My cousin drives in an unsafe manner. When she is behind the wheel, I buckle up, pray more, and hang on. Never do I sweat more than when I go on a burger run with her. I am not afraid of the car or her. I am afraid of her behind the wheel! Often, it’s not what you do or for how long, but it’s who is behind the wheel that determines the journey.
- How do you determine whom you trust or enjoy on a car trip? What about in life?
READ THE WORD: GENESIS 31:1-16 (ESV)
31:1 Now Jacob heard that the sons of Laban were saying, “Jacob has taken all that was our father’s, and from what was our father’s he has gained all this wealth.” 2 And Jacob saw that Laban did not regard him with favor as before. 3 Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.”4 So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah into the field where his flock was 5 and said to them, “I see that your father does not regard me with favor as he did before. But the God of my father has been with me. 6 You know that I have served your father with all my strength, 7 yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times. But God did not permit him to harm me. 8 If he said, ‘The spotted shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore spotted; and if he said, ‘The striped shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore striped. 9 Thus God has taken away the livestock of your father and given them to me. 10 In the breeding season of the flock I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream that the goats that mated with the flock were striped, spotted, and mottled. 11 Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am!’ 12 And he said, ‘Lift up your eyes and see, all the goats that mate with the flock are striped, spotted, and mottled, for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now arise, go out from this land and return to the land of your kindred.’” 14 Then Rachel and Leah answered and said to him, “Is there any portion or inheritance left to us in our father’s house? 15 Are we not regarded by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and he has indeed devoured our money. 16 All the wealth that God has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children. Now then, whatever God has said to you, do.”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- God protecting and providing for Jacob made others jealous. How do you see this in Laban and his sons from the passage?
- Count the number of times God is mentioned. What actions did God take? What did Jacob do?
- “…striped, spotted, and mottled” became a huge flock. How did Laban switch things around on Jacob?
- Jacob attributed all he had to the kindness and favor of God. What can you attribute to God’s love and presence in your life?
- What are the difficult situations you are facing where you need to depend on God’s protection, provision, and presence?
RESPOND TO GOD
Jacob did not win the lottery or come into a huge windfall. He worked for two decades in the sun, doing hard labor, and under constant stress with his father-in-law. Finally, after all that work and faith, he received… a lot of sheep. The blessing is not that he was rewarded for his endurance, but rather God provided because of his faith.
- Pray that you would have eyes to see the kindness and provision of God in your life.
- Ask God to give you a community to help you in the midst of circumstances that are trying.