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August 24, 2022 7:00 am
Well you know we are in a verse by verse study of the book of Genesis and we been studying the story of Jacob and Esau. We've seen how Jacob scheme against Esau and stole his blessing and how Esau then plotted to murder Jacob and how Rebecca their mother told Jacob. You need to get out of God's on until your brother calms down a little bit and she sent him to her brother is on call a man named Laban not living up in the city of Acheron where Rebecca was originally from Melanie. Show your map so that you can see where Jacob's journey took him. He left the beer she bought in the South. As you see on the map and travel all the way to northern Mesopotamia to the wrong now what we want to do today is pick up and see what happened when he got the Koran and then talk about what difference it means for your life in my life today so we could go and I let's do it.
Genesis 29 verse one then Jacob went on his journey and came to the land of the Eastern peoples, and he looked and saw well in the field with three flocks of sheep lying there and Jacob said to the shepherds my brothers where you from and they said were from Karadzic was like oh I'm here, and Jacob said to them, do you know Laban and they said we know him. In fact, here comes his daughter Rachel and when Jacob saw Rachel, he rolled the stone from the mouth of the well and watered her sheep and Jacob kissed Rachel and lifted his voice and began to weep out loud. Then Jacob told Rachel that he was a relative of her father that he was Rebecca sauna and she ran and told her father Melanie summarizing just say that Laban welcomes Jacob take him at his house for a month and then in verse 15 Laban said to Jacob, even though you are my relative. It is not right that you should serve me for free. Tell me what shall your wages be now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah in the name of the younger was Rachel and Jacob loved Rachel so he replied to Laban, I will serve seven years for your younger daughter Rachel and Laban said well I rather give her to you that another man is a ringing endorsement and it okay I guess I gotta give her somebody because I give her to you, so stay with me and they struck a deal so Jacob served Laban for seven years for Rachel but look at this precious line, but they seem to him but a few days because of his love for her while.
Now let's get seven years ahead, and Jacob comes to Laban after he served him and says my time of service is up, please give me my wife that I may have marital relations with her. So Laban gave a feast. The big wedding party and invited all the people of the place and it came about in the evening that Laban took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob had marital relations with her. Now it came about in the morning that the whole there was Leah's and I wait a minute, you don't really think that this could happen.
Do you like this you know well I don't know I yeah believe that you know you say will on how could that happen.
I don't know you tell me. Maybe it was really dark in there. I have no idea.
All I know is that when old Jacob rolled over in the morning in bed man. He had a big surprise there was Leah, not Rachel. And so Jacob said to Laban, what in the world and you done to me. It was for Rachel that I served you, why have you. What's the next word scheme to against me like this. And Laban replied it is not our custom to give the younger daughter in marriage before the firstborn daughter now, may I say that we have never found any evidence of any such custom reflected in any of the archaeological documents from this time so it must've been a local custom. Assuming that Laban is telling them the truth and it was a local custom still.
Laban should warn Jacob about this custom before he made the deal with the insured. Yeah you bet well Laban now says a Jacob got another deal for you. Here's the deal complete my older daughter's bridal week seven days and then I will give you my younger daughter to an exchange or for seven more years of service. So Jacob did as Laban said when he had completed Leah's bridal week, Laban gave him Rachel as his wife to so Jacob had relations with Rachel and indeed he loved Rachel more than Leah, and he served Laban for another seven years. They salon the something here.
I don't quite get what I mean Laban like flimflam Jacob right yes I mean he bamboozled him he deceived him he cannot live against him and conned him right yes table. What I don't understand is why Jacob wasn't angrier.
I don't understand why Jacob wasn't like you know completely infuriated with him. It seems here like Jacob just takes this treatment sought a lion down.
Well I think the answer to that my friends is very simple. I think what happened is that Jacob could see he he realized that divine justice was happening here. He realized that God was giving him a dose of his own medicine. He realized that Laban had done to him exactly what he had done to his brother Esau and the God was disciplining him for his sin against his brother.
And I believe it was this realization that took all the fight out of him and caused him to be so docile in being treated this way. All right, that's the end of our passage but were going to stop now and ask our most important question so we know what this is, yes, good.
Okay, thereby ready are nice and loud.
Now come on here we go, what to cure all you can do better than that, on the me take a sip of water to try one more time.
Don't come on Juan Joe IIIa all I was sweet. Okay you salon.
I mean, that's a nice story understand the story and still get the Leah thing to be honest with you I don't see how I could have but you know what nobody else knows how could happen. The versatile more about it, but you say I don't really see what this has to do with me at all.
Well folks let's I look for minute and ask the question what was the greatest character flaw that we see in Jacob when he was a young man will the answer is, he was a schemer. It was steaming. He schemed against his brother twice for the birthright and the blessing he schemed against his father. He schemed against his mother. The guy was just a manipulator and a schemer and since we live here in DC, which is the steaming capital of the world. It seemed to me that this would be a good topic for us to look and see what the Bible has to say about now, the way it's a seems to me there are two different kinds of steaming we find both in the Bible.
The first is steaming that has a malevolent intent steaming that is aimed at doing violence to people injuring people harming people, even killing people.
Nehemiah, for example, in chapter 6 that while he was up rebuilding the wall Jerusalem.
He said send valid in guestroom sent me this message, let us meet together on at one of the villages on the plane of auto but they were what's next word steaming to do evil to me.
We learn later on in chapter 6 they were actually out the killing, and even the Lord Jesus Matthew chapter 26 the Bible says, then the Jew's chief priests and elders gathered in the court of the high priest Caiaphas and what's the next word. They schemed together how they could seize Jesus by stealth and kill him. Now, obviously this kind of steaming is evil and wrong and sinful and you and I as believers have no business even thinking about doing this, steaming to other people.
But there's a second kind of scheming that's not nearly as nefarious as this first time is not nearly as malignant as this first time. This is the set are kind of steaming where the intent is not to hurt people or injure people but rather to manipulate them in order to get something that we want.this is the kind of scheming that Jacob had gone to Esau. He wanted Esau's blessing, so he schemed against him and manipulated him together and this is the kind of scheming that Laban had just on the Jacob he wanted Leah married so he schemed against Jacob and manipulated Jacob and can we be honest here.
Everyone of us have done this kind of scheming heavenly yeah I'm good, praise Lord, one person says yes okay start every one of you have done this.
I've done this. We all did it knowingly.
We all did it intentionally.
We all did it deliberately and we all knew we were doing it. Yeah well you know what the Bible says that God doesn't want us doing this kind of scheming either. Look what he says. He says in Ephesians 4, verse 25 therefore laying aside falsehood. The Greek word here is the word Sue DOS from which we get our English word pseudo-laying aside pretense laying aside bakery laying aside, steaming, laying aside, being pseudo-with other people. Let every person speak truth with his neighbor. Why will because I know Mrs. because our God is so big and our God is so powerful and our God is so sovereign that we don't have to scheme in order to get what we need a man we can tell the true and our God can still take care of every need. We got right and this is why the Bible says Psalm 75, not from the East nor from the west, nor from the south, and may I add, nor from our own scheming comes exaltation, but God is the judge who puts down lawn and who lives up another friend anything you and I are going to get in this life. Any position any possessions any honor anything were going to get in this life it's going to be because God sovereignly decided to give it to us and God is omnipotent enough.
Listen to me to give it to us all by himself without us having to help them by scheming and conniving and manipulating people and lying on. This is why God said to Jeremiah chapter 32 we said Jeremiah behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh is anything too hard for me I get you wherever I need to get you, Jeremiah, and I don't need your help. Nothing is too hard for me to God made Joseph, the Prime Minister of Egypt without Joseph having the scheme to get there.
And God made Moses the leader of the Exodus without Moses having the scheme to get there. And God made Joshua, the leader of the armies of Israel without Joshua having the scheme to get there. And God made David, the king of Israel without David having the scheme to get there.
And God made Esther the queen of Persia without Esther having the scheme to get there. And God can make you anything he wants to make you and put you anywhere he wants to put you in me without us having to scheme to help them praise Lord I love Chris Tomlin song where he says our God is greater. Our God is stronger God you are higher than any other, and then he goes on to say, and if our God is for us then who could ever stop us and if our God is with us what can stand against listen folks, don't you worry about that person who's conniving against you in your workplace. Don't you worry about that person who scheming against you in your family. Don't you worry about any person doing anything to you to try to lift you up or bring you down. Usually it's the latter, you just put your trust in Jesus because he's the one who decides who goes up and he's the one who decides who goes down friends. If you have someone scheming against you in your office. Let me tell you all of his scheming in the world is not going to keep you from going up. If Jesus wants you to go up and conversely all of your steaming back get them in order to see them go down is not going to take them down unless Jesus wants them to go down so if you're scheming and your involvement in this is going to make a bit of difference one way or the other, what are you doing it. Don't you go down in mud wrestled with these people that you lower yourself to this kind of behavior, scheming, lying, manipulating deceit behind the scenes, don't you do that you don't need to do that.
Not with the grade and sovereign God we got no no you don't need to do a thing except trust him to put you right where he's going to put you and I promised her a thousand people scheming against you document one bit of difference. Friends, let me say in closing, you stick with Jesus on this and you live a life of integrity. My friends, you take the high road and you will find when all the dust settles, you're going to be exactly with the Lord Jesus want you to be. I promise you that. So let's go out there and live like we've got a God. The size, but the Bible says he is home so out there and live like we've got the huge God that the Bible tells us about and somebody comes about you and there scheming and there, conniving, and you know what they're doing's violent big smile, big smile and do good to return good to use a lawn you don't know how hard that is not as hard for friends.
Why not, why not God's not going to let them make one difference in your life that even more made a nice tool live like you got a huge God and that they say why you be nice to me you know on how to get you to say well you know what your about this. And I got a God whose about this. So I can be nice to you was illegal make one bit of difference. Would you do in terms were God puts me that's the beauty of living in rent connection with the living Christ. That's the beauty of having a big God on our side. A man spring. I want to give us just a moment before I close in prayer.
I want you to take a moment to think about people in your life that are doing this to you, scheming, conniving, trying to hurt and affect you, take you down right here right now you know what I want you to let go. I want you to turn them loose stop plotting against them. Gnashing your teeth against him, make him a nonissue in your heart, no malice, no hatred because they are inconsequential.
My friends, if you're walking with Jesus, letting go and let Jesus have stick a moment to that Lord Jesus. I certainly know what it's like to be schemes against the first 11 years I was at this church, that's all that happened here of any significance now and I know how much it hurts to be treated that way.
Lord I know how it can wear you down to be treated that way, the Lord Jesus, I thank you that in those years it was only by your grace that you gave me the grace not to scheme back against him and God when you were done at the 11th year point it was all over in this church is never look back. Look where we are today.
You taught me a lesson, a very important lesson and that is I can take the high road.
I can act with integrity and Jesus is big enough to take care of me more. That's true for every one of us here. We can act with integrity. Jesus enough to take care of us so or change the way we go to work Monday morning.
Change the way we act were around family members or change everything about our relationships with people that are focusing our trust be on Christ not on them.
Thanks for the word of God. Lord, use it in our hearts today in a mighty way.
We pray this in Jesus name what God's people say amen