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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

Vayetseh 7-3

And (he) left

Genesis 29:18 – 30:13

Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, "I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel"...So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.

Gen. 29:18, 20 ESV

How strong can love be?

In the past, one who wanted to marry a girl had to give her parents an amount of money in order to receive permission to marry her. But since Yaakov came empty-handed he couldn’t pay that dowry – in Hebrew mohar – to Lavan for his daughter Rachel. That’s why, instead of giving him the dowry for his daughter, he offered seven years of hard work in the fields.

According to the Torah, the price for a virgin woman was much lower than the labourer’s wage for seven years of work. Yaakov offered much more thus showing his appreciation for Rachel. Lavan accepted and Yaakov worked patiently in the fields for seven years and he experienced those years as if they were a few days because of the love he had for Rachel.

How strong can love be?

In Song of Songs 8:6b-7 it is written: "for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised." (ESV)

What happened to Yaakov is what happens to all those who love the Eternal; instead of perceiving His commandments as a heavy burden, they experience them as being light, because love is an inner force that compels you to do things without considering price, effort and costs. Obedience without love becomes legalistic. Obedience because of love becomes a privilege. He who obeys the Eternal out of fear has not really known His great love. He who obeys out of love has come to know him, because He is love.

May the Eternal help us let His love take more and more room to grow in our hearts through the Spirit that He has given us.

Kol tuvall the best,


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