Summary: Jacob marries Leah & Rachel. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: Genesis chapter 29
• For the romantics among you;
• Let me remind you that it in 20 days time it will be St Valentines Day:
• A day when traditionally we send a card to our loved ones;
• And maybe something extra e.g. a red rose or a romantic meal etc.
• Even though we know his name;
• Not too many people know who St Valentine was or why he became a saint.
• Valentine was a priest who lived during the reign of the Roman emperor Claudius,
• The emperor Claudius decided to pass a law banning marriage.
• The reason he did this was simple.
• Not enough young men were not enlisting in the army;
• They preferred to stay home and marry and have a family.
• Valentine knew that God instituted the family and His will included great marriages.
• So, he kept on performing marriage ceremonies – but secretly.
• One night he was caught marrying a couple and ;
• He was thrown in jail and sentenced to death.
• During his imprisonment he was often visited by the jailer’s daughter;
• They talked for hours and a deep friendship developed between them.
• On the day, Valentine was due to die,
• He left her a note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty.
• He signed it, "Love from your Valentine."
• That note started the custom of exchanging love notes on Valentine’s Day.
• It was written on the day he died,
• February 14th in the year 269 A.D.
I don’t know if you believe in falling in love at first sight:
• Jacob did and in our study this evening (Genesis chapter 29);
• He experienced it!
• But as Shakespeare wrote inn his play A Midsummer Night's Dream (1:1):
• "The course of true love never did run smooth."
• And Jacob is about to discover the truth of that statement as well!
• As we will see in this chapter Jacob the deceiver becomes Jacob the deceived!
(1). Protection (vs 1).
• The distance between Bethel and Haran was about 500 miles,
• This meant a long and dangerous journey.
• Jacob unable to return home because of his angry brother,
• Needs to make that journey;
• He needs to find his mother's family,
• And hope that they will receive him into their home.
Notice: Jacob makes this journey confidently:
• The Hebrew language in verse 1 is very suggestive and colourful:
• It reads: "Then Jacob lifted up his feet."
• It’s like our saying; “With a bounce in his step, off he went”.
• The picture painted in verse 1 is that of a new found joy and bounce in Jacob’s life.
• Last week you will have heard about how Jacob experienced an encounter with God:
• When God met with Jacob in a dream;
• And this led him to make a vow, a new commitment to his God.
• And Jacob also received promises from God.
• And so as he starts this long dangerous journey;
• He is sure - absolutely sure - of God’s protection, love, and care for him!
A promise from God is a statement we can depend on with absolute confidence
• A promise is only as good as the one who makes it.
• I could promise my kids a trip to Butlins or a trip to the moon.
• I have the ability to keep my promise of taking them to Butlins but not to the moon,
• Whatever God promises he has the ability to deliver the goods.
• He made a promise to Jacob in chapter 28 at Bethel and he would keep that promise!
(2). Providence (vs 1+4+6).
The word ‘Providence’ is made up of two words:
• “Pro” means “Before” and “Video” means “to see”;
• The word ‘Providence’ simply means “to see before”
• So when we talk about the providence of God;
• We mean that God ‘sees before’ and plans accordingly.
• In other words nothing ever takes God by surprise;
• He is always one step ahead (or rather many steps ahead.
• Alfred Hitchcock the famous director always appeared in each one of his films,
• Normally it was just for a few seconds or minute (a cameo role)
• In contrast Shakespeare never appears in any of his plays;
• His presence is pervasive, every act, every line of dialogue, bars the imprint of his pen,
• He is the genius behind all the characters,
• Each twist of the plot, every poignant ending.
In much the same way God is at work in the life of the believer!
• He is the invisible God (more like Shakespeare than Hitchcock);