05 Oct Go Back To The Promised Land
Genesis 31:1 Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were saying, “Jacob has taken everything our father owned and has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father.” 2 And Jacob noticed that Laban’s attitude toward him was not what it had been.
3 Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”
4 So Jacob sent word to Rachel and Leah to come out to the fields where his flocks were. 5 He said to them, “I see that your father’s attitude toward me is not what it was before, but the God of my father has been with me. 6 You know that I’ve worked for your father with all my strength, 7 yet your father has cheated me by changing my wages ten times. However, God has not allowed him to harm me. 8 If he said, ‘The speckled ones will be your wages,’ then all the flocks gave birth to speckled young; and if he said, ‘The streaked ones will be your wages,’ then all the flocks bore streaked young. 9 So God has taken away your father’s livestock and has given them to me.
19 When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household gods.
20 Moreover, Jacob deceived Laban the Aramean by not telling him he was running away.
22 On the third day Laban was told that Jacob had fled. 23 Taking his relatives with him, he pursued Jacob for seven days and caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead. 24 Then God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”
25 Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country of Gilead when Laban overtook him, and Laban and his relatives camped there too. 26 Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done? You’ve deceived me, and you’ve carried off my daughters like captives in war.
29 I have the power to harm you; but last night the God of your father said to me, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.’ 30 Now you have gone off because you longed to return to your father’s household. But why did you steal my gods?”
31 Jacob answered Laban, “I was afraid, because I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force.
42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.”
43 Laban answered Jacob, “The women are my daughters, the children are my children, and the flocks are my flocks. All you see is mine. Yet what can I do today about these daughters of mine, or about the children they have borne? 44 Come now, let’s make a covenant, you and I, and let it serve as a witness between us.”
51 Laban also said to Jacob, “Here is this heap, and here is this pillar I have set up between you and me. 52 This heap is a witness, and this pillar is a witness, that I will not go past this heap to your side to harm you and that you will not go past this heap and pillar to my side to harm me. 53 May the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.”
So Jacob took an oath in the name of the Fear of his father Isaac.
The need to go back to the Promised Land.
- Believers are to be “set apart from the world”.
- Not physical isolation from the world.
- Heart not attached to the world.
The return to the Lord is beset with hurdles.
- Jacob’s hurdles in returning to Canaan.
- Our hurdles to advance in faith:
- People who matter to us
- “Blessings” the world offers
- “Threats” of the world
God’s faithful protection (known and unknown).
- God’s protection on Jacob <Gen 31:5, 7, 24, 29, 42>
- Faith should outweigh fears.
- Fear blinds us and prevents us from doing God’s will.
- It is possible to do God’s will in a wrong way.
- God protects whether we know it or not.
God leads us to live in peace with others.
- Though we are to be set apart from the world, we are still to pray for them and bring them to the gospel through our life testimonies.
Do you feel the world is always coming after you?
What are the good or bad things that the world is using to draw us to it and away from God?
How have wandering too long in the world (being absorbed into the world more than in God) impact your relationship with God?
Do you react/act more by faith or fear in your life?
How have acting out of fear lead you to futile, wrong or regretful ways? Confirm how God has protected you faithfully all along your life, as He did in Jacob’s.