder that Leah would feel unloved throughout her marriage and be overcome with jealousy over her sister!
Laban somehow felt like he was protecting Rachel by giving Leah, the oldest sister in marriage to Jacob first. Maybe he even thought that he could get Jacob to offer another seven years of fruitful labor, and thus increase his wealth. But he only ended up hurting both of his daughters with his deception, and Jacob’s employment would end up costing him numerous flocks and herds in the end.
The truth is that if you live by the sword, you’ll die by the sword; if you live a life full of tricking others, you’ll eventually get tricked; if you live your life by hurting others, you’ll eventually get hurt. At some point, we all get a taste of our own medicine.
So, take some time today to confess your sin to the Lord. Ask Him to help you break the cycle of sin that you’ve been living in. Ask Him to forgive you of your sin, and to give you the strength to seek forgiveness from those you’ve hurt. Only Christ can break the cycle. Ask Him for healing before you get a taste of your own medicine.