Gen. 29:16-17, 21-23, 26-27; 31:1-3, 38-42 March 09-2008
Recently I read about a man who became very forgetful, and he told his brother he could not quote the promises of God anymore because he forgot them. His brother wisely said, "well you can rest in the fact God still remembers them." God's faithfulness remains constant even if we do not understand at the time how He will accomplish some of His promises. This lesson will help us in Learning About God's Faithfulness.
1. God's Faithfulness Despite Man's. . Hidden Agendas. 29:16-17, 21-23, 26-27
A. Laban's Hidden Agenda With The . . Oldest
Daughter. 29:16-17, 21-23
16 Now Laban had two daughters: the older was named Leah, and the younger was named Rachel.
17 Leah had delicate eyes, but Rachel was shapely and beautiful. 21 Then Jacob said to Laban, "Give
me my wife, for my time is completed. I want to sleep with her." 22 So Laban invited all the men of
the place to a feast. 23 That evening, Laban took his daughter Leah and gave her to Jacob, and he slept
B. Laban's Hidden Agenda With The . . Youngest
26 Laban answered, "It is not the custom in this place to give the younger daughter in marriage before
the firstborn. 27 Complete this week of wedding celebration, and we will also give you this younger
one in return for working yet another seven years for me." HCSB
I dislike players on
a team who do not play for the team, but for themselves. Laban's hidden
eliminated his playing for the team; so to speak. He had a hidden
agenda to give his oldest daughter to Jacob.
Jacob's agreement with him stated he would work seven years for the
youngest daughter. The popular
etymology of the biblical name Jacob includes these meanings:
"heel-catcher, supplanter, and deceiver. In his
dealings with Laban the deceiver got deceived. But as Jacob later
looked back on this experience he saw how
God's faithfulness won out in spite of the ways of Laban.
2. God's Faithfulness Despite Man's . . Hostility. 31:1-3
A. The Hostility Related To The . . Father. 31:1
1 Now Jacob heard what Laban's sons were saying: "Jacob has taken all that was our father's and has built this wealth from what belonged to our father."
B. The Hostility Registered On The . . Face. 31:2
2 And Jacob saw from Laban's face that his attitude toward him was not the same.
C. The Hostility Reacted To Concerning The . .
3 Then the Lord said to him, Go back to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you."
Many times we know
when hostility is brewing against our plans or desires. Jacob could see
the sons of
Laban did not approve of the action on which he and their father
agreed. We can admire the boys looking out
for their father but the attitude of the sons seem to follow a
deceptive pattern. Jacob then noticed the hostility
registering on Laban's face. In the midst of all this God told Jacob to
go back to the land of your fathers and to
your family. The Lord promised His favor upon Jacob's obedience. That
can help us to learn about God's
3. God's Faithfulness Despite Man's . . Hindrances. 31:38-42
A. The Hindrances Related To The . . Flocks.
38 I've been with you these 20 years. Your ewes and female goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the rams from your flock. 39 I did not bring you any of the flock torn by wild beasts; I myself bore the loss. You demanded payment from me for what was stolen by day or by night.
B. The Hindrances Related To The . . Frost and
the Weather. 31:40
40 There I was--the heat consumed me by day and the frost by night, and sleep fled from my eyes.
C. The Hindrances Related To The . . Finances.
41 For 20 years I have worked in your household--14 years for your two daughters and six years for
your flocks--and you have changed my wages 10 times!
D. The Hindrances Related To The . . Fear Of God.
42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham, the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, certainly now you would have sent me off empty-handed. But God has seen my affliction and my hard work, and He issued His verdict last night."
As Jacob looked over
the 20 years with Laban, he remembered hindrances with the flocks,
and finances. Then his focus centered on the fear of God more than the
actions of his father-in-law. Jacob
related to his father-in-law about his hindering attitude with the
flocks, and how God blessed. He further related
about the frosty and hot weather he worked in, and how sleep fled from
him. To top this off; Laban changed the
wages 10 times. Then the fear of God hindered Laban from cheating any
further, and allowed Jacob to leave to
continue going back to his home land a wealthy man. Jacob called
attention to the intervention of the Lord, and
the Lord told Laban to not speak a word against Jacob. Does God work
through, and in, spite of these kinds of
hindrances. I believe Jacob would say, Yes! Surely Jacob's years with
Laban taught him how to be one
Learning About God's Faithfulness. We can have similar
experiences although they will be learned through
different circumstances. Amen? Amen!