Lessons Jacob Learned

2 November 2014 am – Genesis 29:1-30:24 – Gen 14 – Scott Childs

Introduction: During my Bible training, our school president often said, “Boys, the best thing to learn about history is to learn from history.” This morning, we really need to learn the lessons Jacob learned.

Transition: We are going to look at three lessons Jacob learned.

1.        We Can Always Trust God (Ge 29:1-12)

a.         Jacob had been concerned about his future

1)         We read in Gen 28:20 that Jacob was concerned about his safety, food, and provisions.

2)         In his prayer to God, he asked God to protect and provide.

b.         God took him safely to Haran (v.1)

1)         God met his needs and kept him safe and healthy during his entire 800 km trip.

2)         Just as with his father Isaac, the first relative he met was Rachel who will become his wife.

3)         Jacob, excited to see a relative after his long journey, removed the heavy stone from the well and drew all the water needed to water Laban’s sheep (v.10).

4)         Jacob kissed Rachel (v.11). This was not an intimate kiss but a friendly greeting kiss.

c.          We can draw helpful principles from this.

1)         God’s word is always trustworthy.

V   (Numbers 23:19) “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”

2)         We ought to trust the Lord instead of worrying.

V   (Proverbs 3:5-6) “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

V   (Psalms 37:5) “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”

V   (Proverbs 28:26) “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.”

2.        We Always Reap What We Sow (Ge 29:13-30)

a.         Jacob had been a deceiver

1)         He tricked his brother into selling his birthright for a bowl of soup.

2)         He deceived his dad into giving him the first-born’s blessing.

b.         Now the deceiver is deceived

1)         Laban had two daughters. Leah the older was tender eyed. Her eyes were soft or unattractive. Rachel the younger was beautiful (v.17).

2)         Jacob loved Rachel and asked Laban if he could purchase Rachel for his wife by working seven years as his servant (v.18). Laban agreed (v.19).

3)         Because Jacob loved Rachel, the seven years of service flew by quickly (v.20).

4)         Wedding day arrived and a feast was prepared (v.21-22).

5)         In the evening, after the wedding feast, Laban brought Leah to Jacob instead of Rachel. Because it was dark and the sisters were similar in many ways, Jacob did not now until morning that Laban had tricked him (v.23-26).

6)         Laban offered to give him Rachel for another seven years of work (v.27-30).

c.          Why did God allow this deception?

1)         The only reason I can find is to teach Jacob that we always reap what we sow. The deceiver got deceived. His past deception caused many bitter feelings in his family. Now he was tasting the bitter fruit of deception.

2)         The principle of sowing and reaping is still true today.

²  A farmer’s livelihood depends on this principle. He knows that he will reap what he sows, he will reap after he sows (the growing season takes time), and he will reap more than he sows (40, 60, or 100 times more).

a)         God reminds us in Galatians that the principle of sowing and reaping also applies to our spiritual lives.

V   (Galatians 6:7-8) “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

b)         If a person neglects Christ’s gift of salvation, he will reap everlasting destruction separated from God in hell.

V   (John 3:36) “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

3)         If a Christian sins, he will reap God’s chastening. However, if a Christian lives a godly life walking in the Spirit, he will reap God’s abundant blessing for all eternity. Remember, “God is not mocked”. You will reap what you sow. You will reap after you sow. You will reap more than you sow.

O  If you are not right with God, you are planting trouble and you will reap disaster.

3.        Monogamy For Life is Always the Best (Ge 29:31-30:24)

a.         In the beginning, God planned monogamous marriage.

1)         Monogamous marriage is one man and one woman married for life. That is the marriage God’s plan.

V   (Genesis 2:24) “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

2)         God created one man and one woman for each other and married them for life. Though God tolerated polygamy during the Old Testament time, it was not His plan.

3)         Jesus stressed the permanence of marriage.

V   (Matthew 19:6) “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

4)         Jesus also said that divorce is never God’s plan from the very beginning.

V   (Matthew 19:8) “He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.”

b.         Jacob’s Polygamy brought him many problems

1)         His favouritism caused fighting

a)         The word “hate” in v.31 does not mean he was cruel to Leah, but that he disliked her compared to his love for Rachel.

b)         Jacob struggled with comparing his two wives.

O  The same problem exists in second marriages today. Comparing the new spouse with the former can cause many troubles even if it is never mentioned aloud.

2)         When God saw Jacob’s bad attitude toward Leah, He gave her children but not Rachel. Jacob knew that children were a blessing from the Lord. Both he and his father were born in answer to prayer.

3)         After Leah bore four boys, Rachel began to envy her sister and demanded children from Jacob (Ge 30:1). This made Jacob angry (Ge 30:2).

4)         Jacob then married Bilhah and Zilpah (Rachel and Leah’s maids). This got him more children but also more strife.

²  Two wrongs never make a right!

5)         Finally after seven years, Rachel had a son named Joseph (Ge 30:22-24).

O  Remember that God planned marriage for life. If you are married, determine to keep your marriage vows until you or your spouse dies, even if this is not your first marriage. Divorce and remarriage always bring added problems. Drawing near to God is the answer to marital conflicts, not divorce. Ponder this promise from God.

V   (Galatians 5:16) “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”

Conclusion: Jacob learned that we can always trust God. He learned that we always reap what we sow. And he learned that monogamy for life is always best. In James 1:22 God says, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” Let’s ask God to help us learn from history! Has God identified a need in your life? If you need to get things right with God, do it right now. If you are not sure you are saved. Make sure today.

Song: Have Thine Own Way – 388