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Learning About God's Faithfulness
Gen. 29:16-17, 21-23, 26-27; 31:1-3, 38-42     March 09-2008

    Recently I read about a man who became very forgetful, and he told his brother he could not quote the promises of God anymore because he forgot them. His brother wisely said, "well you can rest in the fact God still remembers them." God's faithfulness remains constant even if we do not understand at the time how He will accomplish some of His promises. This lesson will help us in Learning About God's Faithfulness.

1. God's Faithfulness Despite Man's. . Hidden Agendas. 29:16-17, 21-23, 26-27

A. Laban's Hidden Agenda With The . . Oldest Daughter. 29:16-17, 21-23
16 Now Laban had two daughters: the older was named Leah, and the younger was named Rachel.
17 Leah had delicate eyes, but Rachel was shapely and beautiful. 21 Then Jacob said to Laban, "Give
me my wife, for my time is completed. I want to sleep with her." 22 So Laban invited all the men of
the place to a feast. 23 That evening, Laban took his daughter Leah and gave her to Jacob, and he slept
with her.

B. Laban's Hidden Agenda With The . . Youngest Daughter. 29:26-27
26 Laban answered, "It is not the custom in this place to give the younger daughter in marriage before
the firstborn. 27 Complete this week of wedding celebration, and we will also give you this younger
one in return for working yet another seven years for me." HCSB

        I dislike players on a team who do not play for the team, but for themselves. Laban's hidden agendas eliminated his playing for the team; so to speak. He had a hidden agenda to give his oldest daughter to Jacob. Jacob's agreement with him stated he would work seven years for the youngest daughter. The popular etymology of the biblical name Jacob includes these meanings: "heel-catcher, supplanter, and deceiver. In his dealings with Laban the deceiver got deceived. But as Jacob later looked back on this experience he saw how God's faithfulness won out in spite of the ways of Laban.

2. God's Faithfulness Despite Man's . . Hostility. 31:1-3

A. The Hostility Related To The . . Father. 31:1
1 Now Jacob heard what Laban's sons were saying: "Jacob has taken all that was our father's and has built this wealth from what belonged to our father."

B. The Hostility Registered On The . . Face. 31:2
2 And Jacob saw from Laban's face that his attitude toward him was not the same.

C. The Hostility Reacted To Concerning The . . Family. 31:3
3 Then the Lord said to him, Go back to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you." 

        Many times we know when hostility is brewing against our plans or desires. Jacob could see the sons of Laban did not approve of the action on which he and their father agreed. We can admire the boys looking out for their father but the attitude of the sons seem to follow a deceptive pattern. Jacob then noticed the hostility registering on Laban's face. In the midst of all this God told Jacob to go back to the land of your fathers and to your family. The Lord promised His favor upon Jacob's obedience. That can help us to learn about God's faithfulness.

3. God's Faithfulness Despite Man's . . Hindrances. 31:38-42

A. The Hindrances Related To The . . Flocks. 31:38-39
38 I've been with you these 20 years. Your ewes and female goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the rams from your flock. 39 I did not bring you any of the flock torn by wild beasts; I myself bore the loss. You demanded payment from me for what was stolen by day or by night.

B. The Hindrances Related To The . . Frost and the Weather. 31:40
40 There I was--the heat consumed me by day and the frost by night, and sleep fled from my eyes.

C. The Hindrances Related To The . . Finances. 31:41
41 For 20 years I have worked in your household--14 years for your two daughters and six years for
your flocks--and you have changed my wages 10 times!

D. The Hindrances Related To The . . Fear Of God. 31:42
42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham, the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, certainly now you would have sent me off empty-handed. But God has seen my affliction and my hard work, and He issued His verdict last night."

        As Jacob looked over the 20 years with Laban, he remembered hindrances with the flocks, frost-weather, and finances. Then his focus centered on the fear of God more than the actions of his father-in-law. Jacob related to his father-in-law about his hindering attitude with the flocks, and how God blessed. He further related about the frosty and hot weather he worked in, and how sleep fled from him. To top this off; Laban changed the wages 10 times. Then the fear of God hindered Laban from cheating any further, and allowed Jacob to leave to continue going back to his home land a wealthy man. Jacob called attention to the intervention of the Lord, and the Lord told Laban to not speak a word against Jacob. Does God work through, and in, spite of these kinds of hindrances. I believe Jacob would say, Yes! Surely Jacob's years with Laban taught him how to be one Learning About God's Faithfulness. We can have similar experiences although they will be learned through
different circumstances. Amen? Amen!