As we begin today’s devotional, we remember that Jacob has now married both Rachel and Leah, whom, along with their handmaidens, have born him 11 sons. As his family grows, Jacob considers his future. He has now spent 14 years working for Laban without sufficient compensation, and he is ready to head back home and start his own family. However, Uncle Laban recognizes how much God has prospered him through the work of Jacob, and he is unwilling to let Jacob leave. He offers Jacob the extremely rare privilege to name his own wages if he will stay. But, even as they both agree on the wages, these two tricksters can’t help themselves from trying to get the better of the deal.
Please Read Genesis 30:25-43.
The wages are agreed upon. Jacob will get every goat that is white and white spotted, and every sheep that is black or black spotted. Since, as a rule, goats were black and sheep were white, this seems to be a good deal for Laban. But Laban isn't content with a good deal; he tries to trick Jacob by removing even those few sheep and goats that should be Jacob’s according to their deal (35-36).
But the most cunning plans of men can’t stop the blessing of God.
Jacob uses an ancient superstition to try to breed the sheep and goats in such a way that the strongest of the flock will become his, according to his agreed upon wages. I love the commentary that Tremper Longman III gives on this event in his book, “How to Read Genesis”:
“What was it about Jacob’s method that led to this great result? Nothing. This seems to have been a rural legend that sheep that mated in front of something that was streaked would be streaked themselves. Nothing in modern science would lead us to think that there is anything to Jacob’s procedure. That leads us to one conclusion: God caused this to happen, so Jacob could get his fair share,” 141.
Jacob himself admits as much when discussing these events with his wives in 31:9, “Thus God has taken away the livestock of your father and given them to me.”
These two tricksters have tried to foil one another from the start, but God’s plans will not be foiled. God is supernaturally guiding these events so that His chosen descendant of Abraham will be blessed: Jacob will sire twelve sons who will become the patriarchs of the twelve tribes of Israel; Jacob will flourish materially so that Israel can experience the blessing of God; and Jacob will relocate to dwell in the Promised Land. Just as God has promised.
God has declared it, so it will happen.
This is a good reminder for each one of us today: God is always faithful to His promises. You can trust God at His Word.
No matter how cruel your boss is, no matter how often he changes your wages, your hours, or your assignments; you can trust God at His Word.
No matter how manipulative your employees are, no matter how deceptive, how selfish, how disloyal; you can trust God at His Word.
No matter what the people around you may do, God will always remain faithful to His promises. You can trust Him at His Word.
COMMENTS FOR THIS POST HAVE BEEN DISABLED.