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Summary: Part 3 of a series on the life of Jacob

Approval or Achievement?

Dying To Self, Part 3

If you have your bible turn to Genesis 29

We’ve been looking for the last couple weeks

at the life of Jacob,

and one of the things we saw is that

God uses conflicted, complicated people,

which is a good thing

because all of us are conflicted, complicated people.

And despite the fact that we’re far from perfect,

God loves us and still has a plan for us,

and is still in the process

of making us more like Christ.

Today we’re going to look at a story in which

all the different characters

are trying to control their future,

and manipulate their destiny,

and from their mistakes and choices,

we’re going to see some lessons for our own lives.

Jacob has just left home,

he’s running from his brother Esau,

because he stole Esau’s blessing

and Esau wants to kill him,

we talked about that story a couple weeks ago,

and learned that

God can’t bless who you pretend to be.

So Jacob is heading north to his Uncle Laban’s place,

Gen 29:1

Then Jacob continued on his journey and came to the land of the eastern peoples. 2 There he saw a well in the open country, with three flocks of sheep lying near it because the flocks were watered from that well. The stone over the mouth of the well was large. 3 When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone away from the well's mouth and water the sheep.

So they had a system set up,

Because the stone was so large,

they would wait until

all the shepherds with their flocks got there,

and then they’d move it together.

Then they would return the stone to its place over the mouth of the well.

4 Jacob asked the shepherds, "My brothers, where are you from?"

"We're from Harran," they replied.

Well, that’s exactly where Jacob was headed,

that’s where his Uncle lived,

so…

5 He said to them, "Do you know Laban, Nahor's grandson?"

"Yes, we know him," they answered.

6 Then Jacob asked them, "Is he well?"

"Yes, he is," they said, "and here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep."

7 "Look," he said, "the sun is still high; it is not time for the flocks to be gathered. Water the sheep and take them back to pasture."

In other words,

you guys are wasting perfectly good daylight, sitting around

waiting on other people to move the stone,

why don’t you get the sheep back out there

where they can eat.

8 "We can't," they replied, "until all the flocks are gathered and the stone has been rolled away from the mouth of the well. Then we will water the sheep."

9 While he was still talking with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep, for she was their shepherd. 10 When Jacob saw Rachel daughter of Laban, his mother's brother, and Laban's sheep, he went over and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well

All by himself,

and watered his uncle's sheep.

Now you have to understand, Rachel was a looker.

And when Jacob sees her, he does by himself

what normally took several men to do.

He rolls the stone away and waters her sheep.

Which just proves,

there’s no limits what a man will do

to impress a woman.

These other guys are standing around

waiting to do it together,

but Jacob says,

Oh no, I got this,

and he singlehandedly bench-presses the stone

when the hot girl walks into the gym.

Then the next thing he does is a little forward…

11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel

Its like, hey girl, did you see me move that stone?

and began to weep aloud.

Now there’s a lot going on here,

some of it is cultural,

but some of it is emotional,

You don’t really see this happening in the bible,

where a guy kisses a girl and gets emotional

the first time they meet,

so its pretty obvious that right from the start,

Jacob has a thing for Rachel.

By the way, in bible times

it was not considered taboo

for you to marry your cousin,

hopefully things have changed in your extended family

concerning that practice,

I know that our family backgrounds are not all from Ohio,

so I don’t want to make any assumptions,

if you know what I mean.

Verse 12

He had told Rachel that he was a relative of her father and a son of Rebekah. So she ran and told her father.

13 As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister's son, he hurried to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his home, and there Jacob told him all these things. Then Laban said to him, "You are my own flesh and blood."

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