Amazing that we are only 30 chapters into this beautiful story, and we can see mistakes and errors riddling the path of humanity and interfering with the Blessing. But even more amazing is the fact that the covenant Promise which God made with Abraham back in Chapter 12-13 is still in effect in the lives of those who walk in it. For Abraham’s sake – Issac was blessed, and that same Blessing Promise was passed on to his sons – Esau & Jacob. But, as time goes on and people move further away from that initial Promise… they forget God and what He said. Esau already possessed the Blessing of Abraham – yet he cared so little about it that he sold it to his brother for a bowl of stew (Chapter 27). As well, Jacob already possessed the Blessing of Abraham – yet he failed to realize that and instead used deception to gain what was already his! As we shall see – these steps of disobedience brought many struggles and heartache.

When we read Chapter 30 it can be natural to raise an eyebrow at the unique circumstances of bearing children. But we must remember that we are looking at people who lived 5000 or so years ago – within a different culture and mindset. So while the circumstances surrounding the birthing of Jacob’s 12 sons was definitely weird – the continuing work of the Blessing in his life isn’t.

Jacob has agreed to work for 7 years for his Uncle Laban in order to secure Rachel as his wife. But Laban is less than honest in his dealings with Jacob – and deceives him into marrying Leah first. (See how the way Jacob dealt with Esau and Issac has now come back upon himself?). In the end Jacob works 14 years for his two wives – Leah and Rachel.

Then when it comes time for Jacob to take his family and leave – his fourteen years being completed – we are given a glimpse into what life was like for Jacob (and Laban). In Genesis 30:27 Laban is clearly upset that Jacob wants to leave him because he has “learned by experience that the Lord has favored me with blessings on your account”. Jacob goes on to acknowledge that Laban has “increased and multiplied abundantly” (vs 30). (Remember what the Blessing is?… Be Fruitful and Multiply). So instead of inquiring as to WHY Jacob was blessed and increased wherever he went – instead Laban sought to try the same tricks Jacob had… deception and trickery.

In the end – our main lesson from this chapter is that we cannot use the “wisdom” of man to walk in the Blessing of the Lord. Jacob was in the process of learning this – yet Laban had not. So when Laban separated the strong parts of the flock and tried to only give Jacob the weak – the Lord gave Jacob insight into how to strengthen the weak flock into the strong. So the Deceiver (Jacob) was learning how to walk in a trusting relationship with the Lord instead of trying to manipulate. In the end – Jacob had increased because of the Blessing working in his life… not because of his own cunning or logic.

What lesson does that speak to you and I today in our world?

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

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