The Labor of Love
Sermon shared by Victor Yap
Summary: Couples, Pt. 4
Audience: General adults
Love is a powerful stimulant for change, but it is not a permanent prescription for change. Falling in love doesn’t pay the bills of a debtor, do the homework of a procrastinator or break the chokehold of a habit. No love potion can remedy a spineless, boneless or clueless person. However, love will always lend a helping hand, to inspire and change a willing and motivated person.
The education of Jacob began when he changed from lazy bum and life support to hard worker. Before this incident, Jacob was the little emperor at home in Canaan. He came from money even if had yet to get any, but he really didn’t have much of a life outside of the home nor did he have to lift a finger at home; so he was the little brat who became the master of the house, spending his time picking on, toying with and scoring against his no-brainer of a brother, Esau. His brother’s vow to kill him (Gen 27:41) when Jacob deceived him of his birthright forced him to leave home and sent him hurtling across the desert to his mother’s ancestral homeland, where he found a different and uneven kind of match in his uncle Laban, who is the brother of Jacob’s mother (Gen 27:43). Jacob the smooth-skin (Gen 27:11), homely Mama’s boy grew of age without home, money and security in his new environment.
Jacob’s usefulness and breakthrough began day one in the desert. He had good influence around him and a powerful working model – Rachel, and he had better shape up because Rachel was no slouch! Rachel was a shepherdess, a good and responsible one to be able to keep her job in the company of men. Rachel proved herself as the eyes, the voice and the guide of the sheep under her care. She was not the type to stay at home, see the shepherds off, and leave the job to men.
Jacob discovered the value of hard work, and it was never late. He transitioned from boy to man when he showed a sense of accomplishment, a stomach for responsibility and a direction in life. Jacob, who had everything done for him by Mama, began to do something for himself and for others (v 10) – he rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle’s sheep. Jacob knew that Mama would tolerate him as a freeloader, but potential in-laws would not. When he stayed with his uncle, he worked hard for his meals, room and board. He did not stop working from day one and even worked for nothing for a whole month. Work was a virtue and never a torture with Rachel by his side. His work ethic was second to none, his learning knew no bounds and his relationship with others improved by leaps and bounds.
Love is a Commitment, Not a Ceremony
16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel was lovely in form, and beautiful. 18 Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.” 19 Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. 21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give
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