Summary: If we’re going to "put the icing" on the days God makes for us, we must enjoy his delights and embrace his discipline.
Lauri Johnson of Hudsonville, Michigan, talks about a wonderful afternoon her two sons, 12-year-old Matthew and 6-year-old Ryan, spent with her parents recently. When they were ready to leave, Matthew’s grandpa said to him, “You made my day.”
Matthew replied, “God made your day; we just put the icing on it.” (Lauri Johnson, Hudsonville, Michigan; www.PreachingToday.com)
How true that is! God makes our day every day! Whether or not we enjoy it depends on our attitude.
Do we want to put the icing on all our days? Do we want to enjoy each one God gives to us? Then let’s learn some lessons from the life of Jacob.
Last time, before the Christmas season, we left him in the wilderness scared and running away from home, because his brother had threatened to kill him. That’s where God met with him and promised to bless him. Today, we pick up the story where he arrives at his destination and God begins to fulfill that promise.
Genesis 29:1 Then Jacob continued on his journey and came to the land of the eastern peoples. (NIV)
The Hebrew literally says, “Jacob picked up his feet and came to the land of the eastern peoples.” Jacob has just met with God. His heavy burden has been lifted, and now he is walking with a lighter step. His fear has been turned to joy, and he can’t wait to see what God has for him in this “land of the eastern peoples.”
Genesis 29:2 There he saw a well in the field, 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 (i.e., too large for one average man to move). (NIV)
Genesis 29:3 When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone away from the well’s mouth and water the sheep. Then they would return the stone to its place over the mouth of the well. (NIV)
They had to wait for everybody to get there, because it took more than one man to move the stone.
Genesis 29:4-6 Jacob asked the shepherds, “My brothers, where are you from?” “We’re from Haran,” they replied. He said to them, “Do you know Laban, Nahor’s grandson?” “Yes, we know him,” they answered. Then Jacob asked them, “Is he well?” “Yes, he is,” they said, “and here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep.” (NIV)
Isn’t that amazing? Jacob just happens to run into some shepherds who are from Haran, the town he was told to find (Genesis 27:43; 28:2). They just happen to know Laban, the man he is looking for, and he just happens to run into his future wife.
What a coincidence! Right? Oh no! You and I both know that God was directing Jacob’s steps. God had providentially brought Jacob to the place He wanted him to be, and Jacob is wild with excitement.
Genesis 29:7 “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.” (NIV)
In other words, “Get done what you came to do and get out of here.” You see, Jacob wants to meet the girl without an audience, but these shepherds are not about to miss the show.
Genesis 29:8 “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.” (NIV)
They know Jacob is mesmerized by the girl coming down the path, and they’re not about to miss out on this budding romance. It’s probably the most exciting thing they’ve seen in months.
Genesis 29:9-10 While he was still talking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 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 and watered his uncle’s sheep. (NIV)
All by himself, Jacob moves the stone that most men couldn’t move by themselves. What’s he doing? Isn’t it obvious? He’s trying to impress the girl with his strength. Jacob is in love!
Genesis 29:11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep aloud. (NIV)
Now, the kiss was probably a customary greeting, but the loud weeping was from a man overcome with emotion.
Genesis 29:12-14a He had told Rachel that he was a relative of her father and a son of Rebekah. So she ran and told her father. 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.” (NIV)