must be wedded to the Leah of real holiness
"Laban replied—It is not our custom here, to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one." Genesis 29:26
We do not excuse Laban for his dishonesty—but we desire to learn from the custom which he quoted as his excuse. There are some things which must be taken in order; and if we would win the second—we must secure the first. The second may be the more desirable in our eyes—but the rule of the heavenly country must stand—the elder must be married first.
For instance, many men desire the beautiful Rachel of joy and peace—but they must first be wedded to the bleary-eyed Leah of repentance. Everyone falls in love with happiness, and many would cheerfully serve twice seven years to enjoy it. But according to the rule of the Lord's kingdom—we must be wedded to the Leah of real holiness—before the Rachel of true happiness can be gained.
Heaven is not first—but second; and only by persevering to the end, can we enter into it.
The cross must be carried—before the crown can be worn!
We must follow our Lord in His sufferings—or we shall never rest with Him in glory.
Dear heart, are you so vain as to hope to break through this heavenly rule? Do you hope for reward without labor—or honor without toil? Dismiss the idle expectation! Be content to take the difficult things—for the sake of the sweet love of Jesus, which will recompense you for all. In such a spirit, laboring and suffering, you will find that bitters grow sweet—and that hard things grow easy. Like Jacob, your years of service will seem unto you but a few days—for the love which you have to Jesus. And when the dear hour of the wedding feast shall come—all your toils shall be as though they had never been! An hour with Jesus—will make amends for ages of pain and labor!