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Sunday – March 5, 2017 Genesis 30 :25-43 “Jacob Gets Laban’s Goat”

Sunday – March 5, 2017 – Read the Word on Worship

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Genesis 30:33
So my honesty will answer for me later, when you come concerning my wages.”

America takes pride in the “self‑made man.” The American dream is that if you work hard and smart enough, you can pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and make a fortune. But the teaching of the Bible is clear: Prosperity comes from the Lord, not from our ingenuity, hard work, or lucky breaks. If we prosper, it is because God has prospered us. We don’t have anything except that which we’ve been given by the Lord. All we have belongs to Him and must be used as He directs.

The Bible commends hard work. But even when we work hard, we need to realize that any success we enjoy comes from the Lord, not from our hard work. Let’s face it, some people work hard all their lives and never get rich. And while integrity is important for our testimony as God’s people, rather than fostering success, integrity often militates against it. The scoundrel often prospers, while the man of integrity misses out on some easy money. So the bottom line is always the same: Prosperity comes from the Lord alone.

This applies to us as well. It’s the principle of stewardship, that we are not owners of anything, but only managers. God owns it all and as owner, He directs how it should be used. We tend to think that whatever we have is ours because we worked hard for it, and so we have the right to spend it as we please. If we’re real generous, we’ll give God ten percent. Then we squander the rest on ourselves. Perhaps we may try to excuse our deceitfulness by insisting that we live in a “crooked and perverse generation” (Phil 2:15). We have come to believe that the only way to survive in such a society is to out-con the cons. Jacob may well have thus satisfied his conscience, reminding himself of the fact that Laban could not be dealt with on a straightforward basis.

Many of us, like Jacob, fail to “adorn the doctrine of God” (Titus 2:10) in our work lives. We enter into an agreement with our employer but then conclude that he is not as interested in our future as we are. We begin to look out for our own interests at the expense of our boss. We begin to spend an enormous portion of our time trying to figure out how we can get more of what belongs to the company. Rather than working diligently and leaving our well-being in God’s hands, we take matters into our own hands. While we may, like Jacob, stay within the letter of the law, we get ahead at the expense of another. Such conduct is not to the glory of God. Such does not “seek first the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33). May God enable us to trust in Him and in His grace rather than in our schemes and in the work of our hands.

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