There are consequences that come with sin. As much as we want to think forgiveness means we won’t face consequences, that’s just not true. Sometimes God teaches us a lesson with the consequences we face. He did this with Jacob.
Our sermon was from Genesis 29. Jacob was very deceitful by taking his brother’s birthright and his blessing. It may have been God’s intention, but it wasn’t up to Jacob to gain it the way he did. Rebekah was instrumental in the deceit as well, conspiring with Jacob to convince his father that he was Esau in order to receive the blessing.
With all the lies flying around, I imagine that God had another plan. But, we’ll never know what it was.
Jacob is sent away to his Uncle Laban for his own safety because Esau wanted to kill him. Nobody actually sought God’s will in the matter. But off he went in search of his uncle and a wife.
In all of this we see Jacob still doesn’t call God his God. He is Abraham and Isaac’s God. On the way to find his uncle, he comes upon a well and finds that this is where he can find Laban. Laban’s daughter, Rachel comes to the well to water the sheep. She is a shepherdess (is that a word?) Shepherds were normally a rough crowd who couldn’t be trusted to be a witness in a court of law. But Rachel was beautiful and caught Jacob’s eye immediately.
The custom was to wait until all the shepherds had their herds there before they took the stone off the well to water them. It took several shepherds to move the stone as it was heavy. But Jacob wants to impress Rachel and the He-Man that he was, removed the stone by himself. He kisses her and then he cries displaying all his emotions.
Laban knows that Jacob doesn’t have a gift for Rachel’s hand in marriage, but he also knows that Isaac is a rich man and marrying into this family would be profitable.
When Jacob asks for Rachel’s hand in marriage, Laban tells him to name his wages and Jacob’s terms are to work for him for 7 years then he can marry Rachel.
Rachel had an older sister, Leah, who is described as having weak eyes in the NIV. This doesn’t mean what one would think. She wasn’t weak at all, but delicate. Rachel is described as “lovely in form, and beautiful.” Jacob had already fallen in love with Rachel, but the custom was that the older sister should marry first. So, Laban deceived Jacob by giving him Leah as his wife, but Jacob didn’t realize this until the next morning.
Jacob gets a dose of his own medicine from Laban. We reap what we sow.
God wasn’t invited into this story. Jacob did exactly what he wanted and didn’t consult God to see what his will was.
In order to marry Rachel, Jacob had a week of marriage with Leah and then he was given Rachel as a wife also. He committed to working 7 more years to have Rachel. I’m sure this drove a wedge between the two sisters. Leah gave Jacob several children and thought this would make him love her. Rachel, however, was barren.
We can really mess things up when we try to do life on our own terms. Yes, God gives us free will, but we’ve got to understand there may be a price to pay and lessons learned to get our way.
God’s will cannot be thwarted nor do we have to help it along. If it’s God’s will he doesn’t need us to make it happen. If he can created a world and everything in it, I’m sure he can do whatever he wants.
Despite Jacob’s sins God was still faithful to give him grace. Even though God wasn’t invited into the story, he was still watching.
A few of the take-always from this sermon:
- You never know what kind of a servant you are unless you are treated like one.
- God didn’t change his plan for Jacob. He allowed Jacob to be taught lessons through circumstances. Discipline makes us better.
- Godly ends never justify ungodly means. It never excuses the evil things a man does.
- Problems existed because of the manipulation of Laban.
- Sin will eventually surface and destroy the best intentions of our lives.
- We need to be open to letting God write our stories. His storyline will be more than we can imagine!
- Let Him be a part of your story!
This is my take on the sermon of Jon Porter on 10/23/22 at Milan Christian Church.