We watch competition cooking and baking shows in this house and a lot of times they have team challenges, two people are chosen as the leaders and they proceed to choose teams. You can see the anticipation on the faces of adults, who are suddenly more like children standing on a play yard hoping they won’t be chosen last! You hate to be the “default” date, or romance, the one someone comes to after having been shafted by a lover. Genesis 29:16-31 tells a love story of one lover being chosen over another; “Now Laban had two daughters; Leah was the older and Rachel the younger. Leah had nice eyes, but Rachel was stunningly beautiful. And it was Rachel that Jacob loved. So Jacob answered, “I will work for you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” “So Jacob worked seven years for Rachel. But it only seemed like a few days, he loved her so much.”I would say that guy was in love if seven years seemed like nothing!
As the story goes we find out that the father sent Leah to the marriage bed instead of Rachel! Jacob didn’t realize it until the next morning, so now he had to work another seven years to get the girl of his dreams! It’s a great love story, but I feel dreadful for poor Leah, talk about self-esteem issues! She probably needed to see a counselor! Jacob, of all people, should have recognized he was showing too much favoritism! He grew up in a home where he was the mother’s favorite and his brother Esau was his father’s heart. Jacob used trickery to steal his brother’s birthright, and to add insult to injury he tricked his old dad, Isaac, into giving him the blessing that should have gone to the eldest son. Wow, he was bad, wasn’t he? He started back home, because God told him to go back and he would be blessed and his descendants would be like the sands of the sea; as he journeyed he learned that Esau was approaching! He was terrified, afraid that he, all his children, and wives would be killed! He prepared gifts for Esau then separated his families so one of them would have the chance to escape. Then he waited, alone. During the night a “man” came and he wrestled with him: 32:26-30 the man said, “Let me go; it’s daybreak. “Jacob said, “I’m not letting you go ’til you bless me. “The man said, “What’s your name?” He answered, “Jacob.” The man said, “But no longer. Your name is no longer Jacob. From now on it’s Israel (God-Wrestler); you’ve wrestled with God and you’ve come through.” Jacob asked, “And what’s your name?” The man said, “Why do you want to know my name?” And then, right then and there, he blessed him. Jacob named the place Peniel (God’s Face) because, he said, “I saw God face-to-face and lived to tell the story!”
Why did God choose to bless this man who had been dishonest and self-serving? If you go back up to V 9-12, and read how humble he was before God, you’ll see; “And then Jacob prayed, “God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, GOD who told me, ‘Go back to your parents’ homeland and I’ll treat you well.’ I don’t deserve all the love and loyalty you’ve shown me. When I left here and crossed the Jordan I only had the clothes on my back, and now look at me—two camps! Save me, please, from the violence of my brother, my angry brother! I’m afraid he’ll come and attack us all, me, the mothers and the children. You yourself said, ‘I will treat you well; I’ll make your descendants like the sands of the sea, far too many to count.’ “He put it all on the line, bared his soul before God and God chose him to be a great Father of the nation Israel! John 15:16 “You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.”
No matter how bad you think you are and no matter if no one ever chose you first, God has chosen us!