In today’s chapter, Jacob meets Rebekah and is deceived by her brother, Laban, into getting two wives for the price of....fourteen years hard labor. This is what happens when you go to your family reunion to find a wife.
But seriously, Jacob’s pattern of deception has come full circle. The similarities between his own deception of his brother and Laban’s deception are striking: setting up one sibling to masquerade as another, using that deception to enter into a permanent covenant, leaving the deceived one helpless to undo the damage. I wonder if in the instant he recognized Leah, Jacob’s mind flashed back to the moment he stood before his father, dressed in his brother’s clothes and covered in goat skins. Or to the image of his brother’s face when he realized Jacob had duped him, an expression of anger and incredulity that he no doubt bore as he looked at his surprise bride.
God loves us too much to allow us to continue in sin with no consequence. Even when we have accepted the forgiveness offered to us through Christ’s death on the cross, God doesn't remove the consequences of sin from our lives.
That is a very good thing, because the consequences of sin are a vital tool the Holy Spirit uses to bring conviction. Feeling the sting of my own words or actions helps me understand and empathize with the person I've wronged, recognize my behavior as sin, and repent.
We don't get a glimpse of Jacob's repentance over his actions toward his brother until much later, but that moment when he woke up next to Leah gave him a glimpse of the pain his own deceit caused.