The Mercies of God for the Messes of Man
The Bible does not give us lies—that is paper thin promises of some supposed utopia. It does not obfuscate the rough edges of human existence in its words. It deals with real life. Real choices. Real people. Real failure. Real messes.
Everyone falters here. Abraham in his duplicity, Rebekah in her scheming, Laban in his greed, Rachel in her jealousy, and Leah in her desire to be loved—at all costs. This is NOT what God intended—not in the least. In the beginning He created them male and female. He gave Adam one wife—but what a mess they (and we too) made. Robert Jamieson, in his commentary on this chapter, put it well when he opined that, “The evil lies in the system, which being a violation of God’s original ordinance, cannot yield happiness.” In the polygamous mess of Jacob’s disastrous marriage not to two but four women, happiness—real happiness—was an impossibility it seemed. That is to say God created the world perfect and halfway through the first book in the Bible, all is broken and futile—far from what He originally intended. And yet—and yet God was working.
Therefore two short lessons are in order as we reflect on this text in Genesis 30:
Lesson 1: His way really is the best way.
Lesson 2: When we forget lesson 1 (and all of us most certainly will at one time or another)—He works in our messes.
He multiplies mercies to us in our messes. He does not leave us alone. He deals with Jacob, Leah, and Rachel in different and very specific ways, but abandons not a one of them. See Him now working in the darkness—in the womb of the hated, Leah, to bring about our salvation one day through the Lion of the tribe of her son Judah. See Him working in the heart of the favored and the loved, Rachel, to show her at last the difference between what her own schemes (and even mandrakes) can do—leave her barren—and what God alone can do—give her a son—even Joseph who would become a prince in Egypt. See Him working in Jacob—chiseling and shaping the deceiver into the very namesake of His chosen people: Israel.
There is no mess that you or I have made that’s too big for God. Indeed, He is equal to the task. He is big enough and He is working in our messes.