How It Must Have Sucked to Be Jacob! Hunter Stew. And Homecoming.

Bible reading for today: Genesis 28-30, Matthew 8

As I read the familiar story of Jacob this morning, all I could think about was how much it must have sucked to be Jacob. I can’t imagine working for seven years for a beautiful wife, and then being saddled first with her freaky-eyed sister. And then to have to turn around and work for seven more years to earn the pleasure of the beautiful wife. I have to admit that if I had been Jacob, I’d have taken Rachel and run. I don’t have much patience in that regard.

It’s funny how when I was growing up, I remember hearing the story as Jacob working for seven years to get Rachel, but then Laban tricked him and gave him Leah. Then he had to work seven more years in order to get Rachel. In other words, he was stuck for seven years sleeping with a woman he didn’t love while working all day to purchase the woman he did love. The actual story is that he is given Leah, asked to finish his “bridal week” with her, and then immediately given Rachel. And if you’re Leah, this story is even more heart-breaking. Here you are with freaky eyes, being given to a man who doesn’t want you, being asked to finish out a “bridal week” with him, all the while you know he’s fantasizing about your sister?! What the hell?

I remember distinctly, when Genesis 29 came up in our Sunday School rotation, questioning how this particular story related to my Christian life. I think I was in middle school or high school when I asked what I was supposed to learn from it. I was probably waved off or given some kind of inadequate answer. I think now, from an adult perspective, I can see that it boils down to a Rolling Stones song title, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” True story, my friends, you can’t always get what you want, but if you’re Jacob, in this instance, I suppose you get what you need.

Seriously, I am sure there is some deeper theological meaning behind this story, and we know that out of this chaos and with a few children had by handmaidens comes the Twelve Tribes of Israel. After the small issues of jealousy and a little treachery, Leah, Zilpah, Rachel, and Bilhah gave birth to lots of boy children. The youngest of whom is Joseph, the deliverer of his family from famine. And, I suppose this is a huge lesson in grace. Jacob didn’t cut and run, like I would have. He patiently worked for the love of his life.

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Best stew ever:

1 pound of beef, some butter, four strips of bacon, one big onion, two cups of carrots, four cups of cabbage, three apples, 4 cups of beef broth, a bit of salt, a polish sausage

First: In a big pot, cook the bacon, which you’ve cut into 1-inch squares. Remove the bacon from the pot but leave the grease, and add the butter. Brown the beef, which you’ve cut into 1-inch cubes. Add the onion, which you’ve chopped, and the apples, which you’ve also chopped. Cook for a bit, then add the beef broth and let it all simmer for an hour and 30 minutes.

Second: Add in the carrots and the polish sausage and simmer for 20 minutes.

Third: Add in the cabbage and the bacon, which you removed earlier. Cook for another 10 minutes or until the cabbage is tender.

Last: Eat it because it’s delicious.

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This week at school is homecoming week. Let’s just say I have almost as much school spirit being a teacher as I had being a high school student. Next to none. Woot.

2 responses to “How It Must Have Sucked to Be Jacob! Hunter Stew. And Homecoming.

  1. Alrighty, as a fellow teacher, come on muster up some school spirit its FTK (For the Kids). Couldn’t help but laugh while reading your thoughts on this passage. Just wait till you get to the love triangle where Leah wants to be loved by Jacob and Rachel just wants kids from Jacob. It’s made for TV. Something I got from the text is this, Jacob like all of us is in a faith race (Heb. 12:1-2). His faith early on was diddley-squat; he relied on his own intelect and even his mothers. This is a moment of God stretching his faith. Remember back to Genesis 28:13-15 where Jacob has that incredible dream. 7 years earlier in that dream God promised to ‘give offsriping’, ‘watch over him’ and ‘bring him back to the land that he was promised’. God didn’t say how and God didn’t say it was going to be easy. Even though Jacob gets the raw end of the deal from Laban, he is still being asked by God to trust!

    I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  2. It’s fun. Every time I read through the bible something different strikes me. I think it must have to do with my place in life. I like your thoughts. Thanks for reading. 🙂

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