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Genesis 31:1-55 - Being Led by God - Part 1
As we have been studying Jacob, what has plagued this man much of his life, and what has landed him in so much trouble, is the fact that he struggles in the arena of ethics, and he struggles in this area of doing the right thing. And one of the things that Jacob has to learn is that there were issues in which he could be legally right and yet be completely wrong in an ethical sense.
So as we are seeking to order our lives, we need to see that the question is not: “Is it legal,” but rather, “Is it ethical, is it right?” For example, you're heading down hwy 63 and there’s a young mother with a baby and she’s stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire. Now we could drive right by her and we wouldn’t break any laws, but is that the right thing to do?
And this is the area where Jacob has totally blown it. This was a guy who was always bending the rules, pushing the envelope... and as a result of that He is going to discover himself painted into a corner. And it is in this corner where the Lord is going to begin dealing with him!
Vs. 1-2 - “Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were saying, “Jacob has taken everything our father owned and has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father.” And Jacob noticed that Laban’s attitude toward him was not what it had been.”
Now, you remember Jacob had said in our last message - “I want out of here.” And you remember that Labon recognized that God’s hand was upon this man, that this guy had the midas touch. Whatever this man did just seemed to turn out well.
Now Labon, we don’t know exactly what he had before as it concerns material possessions and wealth, but what we do know is that after hooking up with Jacob, after having Jacob working under him for 20 years, this is now one of the wealthiest men in that part of the world. And when you’ve got an employee like that, your not exactly anxious to see them go!
Notice that Labon’s sons here, they are accusing Jacob of having stolen from their father. And you remember the way that God had orchestrated this deal which Jacob will reiterate here in a minute, but God had orchestrated this deal in such a way that there was no doubt that there was no theft on the part of Jacob.
I won’t go through all the details again, but you remember that Jacob had taken all of the blemished or imperfect animals from Labon’s flock, hauled them a few miles away, so all that was left of Labon’s flock were perfect animals, which don’t normally produce imperfect ones.
So Jacob said, “All right, I’m going to work your flock and the only thing I’m going to keep is the kids that come forth from this pure flock that are impure or spotted.” So Labon’s thinkin’, “Dude, you're nuts, go for it.”
So God once again, as He usually does in the Scriptures, really stacks the deck against Himself. So God Had supernaturally prospered this man. He said: “I’m going to bless you. Remember, through you now this covenant is going to flow.”
So Jacob ammasses all this wealth and all these animals and all these servants... All that to say - Jacob hasn’t stolen anything! Of course, Labon might be the ONLY guy he hasn’t ripped off up to this point!
This is the sons of Labon being taken over by - LISTEN NOW - ENVY! Envy can certainly distort reality, as it does here. It obscures judgment. A person that is captured by envy has a very skewed perception of reality and that’s exactly what we have going on here with Labon’s sons.
And, if you remember, why did they put Jesus on the cross? Matt. 27:18 tells us it was because of envy. “For He knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered Him up.”
You remember John 21:22, Peter’s getting jealous of John and he’s looking over at John, and Peter says: “Well, what about him, Lord?” And Jesus says: “Well, what is that to you?”
Listen, everything that God would have us to focus upon, the devil and the flesh want to come in and pervert. In this case, as God would have us to look at others and serve them, the devil and the flesh would have us look at others and envy them.
There are a couple of “C” words that we need to stay away from as a Christian. One of them is “Condemnation.” And then there is “Compare.” We need to put as many miles as we can between us and comparing ourselves to others.
To the degree that we compare ourselves to others, that is the degree to which we will remain spiritually immature. To the degree that we compare ourselves to others, that is the degree at which we will arrive at conclusions that do not align themselves with reality.
Join us next week as we continue with Chapter 31. Blessings to you all.