Genesis 29

6 Jacob is able to engage the locals in friendly conversation to find out where his uncle is living and how he is doing. Then it just "happens" that Jacob's cousin arrives. This is Divine providence at work.

Shepherding sheep was normally a male responsibility, but if a man only had daughters, they would take on the task.

8 Perhaps it was traditional to wait until all the flocks were gathered before they opened the well to water the sheep. Perhaps there was an important shepherd who watered his sheep first, and then the others were allowed to water theirs.
10 Jacob was being hospitable to his cousin -- the first generous act we have seen from him. The sheep were thirsty, and Jacob saw no reason why everyone had to wait.
11 Jacob is overcome with emotion. He had left his family in sadness and endured a long journey. He had a personal encounter with God. Now he was at his destination and had found his extended family easily.
12 Up to this point, Rachel had no idea what was happening or who Jacob was. Finally, he reveals that he is a relative. Rachel runs ahead to tell her father of Jacob's arrival while he follows behind with the sheep.
13 Laban had not seen his sister since she had suddenly left 40-50 years earlier. They may not have had any contact either. Now his nephew arrived and Laban was happy to see him.
14 Jacob was to wait for word from his mother to tell him when it would be safe to return. In the meantime, Jacob worked for his uncle.
15 Jacob apparently worked for Laban for a month without pay. Laban saw that Jacob was a good worker and wanted him to stay with them. Laban even invites him to name his own wages.
17 Some have suggested that Leah had bad eyesight, and this made her less desirable. However, since her "weak" eyes are being compared to Rachel's beautiful form and appearance, this is more likely an idiom meaning that Leah was not much to look at. This is supported by the fact that in seven years no man could be found to wed Leah (Gen 29:26).
18 This was an extraordinary amount of work for a wife. However, Jacob was in love, did not have expensive gifts for a dowry as his father had, and perhaps was feeling generous after his encounter with God and his uncle's hospitality. As we will see, Laban took unfair advantage of the situation.
22 This is the first recorded bachelor's party. As is often the case today, this party included various indulgences, including drunkenness. This one event, coupled with Laban's craftiness, would cause Jacob incredible hardship for the remainder of his life.

Christian bachelor parties should not be marked by the sinful activities often found in secular parties.

23 Laban tricked the trickster. Although Jacob's behavior was probably excellent for these seven years, someone else took advantage of him.

This is definitely a conspiracy. At the very least, Laban and Leah knew that they were cheating Jacob.

26 Laban had seven years to tell this to Jacob, but he did not. Laban should have let this be known from the beginning. It could be that Laban had incredible planning skills and had developed the fourteen-year work scheme for Jacob right at the beginning.
27 The wedding celebration was to last a week.

During these days there was no such thing as an annulment or divorce. Even if someone married the wrong person, there was nothing he could do to break that marriage. Marriage was (and still should be) a lifetime commitment.

Technically, Jacob's first seven years of labor were a dowry for Leah. Now to get Rachel, Jacob would have to work another seven years.

Jacob did not have to agree to Laban's terms. Although he did not end up marrying Rachel, he should have stopped and tried to be content with Leah. Jacob decided not to follow his father's example of marriage to a single woman. He also did not learn from the polygamous relationships of the past and the family strife they caused. Jacob wanted Rachel, and he did not care what the consequences might be.

28 Rachel was given to him right away. This probably caused even more strife because Jacob would never learn to love Leah.
30 Jacob not only married sisters, but he loved one more than the other. This caused a huge rivalry to spring up between the two women.
31 God showed His love towards Leah by allowing her to have children. It is important to remember that Leah is not the "bad guy" here. She was a pawn in Laban's game, and she had become the unlovely and unloved wife of Jacob. Life was being "unfair" to her, but God showed that He cared. We should remember that those who have had misfortune are human beings, image bearers of God. We should look to help them, not to look down on them.
32 The firstborn son was to be treated with special honor. Since Leah was the mother, she would also normally receive special honor.