WHAT SHALL THY WAGES BE?
Genesis 29:14 And Laban said to him, Surely thou art my bone and my flesh. And he abode with him the space of a month. 15 ¶ And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be? 16 And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured. 18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter. 19 And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me. 20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her. 21 And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her. 22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast. 23 And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her. 24 And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid. 25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me? 26 And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. 27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years. 28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.
Laban has now been in eternity for a very long time. After Jacob and Laban’s two daughters journey out of his presence, his name disappears off the pages of the holy scriptures. So this is the only time of opportunity for him to come out of his sinful nature, and come to the knowledge of the truth. But he doesn’t! He, like most today, was motivated by a desire only for financial increase, and not for the development of his soul. And isn’t he sly in the way he covers the presentation of his greed?
He first states how Jacob is of his very bone and flesh. Then he very cunningly, puts it to Jacob that since he did not bring silver and gold to him, as did his grandfather’s servant in order to get Laban’s sister to be a bride for Isaac, he would have to “serve me!” 2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned (moulded), words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
And then, to farther reveal his deceitful character he violates the verbal contract that Jacob made with him in this matter of service. For Jacob clearly stated, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter. And Laban answers in a way in which it seems that he completely accepts Jacob’s terms. For he states, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me.
But after calling for a week long feast to celebrate the wedding and gathering together all the men of the place, he sends the weak-eyed, older Leah into the dark tent with Jacob. Not that this was excusable, but now Jacob will have it done to him that which he did to his father Isaac, in disguising himself to appear as Esau, in order to obtain the birthright for himself.
Jacob’s journey is such a clear picture of the redeemed soul entering into the new world of redemption after meeting God alone in the darkness of his earthly travels. The believer assures himself that since now that he is living by faith, he shall have all that is beautiful, like Jacob thought to have the beautiful Rachel. Yet, when the light of practical experience finally dawns upon him, the believer finds that his life as a believer is as one married to the weak-eyed, not so attractive Leah! Even her name means, “weary!”
For the believer quickly learns he has been called into a world of suffering. For he even sings, “The way of the cross leads home.” 1 Corinthians 7:22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant. 23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. 1 Peter 2:20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
Religion falsely imagines that they own God! That god is there, like a genie in a bottle, to provide all their wishes! Their heart and eyes are glazed over with the image of the beast! But the true spirit-born believer has been brought to the sober realization that they are bought and paid for by the blood of the Lamb of God. Therefore they are a bought servant – a slave! Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
The apostle, who suffered greatly for the cause of Christ instructs believers in this. Philippians 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) It was told the servant of God who was used to launch Saul of Tarsus into his ministry in Acts 9:16, For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. – Not how many places he shall have to travel to preach for me, but how much he must suffer!
And now we come to the birthing of Leah’s children. For in Genesis 29:31-35 we have the account of her relation with Jacob which also caused her to have contact with the Lord God. Each birth reveals a progressive development in the spirituality of the believer. She first bears Reuben, with the realization that God ‘sees’ her. Yet she falsely promises herself that it will cause her husband to love her. We oft times promise ourselves physical blessings that never appear when God favors us with spiritual fruitfulness!
Then she bears Simeon, with the added realization received in the time between this and her first birth that God also ‘hears’ her. The third child comes with her spiritual development of being ‘joined’ to God, and hopefully to her physical husband, so she names him Levi.
The next birth reveals that she has come to the place of praise to the Lord God! So she name this one Judah, or ‘praise!’ And with that we read that she “left bearing.” For once she came to just praise the Lord, with no mention of Jacob, her fruitfulness is fulfilled! For when godly patience has been attained, a higher perfection is experienced! James 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
But the religious eyes, apart from any spiritual insights, view these births to be glorious only in, and of themselves. For they know not the cross which marks everything the true believer does. For true believers have been brought to the realization of the truthfulness of the scriptures! Ecclesiastes 7:1 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth. 2 It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.
An expectant mother sits at the head of a circle of her female friends at the ‘shower’ they have prepared for her. They all “uuu” and “aaah” at the gifts that are held up when each package is opened, as the sister-recorder sitting next to her, lists down the gift and giver for the ‘thank you’ notes. But there is sitting in front of her a circle of mothers, who brought these presents, with bruised hearts, and wounded spirits from the children they long ago birthed. One has a wayward daughter, who was brought up under church influence. One had an alcoholic son. Another a sickly child, now a young adult, never in good health since an infant. Another has a child who has suffered a horrible divorce, afflicted upon him by and unfaithful mate. And she is having to help raise those grandchildren!
Every believing mother sitting there has the realization that a funeral brings more sober-minded realization of the responsibility of the soul in its need of Christ, than does this shower! For the experienced believer has learned that they may, just within a few days be required to weep with those who weep at the loss of a child, with the same degree of sincerity as they rejoice now with them that rejoice at this expectation of a newborn! Romans 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
For they have all awakened in added light to find that they are more connected to Leah than to Rachel! Genesis 29:25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?
For as Leah’s and Rachel’s babies grew up into adulthood, Reuben was incestuous (Gen. 35:22). Judah was adulterous (Gen. 38:6,18; Matt. 1:3). Simeon and Levi were murderous, in revenging the rape of their sister, Dinah. Er and Ornan, Judah’s grandson’s were both killed by God (Gen. 38:6,8). Poor Joseph was sold into slavery by these brothers. Simeon was placed in an Egyptian prison. Benjamin’s birth proved to be the death of his mother, Rachel (Gen. 35:18). And Jacob died in Egypt among a race of people who abhorred to eat with him (Gen. 43:32). So much for the “uuu’s” and “aaah’s” of the shower!
But religion, still under the image of the beast, with inordinate affections (Colossians 3:5), and an unmortified imagination (2 Corinthians 10:4,5), abandons the effect of the cross, to only praise that which excites the flesh! Listen at what was said, by way of a blessing concerning Leah and Rachel. Ruth 4:11 And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem:
How horribly ignorant these were of the sorrow and stress these births brought on their parents! But religionists down through the ages proceed on, glorifying the physical birth with no regard for the necessity of the spiritual birth! Jacob even said to Levi and Simeon, you have made me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house. (Genesis 34:30).
But listen to the only time Rachel’s name is mentioned in the New Testament – and that by the Lord Jesus himself! Matthew 2:18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. He only mentions her name in association with weeping, and great mourning!
We forget that He is the same God who spoke to Eve upon her disobedience! Refresh your minds in his words to her. Genesis 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. Take note that there are two “sorrow’s” there! One is in the physical birthing of children. But the other is in that which those children shall effect upon her, as upon Rachel with “weeping, and great mourning!”
And forgive me for being so blunt, but somebody’s children are in hell! Every soul in eternal darkness was born of a man and woman. All had earthly parents. But we are so drunk on the Whore’s wine (Revelation 17:1,2; 18:3), we cannot bear this reality to even be suggested to our minds. Religion has put us in a drunken stupor! We know nothing of ‘cemeteries’ any more. There are only Memorial Gardens. And never is there a dead person who “was not a good man!” We just come together at the ‘Memorial Service’ for the slide show and to “celebrate his life!” This is due to the fact that the preaching of the gospel has all but vanished from our ‘churches.’ We now only have motivational ‘speakers’ – not ‘preachers’ of the gospel, left to sooth us as we depart this life into the hands of a holy God!
Now listen to the words of that holy God concerning his ‘children.’ Isaiah 1:2 ¶ Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. And he is able to raise up better children from rocks than we can from our flesh! Luke 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
Look at the cross, dear Reader for a different attitude concerning a Son. For there the Father spared not his only Son, but delivered him up (Rom. 8:32), and learn in spiritual sobriety God’s hatred for sin, and his love for righteousness! For there is the only eye salve by which we may recover our vision in this deceptive, apostate age!
Pastor Gene Breed
May 20, 2016