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  The Great Bible Story #21
Jacob's meeting with God

Jacob Ninan
When Jacob was on his way to his uncle Laban's home, it became night and he slept there using a stone as pillow. In a dream he saw a ladder between the earth and heaven and angels going up and down. On the top was the Lord, who identified Himself as the God of Abraham and Isaac, and told him how He would bless him and give the place where he was sleeping to his descendants. Jacob woke up and said to himself that God was there and this was the gateway to heaven. So he called the place Bethel and promised God that if He took care of him and brought him back safely then He would be his God. That was all the knowledge of God he had at this time, but it was a beginning.

As he moved on, Jacob came to a watering place for cattle. He asked around to see if anyone knew Laban. To his surprise he was told that Laban's daughter Rachel, Jacob's cousin, was coming with her sheep. He was very moved when he saw her, kissed her and told her who he was. She ran and told her father about him. Laban came promptly and took him to his house. There Jacob met the family including Leah, Rachel's elder sister. As they were making plans for Jacob Laban asked him what he wanted as salary for working for him. Jacob's reply was that he would work seven years if he could get Rachel as his wife. He had fallen in love with her, and the years went off fast as he waited for her.

When the time was up, Laban arranged for the wedding. But he stealthily gave Jacob Leah as wife instead of Rachel. Jacob was very angry with Laban for cheating him. But Laban's explanation was that it was customary to get the older girl married first. But he tried to compensate by saying Jacob could have Rachel also if he worked for another seven years! The wily Jacob had met his match! After a week with Leah, he got Rachel also.

Leah gave birth to Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah. But Rachel was unable to have children. So she gave her maid Bilhah to Jacob thinking she could have children indirectly. Bilhah gave birth to Dan and Naphtali. When Leah saw this she gave Jacob her maid Zilpah who gave birth to Gad and Asher. Then Leah had two more sons called Issachar and Zebulun and a daughter called Dinah. Finally God healed Rachel and she had a son called Joseph.

At this time Jacob told Laban that he wanted to go back home with his family. But Laban had noted that God was blessing him since Jacob came, and so he offered a plan for sharing the profits. But God was with Jacob.

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