The marriage of Jacob and Leah (Genesis 29) raises all kinds of unanswerable questions. Did Leah help plan the deception or was the scheme concocted by her dad alone? Could Leah have said no to the scheme? Where was Rachel when this was going on? Did Rachel know what was happening? Who else in the family knew about the scheme prior to the actual wedding? We are not told any of these details, except that Laban gave Leah to Jacob and Leah consented.
When Jacob woke up the morning after the wedding and discovered he had been deceived, he hunted down Laban. That would have been some type of meeting as the two deceivers facing each other. Remember, Jacob had deceived his father to secure his brother’s blessing (see Gen. 27). He was in Paddan-aram in the first place to get away from his brother after cheating him out of his blessing. In a way, Jacob was asking Laban, “How could you trick ME, I am the trickster.” His name even meant “supplanter,” someone who takes over or takes someone else’s place usually on purpose. If Jacob wanted to see what deception looked like, all he needed to do was look in the mirror.
Now, Jacob was on the other side of deception. We want to feel compassion for Jacob as he stood there in front of Laban, but Jacob was getting some of his own medicine. He was reaping what he had sown. The Bible has a great deal to say about reaping and sowing. We are told to not to grow tired of sowing good works (Gal. 6:9). Paul tells us that if we reap sparingly, we will get a small harvest (2 Cor. 9:6). Solomon declared that wickedness produces more wickedness while righteousness reaps righteousness (Prov. 14:14). Hosea called on his hearers to sow righteousness and reap love (Hos. 10:12). In this passage in Genesis, we see a real-life example of the teachings found in these other passages about reaping and sowing. Jacob had sown deceit and now he was reaping it.
Jacob was far from perfect and so are we. He was all too familiar with deceit and should have seen it coming. We too are far too familiar with some sins as well. We may even be quick to point out that same sin in others (usually because we know what it looks like because we see it in the mirror every day). God used this man-made mess to bring about His redemptive plan, giving us hope in the process. If Jacob wasn’t disqualified by what he saw in the mirror, then we are not disqualified either. With God’s strength, we can learn from what we see in the mirror (our own shortcomings) and ask God to change us so we can sow righteousness for His glory.
How does what you reap in life indicate what you are sowing?