Summary: Many times we fail to receive the Lord’s blessings because we put what we love before us rather than what the Lord wants.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban,
“what is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I?
Why have you deceived me?” Laban replied, “ It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.”
Back in college, my agriculture extension lecturer used to warn us about our field work activities that we ought to be careful when visiting some homesteads. He emphasized on the significance of learning the peoples culture and traditions. This was due to the fact that in some families, several large stones are placed in the compound in a strategic place. Each of these stones represented a daughter in the family a therefore a prospective suitor would sit on the stone which represented the lady in question; say, the first stone represented the eldest girl in the family and therefore any young man found on the stone, would prompt the lady represented being given to!
I realized that Jacob fell into such a trap at Laban’s. the Bible explains how Jacob loved Rachel and desired to marry her for seven years of deployment. Jacob had ignored the culture and traditions of the people that the younger daughter is not given for in marriage before the eldest one. I tend to think of the assumption that Jacob made in imagining that he was an exception by being a close relative to Laban. Jacob was beaten at his own game, but for the love he had for Rachel, the seven years seemed to him like only a few days. Jacob didn’t take Laban to a court of justice nor did he look for a short cut like many would have done.
In Matthew 6:33 the Bible says that you seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. But many other Christians rush for these other things instead of the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Many end up in disappointments and frustrations for following the wrong formulae’s. We all know the importance of formulaes for us to attain the right answers. A friend of mine bought a mobile phone that was on offer and with the phone, he was given a gift of a camera. Within a short period of time, he sold the handset and was left with the camera and the sim card. He testified that he uses the camera more often and that it has been a blessing to his family. He couldn’t have got the camera if he hadn’t shown interest with the handset.
There are issues in life which are important and need to be dealt with, given the urgency but only the individual makes the ultimate decision on which to give the first priority. They say, ‘first things first’ and this acts on the same divine way, the only difference being that our firsts may be the Lord’s tenths! Many a times we fall victims of our own ignorance. The Word of God tells us to ask of Him and He shall make the nations our inheritance and the ends of the earth our possession (Psalm 2:8 ). We fail to receive because we do not ask. The disciples assumed that Jesus understood they were about to drown (Luke 8:22-25 ) but he was actually waiting for them to wake him up. There is always a step that as Christians, we all need to take, and in the right direction too, in order for us to receive answers to our prayers.