Summary: God prospers us when we work at it.
A. INTRODUCTION: GENESIS 29:1-30; 30:25-43
1. God prospers us when we work at it.
How People Prepare for Life’s Work
• Attend school, prepare self and knowledge
• Acquire skills needed on the job
• Begin at the bottom
• Perform chores at home
• Choose things to buy with our wages
• Properly complete all the paper work
2. Motivation, Jacob running for his life. “I will kill my brother” (29:41).
3. God has plans for your work. “I will keep you wherever you go” (28:15).
4. Most children have to leave home to prosper. “So Jacob went on his journey and came to the land of the people of the East” (29:1).
5. Some children have to stay home to prosper – Isaac.
6. See opportunities and seize them. “He looked and saw a well” (29:2).
7. Meeting needs (helping others) open doors. “Jacob . . . rolled the stone from the well’s mouth” (29:11).
8. Others (family or strangers) help get employment. “Brought him (Jacob) to his house” (29:13).
9. Get help from family, but don’t take advantage. “He stayed with him a month” (29:14).
10. Learn the skill of negotiation. “Tell me what should thy wages be?” (29:15).
B. DEALING WITH SETBACKS: GENESIS 29:16-28
“Laban had two daughters, Rachel was attractive and pretty, Leah had “bad eyes.” Jacob fell in love with Rachel and agreed to work 7 years as her dowry. His love was so great that the time passed swiftly. During the wedding celebration, Laban switched brides and Jacob fulfilled the marriage vow with Leah. The next morning Jacob raged at his father-in-law, but Laban suggested spending a week with Leah, because of their tradition that the oldest had to marry first. A week later Jacob was given Rachel, but had to agree to work another 7 years for her” (29:16-30, Condensed).
1. You reap in life what you sow. Jacob, who tricked his brother, got tricked by his father-in-law.
a. Laban didn’t want to be stuck with an unmarried daughter.
b. Jacob negotiated for the best.
c. God sovereignly worked His plan. The Messiah came through Leah.
2. God’s plan is one man for one woman, but He providentially works through existing cultures to complete His will.
3. Learn to work through setbacks. “The Lord has blessed you (Laban) since my (Jacob) coming” (30:30).
4. Make your boss happy and you will prosper. “Laban said, ‘The Lord has blessed me for your sake’” (30:29).
5. Negotiate your work output (what you will accomplish) and your wages (what you will be paid). Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything . . . I will feed and keep your flocks” (30:31).
6. Jacob worked on commission. Jacob agreed to give Laban the desirable sheep, and he kept the undesirable (speckled, spotted and brown)” (30:32-33).
7. This humble action was unlike Jacob.
8. God blessed Jacob because of the way he handled the situation. “God has seen my affliction and the labor of my hands” (31:42).
9. Even in the presence of God’s blessing, Jacob resorted to trickery.
a. Questionable, a conception practice with sticks.
b. Deceptive, “When the flocks were feeble, he did not put them in” (30:42).