Boy Meets Girl. What’s the next step? Usually it’s not “boy meets girl’s father,” but that what happens to Jacob.
Please read Genesis 29:13-20.
It would have been customary at that time for a stranger to be shown hospitality in someone’s house for a couple of days. A relative would get free hospitality for a week or two. But Jacob is in Laban’s house for a month, which is quite generous indeed!
We will learn later that Laban is a cunning man, so it should come as no surprise that he takes the initiative in asking Jacob, “because you are my kinsman, should you therefore serve me for nothing?” Did you notice what he did there? There has been no indication that Jacob is serving Laban at all during this time. We are told that “Jacob told Laban all these things,” which implies that Jacob told Laban about Isaac and Rebekah sending him to get a wife from among his relatives. When Abraham’s servant came to the same location for the same purpose, he didn’t stay for more than a night before he was sent on his way. Jacob has stayed for a month, but still doesn’t have a wife, and he never seemed to express a desire to stay longer and work. Still, Laban insists that Jacob, with no dowry in his possession, must work before marrying one of his daughters. And the man is so clever that he gets Jacob to express it as if its his own idea!
Jacob must not be a skilled negotiator. There is historic precedent for a man working to use his service as a dowry, but it is usually a year's wages or two at most. Jacob begins the negotiations with seven years! Laban doesn’t even negotiate, he just accepts this high offer and Jacob immediately gets to work.
It’s at the end of this passage that we get perhaps the most beautiful words ever uttered about Jacob: “So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.”
It has been said that happiness consists of having someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to; and Jacob had all three. His love for Rachel made him the happiest man on earth, even while he was slaving away in the desert heat, working with smelly herds of animals for free. The love he had for Rachel gave him joy, no matter what his circumstances.
In the same way, our love for Jesus Christ makes all of this world’s troubles seem small. Great saints of the past endured suffering, torture, and even death. Many of them did it with joy, happiness, and even singing! Why? Because they were so in love with Jesus. Nothing that happened to them in this world mattered. They would spend eternity with their Lord and Savior.
Jesus promises us, as His disciples, that, “in this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). But, when we think of the incredible joy that is awaiting us in heaven; when we think of the joy that will come from seeing Jesus face to face and hearing, ‘well done, my good and faithful servant’; when we think of the joy that will come from spending eternity in the presence of our Lord and Savior, all the troubles of this world, all of the difficult trials, all of the long years of suffering will seem to us like a few days because of the love we have for Him.