“We can’t,” they replied, “until all the flocks are gathered and the stone has been rolled away from the mouth of the well. Then we will water the sheep.” (Genesis 29:8 NIV)
This morning, when I read this passage, I saw something I had never seen before. I tried to find a word to describe the passage and my experience when I read it. First, I thought: “The passage is prophetic because it foreshadows the coming of the Good Shepherd and conveys the image of Jesus as The Living Water.” However, Genesis is not a prophetic book. It is a historical book. The word I was looking for is the word “evocative.” In Webster’s dictionary it is defined as “provoking a memory or mental association.” A synonym of evocative is reminiscent.
While reading Genesis 29:1-11, New Testament truths jumped out at me from the page. The description of the well with the stone covering the entrance reminded me of the sepulcher where Jesus was buried. A large stone covered the entrance. The women on their way to prepare the body of the crucified Christ were worried about how they would move it away:
“Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” (Mark 16:3 NIV). In Genesis, Jacob rolls the stone away single-handedly, and made it possible for the sheep to be watered. This is significant because it is through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that God’s promise of salvation is fulfilled in the person of Jesus. It occurred to me that without Jesus, we would not have access to the Living Water Jesus described to the Samaritan woman: “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” (John 4:13-14 NLT)
The sheep waiting to be watered reminded me of humanity waiting for someone to move the stone away so that their thirst could be quenched. The shepherds waiting for all the flocks to be gathered brought to mind John 10:16 NLT. In this verse, Jesus says: “I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.” What a lovely expression of God’s patience! How wonderful that he waits for all the flocks to gather so that they can drink the water that will quench their thirst once and for all!
And last but not least, in Genesis 29:11, the scene of Jacob embracing his future bride, made me think of the joyful day when Christ, the Bridegroom, will embrace his bride, the Church. On the day when Christ embraces his Church, all believers will be filled, satisfied, and rewarded. The bride and Bridegroom will be united, and a new life will begin.
Dearest Heavenly Father,
You are the God of the Old and New Testaments. Your Son’s story of redemption is not limited to his 33 years here on earth. He was with you in the beginning and he showed his disciples all the Scriptures concerning himself (Luke 24:27 NIV). Thank you for opening our eyes, minds and hearts to His story found throughout the Scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation.
In the name of Jesus, the Alpha and the Omega,