February 10, 2019

JACOB’S  PREPARATION FOR HIS RETURN

There is no place like home, people say. Surely the LORD had fulfilled His promises of fruitfulness upon Jacob. He came to Haran alone, and now the LORD had made him to be a husband of four wives and a father of eleven sons and one daughter. Let us read from the scriptures how he made his return home happen.  The scripture says “And it came to pass, when Rachel had borne Joseph, that Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, that I may go to my own place and to my country.  Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, and let me go; for you know my service which I have done for you.”  And Laban said to him, “Please stay, if I have found favor in your eyes, for I have learned by experience that the Lord has blessed me for your sake.”   Then he said, “Name me your wages, and I will give it. So Jacob said to him, “You know how I have served you and how your livestock has been with me.   For what you had before I came was little, and it has increased to a great amount; the Lord has blessed you ]since my coming. And now, when shall I also provide for my own house?”  So he said, “What shall I give you?”  And Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything. If you will do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep your flocks:   Let me pass through all your flock today, removing from there all the speckled and spotted sheep, and all the brown ones among the lambs, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and these shall be my wages. So my righteousness will answer for me in time to come, when the subject of my wages comes before you: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the lambs, will be considered stolen, if it is with me.”  And Laban said, “Oh, that it were according to your word!”   So he removed that day the male goats that were speckled and spotted, all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had some white in it, and all the brown ones among the lambs, and gave them into the hand of his sons.  Then he put three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.  Now Jacob took for himself rods of green poplar and of the almond and chestnut trees, peeled white strips in them, and exposed the white which was in the rods. And the rods which he had peeled, he set before the flocks in the gutters, in the watering troughs where the flocks came to drink, so that they should conceive when they came to drink.   So the flocks conceived before the rods, and the flocks brought forth streaked, speckled, and spotted. Then Jacob separated the lambs, and made the flocks face toward the streaked and all the brown in the flock of Laban; but he put his own flocks by themselves and did not put them with Laban’s flock.  And it came to pass, whenever the stronger livestock conceived, that Jacob placed the rods before the eyes of the livestock in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods. But when the flocks were feeble, he did not put them in; so the feebler were Laban’s and the stronger Jacob’s.  Thus the man became exceedingly prosperous, and had large flocks, female and male servants, and camels and donkeys.(Genesis 30:25-43).

The above scripture gave us an account of how Jacob started to prepare himself to return home. It was clear that the presence of Jacob in the life of Laban, his uncle, had made him to become blessed. He said he could see the difference from experience that is, by comparison, of what he had before and after Jacob came. Is this not the work of God? When God blesses an individual, anyone that interacts with that individual will also enjoy some degree of blessing. Remember Lot was blessed because of his association with Abraham. The attitude of Laban was an attitude of greediness and self-centeredness, which is always common among leaders generally.  When an employee is useful to them, they don’t want to let him go for their own selfish reasons. Even among leaders of the gospel, they are always reluctant to let go of any pastor or minister that have served them faithfully for many years. They do not think of the future or the ministry of such people under them. This behavior is not godly and it has caused so much strife in the body of Christ. Leaders should prayerfully “let go” of any one under them that God had commissioned to carry the gospel to other parts of the world.

Back to Laban and Jacob’s case, even after admitting his blessings through Jacob, he told him to stay still he agreed to give him wages or remuneration for the work he was doing for him. This means he had not been paying him for these many years but when he asked for wages among his flock-the speckled, ring-streaked, and the spotted among his lamb, goats, so that there will be difference between his own and Laban’s , he agreed. Out of greed, he removed all those ones and gave them to his sons to go on a three day journey distance away from Jacob. Jacob continued to take care of the remaining ones without questioning him. The LORD now gave Jacob wisdom to know what to do for the flock to bring forth the spotted, ring-streaked and the speckled, which he did, and great was his blessing because his own multiplied  while Laban’s own was feeble and few. This aroused jealousy among the son’s of Laban because the difference was clear. God had finally poured the blessing that were needed to take care of his family upon him according to His promise. Because of the bad blood that was being generated between Jacob and Laban’s sons, Jacob knew it was time to go home. Tomorrow we would read how eventually Jacob moved his family back home. Remain blessed.

 

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