Summary: Find true security by trusting in the Lord, not a lie or an idol.
If you’re a Green Bay Packers fan, then the best thing about the Super Bowl this year (2011) was the Packers win! The next best thing was some of the commercials. Here’s one of my favorites – Junior Darth Vader. (Show the Volkswagen Passat: Young Darth Vader video from http://msn.foxsports.com/video/shows/super-bowl-commercials-2011 about a young boy dressed as Darth Vader, who tries unsuccessfully to use his “super powers” until his father intervenes and starts the car with a remote unbeknown to the boy.)
This little guy reminds me of those who think they have some sort of power or ability to make things happen, when all along it is their Father in Heaven who has the real power.
It was like we saw Jacob doing last week, depending on a silly mating scheme to get rich, when all along it was God who prospered him. The only thing he got from his scheme was frustration and pain.
Well, this week, we’re going to see Jacob at it again. Only this time, instead of searching for success and prosperity, he is looking for security and protection for himself and his family.
Now, that’s a worthy goal. Every husband and father wants to protect his family. But the question is: How do we find that protection? How do we find real security for ourselves and those we love?
Genesis 31:1-2 Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were saying, “Jacob has taken everything our father owned and has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father.” And Jacob noticed that Laban’s attitude toward him was not what it had been. (NIV)
Laban had become hostile to Jacob, jealous of his success.
Genesis 31:3-9 Then the LORD said to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.” So Jacob sent word to Rachel and Leah to come out to the fields where his flocks were. He said to them, “I see that your father’s attitude toward me is not what it was before, but the God of my father has been with me. You know that I’ve worked for your father with all my strength, yet your father has cheated me by changing my wages ten times. However, God has not allowed him to harm me. If he said, ‘The speckled ones will be your wages,’ then all the flocks gave birth to speckled young; and if he said, ‘The streaked ones will be your wages,’ then all the flocks bore streaked young. So God has taken away your father’s livestock and has given them to me. (NIV)
Jacob finally recognizes the source of his success. It was GOD who prospered him, not his elaborate mating scheme. He continues…
Genesis 31:10-13 “In breeding season I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled or spotted. The angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob.’ I answered, ‘Here I am.’ And he said, ‘Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.’” (NIV)
Jacob tells his wives, “I’ve met with God. He’s the one who helped me succeed. Now, he wants me to leave,” which they agree to do.
Genesis 31:14-16 Then Rachel and Leah replied, “Do we still have any share in the inheritance of our father’s estate? Does he not regard us as foreigners? Not only has he sold us, but he has used up what was paid for us. Surely all the wealth that God took away from our father belongs to us and our children. So do whatever God has told you.” (NIV)
There is no love lost between Laban’s daughters and him. They feel like he’s sold them like slaves and squandered all the money he received for them, so they’re ready to go too.
Genesis 31:17-21 Then Jacob put his children and his wives on camels, and he drove all his livestock ahead of him, along with all the goods he had accumulated in Paddan Aram, to go to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan. When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household gods. Moreover, Jacob deceived Laban the Aramean by not telling him he was running away. So he fled with all he had, and crossing the River, he headed for the hill country of Gilead. (NIV)