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Reconciliation

Genesis   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Intro:

Laban’s Search

Genesis 31:32–35 ESV
Anyone with whom you find your gods shall not live. In the presence of our kinsmen point out what I have that is yours, and take it.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them. So Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s tent and into the tent of the two female servants, but he did not find them. And he went out of Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s. Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel’s saddle and sat on them. Laban felt all about the tent, but did not find them. And she said to her father, “Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the way of women is upon me.” So he searched but did not find the household gods.
Laban had been restrained by God from harming and/or hindering Jacob
Gen 31:32-
Genesis 31:29 ESV
It is in my power to do you harm. But the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.’
Gen 31:
Wicked people think they have great power, but they forget that they have nothing other than what the Lord temporarily allows them to possess.
Wicked people think they have great power, but they forget that they have nothing other than what the Lord temporarily allows them to possess. Remember Jesus Christ told Pilate, “You have no power other than what has been given to you from above.”
Wicked people think they have great power, but they forget that they have nothing other than what the Lord temporarily allows them to possess. Remember Jesus Christ told Pilate, “You have no power other than what has been given to you from above.”
Do not fear the wicked since God is the ruler of everyone.
Do not fear the wicked since God is the ruler of everyone.
He sets the limits on others
He blesses and curses
He delivers from oppressors and to the oppressor.
Laban goes on his search in part to justify the pursuit.
Like all wicked, they feel that they can deceive men, but God is never deceived.
They will bear the full measure of their sin.
There is no one who can hide from God
Laban states that all that Jacob took really belonged to Laban—but what could he do to resist?
Rachael’s deception did not allow Laban to retrieve his household gods.
AP: Others may still try to disgrace good people with evil insinuations.
Do not listen to their empty lies as they will lead to nothing but eternal harm for you.
God is able to stifle, frustrate and chasten the wicked that abuse the righteous.
David wrote,
Psalm 23:5–6 ESV
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
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Develop a thick shield of faith that can protect you from their evil attempts to place wrong deeds upon you.
Learn to develop a thick shield of faith that can protect you from their evil attempts to place wrong deeds upon you. Oppressive people hate to admit that they are wrong or have made mistakes because of their foolish pride. Those who tend to be unfair in little things are usually oppressive when they are given greater power. Be careful of who you choose to work for as there is a tendency to become like those we associate ourselves with.
Learn to be bigger than the problem person by reacting as Christ would.
Jacob teaches us how to forbear under persecution for the sake of our godly testimony. Instead of fighting Laban, Jacob speaks patiently, graciously and cooperatively with his father-in-law.
When you are falsely accused trust the Lord to give you the strength to bear up under false accusations.
Learn to be bigger than the problem person by reacting as Christ would. When you are falsely accused trust the Lord to give you the strength to bear up under false accusations. The Lord will rescue and deliver you from every difficulty. It is great comfort to know that we have a clear conscience even if no one else understands our innocence. God will vindicate the righteous in the proper time.
God will vindicate the righteous in the proper time.
Avoid vengeance
Do not take vengeance into your own hands, but leave that for the proper authority--the wrath of God. In fact, if your enemy is hungry, feed him. If your oppressor is thirsty give him something to drink for you will add greater conviction to him by your good deeds.
Don’t seek revenge with your own hands, but leave that for the proper authority--the wrath of God.
We are told that if your enemy is hungry, feed him. If your oppressor is thirsty give him something to drink for you will add greater conviction to him by your good deeds.
Romans 12:19 ESV
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord.” ()
Rachael’s deception did not allow Laban to retrieve his household gods, the least Laban can do is to make a covenant with Jacob which would guarantee that he will never make use of those gods to further encroach upon Laban’s possessions in the future.

Treaty Between Rivals

Genesis 31:36–55 ESV
Then Jacob became angry and berated Laban. Jacob said to Laban, “What is my offense? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued me? For you have felt through all my goods; what have you found of all your household goods? Set it here before my kinsmen and your kinsmen, that they may decide between us two. These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the rams of your flocks. What was torn by wild beasts I did not bring to you. I bore the loss of it myself. From my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. There I was: by day the heat consumed me, and the cold by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes. These twenty years I have been in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God saw my affliction and the labor of my hands and rebuked you last night.” Then Laban answered and said to Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine. But what can I do this day for these my daughters or for their children whom they have borne? Come now, let us make a covenant, you and I. And let it be a witness between you and me.” So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar. And Jacob said to his kinsmen, “Gather stones.” And they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there by the heap. Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha, but Jacob called it Galeed. Laban said, “This heap is a witness between you and me today.” Therefore he named it Galeed, and Mizpah, for he said, “The Lord watch between you and me, when we are out of one another’s sight. If you oppress my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no one is with us, see, God is witness between you and me.” Then Laban said to Jacob, “See this heap and the pillar, which I have set between you and me. This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass over this heap to you, and you will not pass over this heap and this pillar to me, to do harm. The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.” So Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac, and Jacob offered a sacrifice in the hill country and called his kinsmen to eat bread. They ate bread and spent the night in the hill country. Early in the morning Laban arose and kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then Laban departed and returned home.
Gen 31:36-4
Notice the treaty is initiated by Laban and that its terms are spelled out by him.
Notice the treaty is initiated by Laban and that its terms are spelled out by him. Since Laban has not succeeded in holding Jacob in check, due to the immense blessings of Jacob’s God, Laban now calls upon Jacob’s God to do so.
Since Laban has not succeeded in holding Jacob in check, due to the immense blessings of Jacob’s God, Laban now calls upon Jacob’s God to do so.
A stone was set up as a pillar (v 45), and a pile of stones was erected as a monument (v 46).
Also, a covenant meal was shared by Jacob and Laban and the other relatives (v 54).
Laban and Jacob agreed before God to several particulars.
First, Jacob promised never to mistreat Laban’s daughters and never to take any other wives in addition to them (v 50).
Second, each covenanted that they would not pass that point to harm the other (v 52).
After having agreed to these matters, Laban said a last farewell to his daughters and their children. Blessing them, Laban returned to his home (v 55) and Jacob to his home with his family and his possessions which were secured under the Promise of God.
AP: Seek peace
Living in peace is desired.
Romans 12:18 ESV
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Though some may be rivals, seek peace
Live in a way that doesn’t intentionally offend
We can be abrasive, DON’T
The message we share can be offensive
speak it in love
Our life can convict and thus draw critieque
Live it boldly.
If you have any prayer needs of concerns please let us know, we would love to pray for you.
Closing Prayer.

Conclusion:

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