Summary: A practical message that can position us to receive God’s abundant blessing. I am excited to share with you seven keys to growth and biblical prosperity.
Introduction: We are living in a world where people are chasing after money, riches, wealth, and property. People go any length to attain prosperity in life. Do you know that is exactly what God is offering his people? Your prosperity God’s priority. It is his promise for you.
We are in a study on the life of Jacob. God promised that he would bless Jacob. When we see the life of Jacob, it is so striking that he grew prosperous in the tough years of life in Haran.
Genesis 30:43 The man grew exceedingly prosperous and came to own large flocks, and female and male servants, and camels and donkeys. Jacob grew exceedingly prosperous. He had 11 sons, 1 daughter, wealth, flocks, and herds.
How did Jacob get his blessings? We saw how Jacob had to leave his home in Beersheba as a result of his deception and go to Haran. There Jacob married Laban’s daughters Leah and Rachel and in the bargain ended up staying in his father-in-law’s house for 20 long years.
Living in his father-in-law’s home, he got back deceit for deceit. Jacob reaps through his father-in-law’s deceit and the rivalry of his wives. That is not all, uncle Laban’s deception and manipulation did not stop with his daughters, Jacob’s wives, but extended into his wages. At every turn, Laban took advantage of Jacob. How interesting that Jacob thought he had escaped an unhappy and competitive home but ended up with one of his own.
See what Jacob tells his wives: Genesis 31:6-7 6You know that I’ve worked for your father with all my strength, 7yet your father has cheated me by changing my wages ten times. Every time Jacob seemed to be getting the better end of the deal, Laban would change the rules regarding the flock. Back then, money and wealth were measured by cattle. We can assume that uncle Laban used every trick in the book to keep Jacob down.
Having lived with and worked for Laban for some 20 years, there soon came a time in the life of Jacob where he could not take the injustice and wanted to leave. Genesis 30:25 After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me on my way so I can go back to my own homeland.” It is obvious that Jacob has had enough of Laban and he is ready to venture out on his own.
Laban offered to help Jacob. Genesis 30:31 “What shall I give you?” he asked. “Don’t give me anything,” Jacob replied. Laban wanted to freely offer Jacob goodies. Jacob did not want to be in debt to anyone.
Laban then asks Jacob to stay and set his own wages. Jacob responds by making the worst possible deal for himself. Jacob agreed to supervise Laban’s flocks for only those unborn animals that would be spotted.
The dominate color traits of Laban’s flocks were the solid color animals. To make things even more generous for Laban, Jacob would not receive spotted or speckled animals from those few that were presently of that variety. His future wages would be those spotted and speckled animals that were born to the solid color pairs! It would be entirely up to God as to how many animals would become Jacob’s.
This was such a good deal. Laban quickly took Jacob’s offer. Just for insurance, Laban put all the spotted and speckled animals under the care of his sons and moved them a three days’ journey from Jacob. You see, Laban is doing the best he can so that Jacob won’t prosper. If God decides to prosper you, no one can stop it.
Jacob is getting on with his life, accepting what has happened to him and making the most of the present situation. Jacob is not trapped in the past or the present, he is looking to the future!
It requires a level of maturity not to get sidetracked by life’s hard knocks and injustice. The apostle Paul expressed this in Philippians 3:13-14 13But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. We cannot live in the past and claim the future. We cannot live in 2017 and at the same time hug to the hurts of 2016. Instead, we must learn from the past, we must come to terms with our past, and press on!
Jacob has placed his success and failure in the hands of God. He has been given a bad deal but he does not sit idle. He did his research about cattle. Jacob uses methods known at the time to either encourage certain animals to breed or alter the color trait of their offspring.