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January 10, 2024 - Genesis 29-31

The Bible is full of wonderful love stories, among them that of Jacob and Rachel.  As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Rachel’s father is a bit of a stinker.  Deceptive trick after trick, Laban delayed Jacob and Rachel’s wedding for years.  Further, though Leah, Rachel’s sister, had given birth to children, Rachel was barren. 

 

Jacob turned the tables on Laban with the speckled and spotted sheep, the black lambs, and the spotted and speckled among the goats, finally getting out from under the heavy hand of Laban.  Laban was not done, though, and pursued Jacob and his wives and children and flocks, finally catching up to them and demanding their return.  Now, the angel of God had already said to Jacob in a dream, “Lift up your eyes and see . . . I have seen all that Laban is doing to you.  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” (31:11-13).  And God not only protected Jacob but also prospered him greatly.  Always (especially these days) avoiding the danger of prosperity preaching, still we can declare, “God takes care of his own!”  In the 18th century, John Cennick wrote these words, and we can sing them with the assurance that God is with us.

 

Be with me, Lord, where’er I go;

teach me what you would have me do;

suggest whate'er I think or say;

direct me in the narrow way.

 

Restrain me lest I harbor pride,

lest I in my own strength confide;

though I am weak, show me anew

I have my pow’r, my strength from you.   –John Cennick (1790)

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