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Genesis 29

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Illus: Family history. Dad’s side—hitting on cousin.
Swooning Joanna. First time I met she fussed at me.
Filipino pastors. James Taylor Songs.
Illus: Family history. Dad’s side—hitting on cousin.
Last week: Central point is that God is with us, and He can use anyone for his kingdom.
Joanna’s eyes
This week we must be encouraged that not only is God with us, but that He can fulfill His promises even through our failures and hardships: in this story, even through human deceit.
Remember, He promised not just to be with Jacob in the wilderness, but where ever he went. He promised him a family and offspring, he promised to bring him back safely. NOTHING CAN STOP THESE PROMISES FROM COMING TRUE.
Last week: Central point is that God is with us, and He can use anyone for his kingdom.
This week we must be encouraged that not only is God with us, but that He can fulfill His promises even through our failures and hardships: in this story, even through human deceit.
Background: Jacob fleeing his brother in fear of his life, seeking refuge with his mothers family and finding a wife and returning.
Bethel. Jacob meets God and sees He is present and active in this world. Jesus being the true ladder that connects heaven and earth.
Remember, He promised not just to be with Jacob in the wilderness, but where ever he went. He promised him a family and offspring, he promised to bring him back safely. NOTHING CAN STOP THESE PROMISES FROM COMING TRUE.
Are you driven by faith or by desire?
1. We must be driven by God’s Word and not by our desires.
Abraham sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac. Remember his prayer and worship or the Lord and how righteous Rebekah was described. The servant was truly guided by the Lord and able to return quickly.
. Not so much. Jacob knows the story of and he had met the Lord at Bethel, but he has a long ways to go in his sanctification.
2. We must remember that God is in control, even when we are deceived.
3. We must find our worth and value in the Lord alone.
Jacob here uses his own power and strength and intuition. He is intellectual but he does not seek the approval of the Lord. Nor does he submit to his plan.
Sometimes the Lord uses difficulties simply to shape us and grow us in our faith. Other times, he uses the, to reveal a blind spot in our lives or something that has become an idol.
We should want this type of difficulty and hardship and to be refined by the Lord and not just left in our sinfulness with judgment certain.

1 We must be driven by God’s Word and not by our desires. 1–14.

Jacob now desires to obey his parents and the Lord by finding a wife. That’s a good thing. But Jacob is still deceived by his own power and intellect.
He has arrived at the place of destination but does not seek the Lord’s counsel. Instead he talks with some rude shepherds before they point him to Rachel.
Rachel is tending her fathers sheep. Jacob does not praise the Lord, instead he uses his own strength an opens the well without everyone being there. A show off.
Surely Jacob was struck by Rachel’s beauty but here the emphasis is on Laban and the fact that Jacob has completed the task of his parents by finding Laban. He greets Rachel, warmly but not necessarily romantically. She runs and tells Laban that Jacob has arrived.
Laban of course remembers all of the money that came when his sister was purchased as a bride and so he runs to Jacob, only to find him alone with no parade.
Jacob tells his uncle what has happened and notice that Laban says “you are like me”
Illus: my kids are like me.
But what Laban means is... “I am a deceiver too”
Jacob stays with his Uncle for a month and his uncle begins scheming.
Whereas Isaac was driven by his desires for food, Jacob is driven by his desire for beauty.

2 We must remember that God is in control, even when we are deceived. 15–30.

During this month with his uncle Jacob works for free and is very strong. So his uncle wants him to stay. Remember that he was supposed to be gone for a few days...
Here’s where Moses, the author drops the elephant in the room.
LABAN HAS TWO DAUGHTERS!
Leah is the older. But she has no sparkle in her eyes. Although it’s interesting the notes about eyes between Isaac and Leah. Her name also means cow.
Rachel on the other hand is beautiful and shapely.
During this month Jacob has fallen in love with Rachel. He has been swept away by her beauty and has become blind to traditions and to sound reasoning.
It was custom that the oldest marry first. Obviously Leah has no takers. But once Jacob gives a price for Rachel, Laban knows he will find no takers for Leah comparable to Jacob.
7 years of labor was equivalent to 70 shekels. The average bride-price was between 30-40 shekels. Side Note: Remember that Abraham paid 400 shekels for the land to burry Sarah. Jacob has no money and therefore he must work for wife.
Jacob is overcome by his affections for Rachel and tries to manipulate his uncle by offering a high price.
“Her”?
7 years go by fast because of his love for Rachel. They seem like a few days, however Jacob has been gone for years away from his parents and the promise land.
But Laban seems to have forgotten the arrangement. He is greedy and a deceiver.
Jacob is emphatic. Give me my wife. Anytime GIVE is used in Genesis it is a desperate cry.
Laban doesn’t invite Jacob’s family per custom. But he does host a drinking party and feast.
Weddings in the ANE were different.
Jacob the deceiver is deceived by Laban who switches Rachel for Leah before the wedding is consummated.
The morning after. “What have you done!?!?!?”
The same wording here as in Genesis and with Abraham and Abimelech.
Jacob has found a match in his uncle who all along had been planning to extort his nephew. GREED IS LABAN’S GOD.
Jacob has a choice to make but he is blinded by desire.
Jacob will pay severely for his mistakes but God is in control even over his mistakes and He can turn them into blessings. However the consequences of Jacob’s sin will be played out for the rest of the book.
Jesus—Judas deceit.

3 We must find our worth and value in the Lord alone. 31-35.

Rachel is loved but barren. Leah it hated but has children. Both have idols and long for what they don’t have.
Notice that it is the Lord who opens Leah’s womb.
Names indicate Leah’s journey to faith.
First three...maybe my husband will love me.
Judah. Praise God. God loves me and that is enough. Freeing.
Matthew 8:11 CSB
I tell you that many will come from east and west to share the banquet with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.
It is Grace that we need. Not human merit.
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