Imogen Campbell 

Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.”Genesis 29:26-27, NIV
Dumbstruck, Jacob must have shaken his head in utter disbelief! Trickery had once forced him to flee all he knew. Now, years later, trickery was again responsible for mayhem: this time, his marriage to the wrong woman.
Turns out he met his match; his uncle, Laban, was a master manipulator. Short-changed, Jacob found himself compelled to honour the rights of the firstborn and work seven more years for the younger sister. There was no squirming his way out of it or running away. The parallels are extraordinary. A woman had covered herself up and pretended to be her sibling: a perfect mirror of his own actions.
God held it up for him to see, and I believe he had the opportunity to look intently at the man in the mirror. I do not believe it was lost on Jacob. Despite experiencing God’s great love and being privy to His great plans, still God wanted him to come to terms with something in his past. It had had far-reaching consequences for his immediate family and the wider community.
Similar parallels are found in Israel’s history. Saul was once commanded to wipe out all Amalekites, the first adversaries of Israel in the desert after fleeing Egypt. “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.’” (Exodus 17:14)
Saul failed to obey God; he admitted to sparing the king, Agag, and one would assume other Amalekites too due to continued hostility. Long after Saul’s death, Jewish heads were, once again, on the chopping block. The instigator? Haman, the Agagite – most likely a direct descendant of Agag – sought the annihilation of the Jews. He very nearly succeeded. Consequences on a national level.
Come across all fingers and thumbs? Adoni-Bezek is a case in point, according to Judges 1:4-8. “When Judah attacked, the Lord gave the Canaanites and Perizzites into their hands … Adoni-Bezek fled, but they chased him and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and big toes. Then Adoni-Bezek said, ‘Seventy kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off have picked up scraps under my table. Now God has paid me back for what I did to them.’ They brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there. The men of Judah attacked Jerusalem also and took it. They put the city to the sword and set it on fire.”
As I said, there are sometimes unintended consequences for sin. Eerily, some mirror the sin committed to a tee. Shocking is it not? Is there anything reflecting back at you in the mirror of God’s Word? Let us not fail to act on it as the passage in James 1:22-25 urges.
In the coming days, we consider how this plays out in the lives of Joseph and the rest of his clan.
Prayer: Father God, help us to be sombre when we see sin in our lives. Help us to understand that sin sometimes has deadly consequences if we remain unrepentant. Amen