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Pastor Joby Soriano   /   Oct 26, 2014

The beginning of Genesis 29 shows that Jacob left Bethel with a bounce in his step and a new lease on life. Now, Jacob had a personal encounter that established his relationship with his God. He was no longer alone and his life now had true meaning and purpose.

Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” How does God cause all things to work for our good?

God Directs Our Steps

As he approached Haran, Jacob came upon a well with shepherds waiting to water their sheep. While he was still speaking with them to find out if he was near Haran, Rachel came with her father’s sheep. When Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban, Jacob went up, rolled the stone from the mouth of the well, and watered the flock. Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted his voice and wept. Jacob told Rachel that he was a relative of her father and that he was Rebekah’s son, and she ran and told her father (Genesis 29:12).

Genesis 29:13-14,  “So it came about, when Laban heard the news of Jacob his sister's son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him and kissed him, and brought him to his house. Then he related to Laban all these things. [14] And Laban said to him, ‘Surely you are my bone and my flesh.’ And he stayed with him a month.”

This was not mere coincidence but God directing the steps of Jacob. Today, God directs us through His written Word which reveals where we must go. Jesus repeatedly emphasized that every part of His life was lived in response and dependence on His Father (John 6:38). God always leads us to where we need to be not to where we want to be. We must submit to God’s ways knowing He has our best interests in mind, and not strive to go our way believing we know better than God.

God Disciplines Those He Loves

Afterwards Jacob works for his uncle, serving him and asking for nothing in return. Laban then asks Jacob how much he would like to be paid. Since Jacob loved Rachel he made a deal with Laban to work 7 years without pay in exchange for her hand in marriage. But Jacob ends up being deceived by Laban (Genesis 29:25). Because Leah was the older based on the birthright, she had to marry Jacob first. Jacob could marry Rachel the following week, but on the condition that he worked for Laban for another 7 years. Clearly divine discipline is at work here. The very thing that Jacob deceived his father to receive is now coming back to haunt him. God disciplines us to conform us to the image of His Son. This is what God’s purposes are in His correction of us through the circumstances of life.

God Delights in His Children

Jacob ends up with two wives. One he doesn’t love or want, and one he loves (Genesis 29:31). As for Leah, with the birth of her first 3 sons, her attention was always connected to her desire to be loved by Jacob. But after giving birth to her fourth child, she makes a decision to praise God (Genesis 29:35). She recognizes that to be loved by God was far greater than to be loved by man. Remember that even if the world rejects us, God will always delight in us.

The supreme example of God’s turning "all things," for the good of His children is seen in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. God took the most absolute evil that Satan could devise and turned it into the greatest conceivable blessing He could offer to fallen mankind"eternal salvation from sin. No one but Jesus can give you purpose, joy, peace, hope, and life!

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