February 15, 2016

Today you should read: Genesis 31

Thanks for being a faithful reader of JumpStart.  Remember what has happened so far.  Jacob loved Rachel and agreed to work 7 years for her hand in marriage from her father Laban.  After he had completed the years of work, Laban tricked him into marrying her sister Leah and asked for another 7 years.  God blessed Jacob, but now it’s time to leave but Laban won’t have it.

Not all family members are kind or honest. Laban continued to cheat Jacob changing his wages 10 times! (v.7)  I know it hurts and it’s hard to accept but family are people too.  Sometimes they don’t treat us like they should.

God blesses honesty. God continued to bless Jacob, who He had called to leave and go back to the land of his fathers (v.3).  The more Jacob is honest and obeys God the more livestock he acquires.  

Character comes out.  Laban not only sold his daughters but he wasted the money he had made from it (v.15-16).  Character comes out in all areas of our lives and so does the lack of it!

It runs in the family.  Rachel learned well from her dad.  She couldn’t help herself; before leaving she steals from her dad (v.19) then lies about it (v.35).  What we do in moderation our kids will do in excess.

Liar liar pants on fire.  Laban just keeps up the lie.  It almost seems like he believes it himself.  (v.27)

What a mess!!  Families are messy, people are messy.  When you read this, it does make you stop and ask “What is worth this?”  All this deception and hurt for what?  Our families aren’t much different today.

 

  • What’s God working on in your character this week?
  • What are some ways in which you act dishonestly?
  • How can you show kindness to those around you today?

By: Tim Parsons

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Author: cpclexington

Lexington & Richmond KY

4 thoughts on “February 15, 2016”

  1. I appreciate the irony of how similar this story is to the story of Philemon we started yesterday! Both deal with runaway servants who must make peace with their masters. In Philemon, the master must take the servant back and restore him to his position. Here, Jacob and Laban must separate but agree to live in peace. But in both cases, the power of forgiveness closes the chapter of the past and allows both parties to live in peace.

  2. Speaking of Laban, these are the telling words from Rachel and Leah…”Are we not regarded by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and he has indeed devoured our money.” (v.15)

    Laban’s character, if a mystery to anyone reading, at this point is now fully exposed by his daughters. It’s too late for Laban, but it is not too late for me today.

    “The Lord watch between you and me…God is witness between you and me.” (v.49-50) This is the hope that the believer has. Laban’s god (Nahor) had no power, no authority, and did not exist. So our hope is that God is the great caretaker of our lives and souls. “God is often better to us than our fears, and strangely overrules the spirits of men in our favor, beyond what we could have expected; for it is not in vain to trust in Him.” (Matthew Henry)

    In all this encounter between Laban and Jacob, Laban was noisy and full of words, saying much and affecting little. Jacob was silent, and said little. When Laban appealed to God, Jacob swore by the fear of his father Isaac (v.53) — that is, the God whom his father Isaac feared, who had never served other gods. Two words of Jacob’s were more memorable than all of Laban’s speeches reminding me that…”The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools.” (Ecclesiastes 9:17)

    I think anyone in my family would agree that our home is often “noisy and full of words.” Some days are pretty rough, many are a blessing. Seek wisdom while it may be found in shepherding your family, your friends. So that on your final day, father of influence, you may “Early in the morning arise and affectionately kiss your grandchildren and your daughters and bless them. Then…depart and return home” in peace to then be with Christ in His glorious kingdom. (v.55)

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