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Jacob Lesson 6 – From Labor To Favour

(Read Genesis 30:31-43)

Discussion points

  1. Laban was apparently not ready to release Jacob yet, hence he asked the question ‘what shall I give thee’(V31)
  2. Jacob assumed that if he requested for all the abnormally coloured animals in Laban’s flock, Laban would agree to it as a good enough wage for his services (v32)
  3. Jacob didn’t want to fall for Laban’s trick again so he was very specific when he made his request (v31 – 32)
  4. Laban consented to Jacob’s proposal because he thought the arrangement was going to be in his favour on the long run. (v34)
  5. From verses 35-36, Laban’s deceit comes into full view. If Laban’s intentions weren’t clear before, they are now. No matter what Jacob proposed, Laban had no intention of fulfilling their agreement, even if it was to take the reject flock. (v35-36)
  6. Laban sure was a shrewd man. He didn’t want Jacob to get rich off of him so he hides the spotted and speckled flock from Jacob hoping to make him go empty handed. (v35-36)
  7. When Jacob saw what Laban had done, he switched to plan B as Jacob himself was a scheming man, he outsmarted Laban by (acting upon the belief in his day that what a mother sees during her pregnancy will affect her offspring) allowing the animals to mate in front of spotted and speckled branches while tending to them. This resulted in the animals giving birth to off springs with stripes, spots and speckle. (v37 -39)
  8. Jacob kept the new breed of animals with spots, stripe and speckle for himself and did not allow them to mix with the rest of the flock belonging to Laban. (v40)
  9. Having pastured the animals for 14years, Jacob had an insight that the flocks bred when they come to drink water, so whenever the stronger of the flocks were breeding, Jacob will lay the striped sticks before the eyes of the flock. Jacob moved from labour to favour, eventually he inherited the stronger of Laban’s flock. (v41-42)
  10. God ensured that Jacob did not labour in vain, by the time he was leaving Laban’s house, he had become prosperous in all things. It’s amazing Jacob went there with nothing and walks out with everything and there wasn’t a thing Laban could do about it. (v43)

Summary

There is always a coming back

  1. At the end of 14 years, Jacob was willing to depart to his homeland without any possession but God stepped into his matter and made him rich. When all seems lost, we should remember we have God on our side (Lamentation 3:37; Proverbs 10:22).
  2. Jacob took charge of his life by dictating the terms of agreement to Laban this time, it was an indication that he had enough of Laban’s oppression. (v32), (Psalm 103:6) 
  3. Wealth, in those days was measured by the number of animals you owned. Jacob knew that so he asked for some resources so that he could have a “starter” herd. Jacob was pretty smart and knew Laban, wouldn’t give away his prime animals, so he asked for the speckled, spotted, or black sheep and goats, which were the rejects of his flock. (Genesis 30:32-34)
  4. Neither of these guys (Laban and Jacob) trusted each other, so Jacob came up with a way to prove his integrity and prevent any false accusations and ensure that nobody was cheating. (Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalm 37:3)
  5. Laban couldn’t believe his ears! Jacob is offering to take the rejects of the flock, and work for practically nothing. Laban sees himself getting more good years of quality labour from Jacob. It’s a deal he can’t refuse! Clearly, we can see that Laban is a task master. (Colossians 4:1, Genesis 30:32-33)
  6. Asking starts the receiving process. When we pray, we should be precise and free of any ambiguity. Jacob was always precise with Laban without any form of ambiguity that could have resulted into conflicts (Mathew 7:7; Luke 11:9).
  7. Whatever a man sow, he reaps. Both Jacob and Laban reaped according to what they sowed (Proverbs 22:8; Proverbs 11:18).
  8. There is always a coming back, God was with Jacob and saw to it that Jacob didn’t lose out in the end. There are limits to how far we can go without God thus we need his divine intervention to reach our destinations (Philippians 4:19; Romans 8:28).
  9. God does not need us to be God; he is the Supreme Being. Laban hid all the animals with spot, speckle or stripe thinking that can stop God but he failed (Psalm 147:5; Psalm 147:4).
  10. After going through this passage, we might be tempted to think that Jacob got rich because of what he did, but in truth it was because of what God did for Jacob. In a couple of chapters, we’ll see that Jacob fully acknowledges this. However sometimes we may be tempted to think the same thing, that it’s our efforts that make a difference when it is really God Himself who does the work. (James 1:17)

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Jehovah, answer all my prayers this year and let all my plans succeed.
  2. Father Lord, remove anything or anyone standing in my way as you did for Jacob so that I too can reach my true and full potential in Jesus’ name.
  3. O’ Lord compel everyone and everything holding on to my miracles to release them immediately. By fire, I break every chain of affliction in my life today.
  4. Father, I must not go empty handed, give me good blessings to show for all of my efforts at every point.
  5. Lord, let all your good plans for my life and destiny always come to pass. Do not allow anything to cripple or truncate my destiny.
  6. Jacob served Laban faithfully. Father we pray for the right spirit to serve you. Give us the heart of humility so that we can serve you faithfully.
  7. Father, bless the work of my hands and that of every member of Freedom Arena. We will not serve you in vain and there shall be rewards for our efforts in Jesus’ name.
  8. I refuse to be outsmarted; lord grant me wisdom that will give me victory over my oppressors in life.
  9. Lord, increase my greatness in this year of glory.
  10. Lord, give me an upper hand over all my adversaries this year, what they meant for evil, turn it around for my good in Jesus mighty name.

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