a. The Willingness to Serve. As Jacob is off talking to the shepherds, Rachel comes walking up with her father’s sheep. It says that as soon as Jacob saw Rachel he sprang into action. We might be tempted to attribute his response to an older man’s infatuation with a beautiful young woman but the rest of the story of Jacob would tell us otherwise. His love is real and strong from their very first meeting. He will speak lovingly, and his actions will be affected by his love for Rachel decades after her death. This is an abiding love. So when he sees Rachel with the sheep, he doesn’t wait for anyone to move the stone but takes the opportunity to serve Rachel. He, in a show of strength, moves the stone from the well himself and then proceeds to water the flock of his uncle. After the job is done, he kisses Rachel and weeps with joy. He had to leave everything behind in Canaan but now God has led him to a beautiful woman that was to be his wife. These are tears of happiness. Jacob explains who he is and that he was Rebekah’s son. Before we look at Rachel, let’s consider the kind of love that Jacob is displaying. One test of real love is: does it cause a willingness to serve. This goes for our love of others but also our love for God. Charles Naylor explains, “The amount of our love to God, is proved by our willingness to serve him. If there is in us a disposition to do only what we please to do, and to disregard any of the known will of God — then it is clear evidence that we do not love him. It matters not what we profess — if we are not willing to put obedience to God’s will before everything else, it is from lack of love. There are duties for all. There are opportunities everywhere. Every one of them is a test of love. Brother, sister — how does your love stand the test? Love will not grumble; it will not complain; it will not shrink from service. Do you love as fervently as you ought? b. The Character of Rachel. Rachel’s name means ewe which is a very fitting name for a shepherdess. One wonders if she had an infinity for sheep as a small child and that is how she received her name. Like Rebekah, we can discern some things about Rachel from the stories of her life. Here we find her serving her father and the family by watching the sheep. She had to have been a strong young woman to do the job. Her descendant, David, when told that he couldn’t fight Goliath said that fighting the Philistine was no different than fighting off lions or bears that went after the sheep. That’s what she was doing. Besides caring for her father’s sheep, when she is kissed by Jacob she honors her father. We are told that after Jacob explains who he is she runs home, leaving Jacob behind, and tells her father. She does not linger with the man but runs to her father. Young women, you would do well in following her example.