Scripture: But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your sight, I have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you. Genesis 30:27 ESV
Observation: The remainder of chapter 30 tells of Laban angling and conniving to profit from Jacob’s prosperity. Fully aware that God’s blessings on Jacob also benefitted him, Laban offers to pay his son-in-law for his future services. Jacob refuses payment but negotiates to keep any bred speckled, spotted, and partially black sheep and goats as compensation. Laban agrees but dishonestly removes all the mature sheep and goats of these same markings and color and relocates his herd a three-days distance from Jacob’s, presuming he had stolen those of the flock blessed by God.
Of course, Laban’s underhanded plan fails. Using the remaining unmarked sheep, Jacob applies science and folklore. Placing peeled poplar and almond branches in the water troughs to spur the mating of the stronger animals from his herd, he then points his mating flocks toward Laban’s. Resultantly, they produce speckled, spotted, or partially black offspring. Thus, despite Laban’s attempt to cheat Jacob of his wages, the Lord continues to prosper Jacob.
Takeaway: Rather than enjoy the overflow of blessings, Laban sought to capitalize on them. His greed would cost him something more valuable than any material gain: his daughters and grandchildren (as chapter 31 reveals). Here are two other points to consider:
- Those in whom we invest our time and resources will benefit from God’s blessings directed toward us. Others will share our priceless Gospel working in and through us. They will sense our Lord’s peace that guides us and our faith that instills hope in us. Indeed, they will receive the tithes of our blessings as the Lord directs them according to his purposes.
- Our Creator is the source of all truth—regardless of whether we acknowledge his existence or employ godly or ungodly means of discovery (as did Laban through divination). But, as Christians, we need to come under the authority of Scripture in seeking our Lord’s truth, lest, like Laban, we wrongfully apply God-given insights for our selfish gain.
In sum, we are channels of God’s blessings. We would do well to share the wealth of godly insights we gain with those around us.
Prayer: Father God, we thank you for all the ways you have blessed our lives—starting with the gift of your Son. Would you please help us to act as channels of your blessings to those around us, that we might grow your kingdom and glorify your name? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling