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Moving the Stone

Genesis 29:5-12

“Do you know Laban son of Nahor?” Jacob asked them. 

They answered, “We know him.” 

“Is he well?” Jacob asked. 

“Yes, they said, “and here is his daughter Rachel coming with his sheep.” 

Then Jacob said, “Look, it is still broad daylight.  It’s not time for the animals to be gathered.  Water the flock, then go out and let them graze.” 

But they replied, “We can’t until all the flocks have been gathered and the stone is rolled from the well’s opening. Then we will water the sheep.”

While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess.  As soon as Jacob saw his uncle Laban’s daughter Rachel with his sheep, he went up and rolled the stone from the opening and watered his uncle Laban’s sheep. Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept loudly. He told Rachel that he was her father’s relative, Rebekah’s son. She ran and told her father.

We see a bit of Jacob’s character in these verses. While looking for his Uncle Laban, Jacob came to a well where shepherds had gathered with their flocks. After learning these men knew Laban, Jacob asked them why didn’t they just water the flocks and let the sheep graze since it was not yet time for them to be gathered. They informed him of their custom to allow all the flocks to be gathered before the stone was rolled away from the well. Apparently, it was a very difficult task to roll this stone, and they didn’t want to repeat the energy. 

What I find interesting is that Jacob, himself, moved the stone to water Rachel’s flock. He just took charge and began watering his uncle’s sheep. To him, it was nonsense to wait on everyone else to gather before the stone was moved. The blessing was right in front of him, and he didn’t care to wait on someone else to engage. 

Do we ever find ourselves waiting out of custom to take hold of a blessing God has placed right in front of us? All that was required for the sheep to be watered was the willingness to move the stone. Jacob did that for Rachel. He chose not to abide by their custom of waiting and to water his uncle’s sheep a little early. What stones are blocking our blessings, and are we willing to move them?

Rachel was excited to learn this man who had removed the stone for her was her father’s relative, and she ran to tell her father. She must have begun to sense right away that Jacob brought blessing. Jacob wept loudly when he kissed Rachel. I can’t help but wonder if he connected his own mother’s meeting with Abraham’s servant at the spring with his encounter with Rachel, or if he was just so excited because she was so beautiful and a relative. Either way, he knew God was with him and had helped him find where he needed to be. 

The name Rachel is a term of endearment meaning, “ewe lamb.” No doubt, when Jacob saw her, he saw her as a precious little thing that needed assistance, and he intended to bless her. That is how God sees us. We are His “ewe lambs.” His intention is to bless us, and He will protect us and provide for us while we are in His care.  He will even roll stones away for us that are too big for us to handle. We need only trust Him and be faithful to go to the well.

Have a blessed day!

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