“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” (Genesis 28:15)
Read: Genesis 28:10-22
While Jacob slept, he dreamed of angels ascending and descending on a ladder that reached to heaven. God spoke to him, giving him a promise of prosperity and many descendants.
This promise God gave to a man who deceived his father and robbed his twin brother of his inheritance. Jacob had to flee for his life. He had the dream while on his way to Paddan Aram.
There, Jacob took up residence with his mother’s brother Laban. Jacob immediately fell in love with Laban’s daughter Rachel and agreed to work seven years for her to become his wife. However, Laban was a ruthless man, besides it was a disgrace to marry a younger daughter off before the elder according to their customs. So Laban “pulled the wool” over Jacob’s eyes. Poor Jacob got a taste of his own medicine when his bride removed her veil, revealing her identity as Leah, Rachel’s older sister. Although perplexed, Jacob agreed to work seven more years to earn the love of his life. Laban had more schemes up his sleeve to keep Jacob employed for several more years. You see, Laban realized his herds increased because of God’s blessing on Jacob.
Two lessons pop out with Jacob’s life story:
- We reap what we sow. Jacob dealt dishonestly and ruthlessly with his brother and father. God taught Jacob a life lesson through Laban’s ruthless behavior. We often get back 10 fold what we hand out to others. God chastises those He loves for the same reasons we punish our children — to build character, compassion, and a sense of fairness.
- God keeps His promises in unexpected ways. While Jacob worked for Laban, God prospered both men, but He prospered Jacob more. During this time, the Lord not only taught Jacob valuable lessons in compassion and fairness, but He prepared Jacob to return to the promised land with great wealth.
God always keeps His promises, and very often, He does so in unexpected ways. The Jews believed God would send a deliverer at the time of their persecution during the Roman empire. They just didn’t expect Him to come in manner in which He did.
Today, look for and expect to find surprising answers to your prayers.
See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks