Jacob answered and said to Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force. Anyone with whom you find your gods shall not live. In the presence of our kinsmen point out what I have that is yours, and take it.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.
Jacob was, beyond almost anything else, a man of honor. He agreed with Laban to work for seven years in order to marry Rachel. Then Laban tricked Jacob into marrying Leah instead, and instead of losing it, Jacob worked for seven years more so that he could still marry Rachel.
As a businessman, Jacob was shrewd and built his fortune honestly, always giving Laban the choicest part of the flocks. He never cheated, never stole, never deceived.
But the apple didn’t fall far from Laban’s tree.
When Jacob decided to part ways with Laban, his beloved Rachel decided to steal her father’s household gods, or teraphim. These were most likely idols that were used in the worship of God – but because the Lord didn’t want anyone worshiping “graven images,” they were still idols, and should not have been used by Laban – and certainly not stolen by his daughter.
When Laban caught up to Jacob’s caravan, he found Rachel sitting in her tent. As a daughter, she should have stood in his presence, but instead she remained sitting, and explained that it was because it was “that time of the month.” In a very short span, Rachel was both a thief and a liar. And yet she was married to a man of great honor.
God greatly prizes honesty – that quality occupies one of the Ten Commandments. Dozens of scriptures condemn lying and praise honesty. The actions of Jacob embody what the Lord wants from His people. Rachel’s actions are precisely what He condemns.
Today, pray that the Lord will give you a love and desire for honesty, and ask Him to help you always be honest in all of your dealings.
Reflection copyright © 2016 Doug DeBolt.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.