Wednesday 31 July, 2019

Genesis 35:1-15

35 Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.” 2 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes. 3 Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.” 4 So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had and the rings in their ears, and Jacob buried them under the oak at Shechem. 5 Then they set out, and the terror of God fell on the towns all around them so that no one pursued them. 6 Jacob and all the people with him came to Luz (that is, Bethel) in the land of Canaan. 7 There he built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel, because it was there that God revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother. 8 Now Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried under the oak outside Bethel. So it was named Allon Bakuth. 9 After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him. 10 God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel.” So he named him Israel. 11 And God said to him, “I am God Almighty; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will be among your descendants. 12 The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.” 13 Then God went up from him at the place where he had talked with him. 14 Jacob set up a stone pillar at the place where God had talked with him, and he poured out a drink offering on it; he also poured oil on it. 15 Jacob called the place where God had talked with him Bethel.

In what sense do we believe people change? Coming to know Christ means a radical change in the orientation of a person’s life. It is not expected that conversion, growth toward maturity, or growth in holiness turns introverts into extroverts, although I know I am more of a people-person than I used to be.  I also know I am more mellow than I used to be.

But transformation is the heart of the Gospel, and we need to maintain a clear desire for and discipline toward transformation understanding that the Word and Spirit need to be applied on our lives by faith to see the transformation of the Gospel

Father help me to continually believe in the transforming power of the Gospel and ensure I apply it by faith to my life!

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

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Tuesday 30 July, 2019

Genesis 34:1-31

34 Now Dinah, the daughter Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the women of the land. 2 When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, saw her, he took her and raped her. 3 His heart was drawn to Dinah daughter of Jacob; he loved the young woman and spoke tenderly to her. 4 And Shechem said to his father Hamor, “Get me this girl as my wife.” 5 When Jacob heard that his daughter Dinah had been defiled, his sons were in the fields with his livestock; so he did nothing about it until they came home. 6 Then Shechem’s father Hamor went out to talk with Jacob. 7 Meanwhile, Jacob’s sons had come in from the fields as soon as they heard what had happened. They were shocked and furious, because Shechem had done an outrageous thing in Israel by sleeping with Jacob’s daughter—a thing that should not be done. 8 But Hamor said to them, “My son Shechem has his heart set on your daughter. Please give her to him as his wife. 9 Intermarry with us; give us your daughters and take our daughters for yourselves. 10 You can settle among us; the land is open to you. Live in it, trade in it, and acquire property in it.” 11 Then Shechem said to Dinah’s father and brothers, “Let me find favor in your eyes, and I will give you whatever you ask. 12 Make the price for the bride and the gift I am to bring as great as you like, and I’ll pay whatever you ask me. Only give me the young woman as my wife.” 13 Because their sister Dinah had been defiled, Jacob’s sons replied deceitfully as they spoke to Shechem and his father Hamor. 14 They said to them, “We can’t do such a thing; we can’t give our sister to a man who is not circumcised. That would be a disgrace to us. 15 We will enter into an agreement with you on one condition only: that you become like us by circumcising all your males. 16 Then we will give you our daughters and take your daughters for ourselves. We’ll settle among you and become one people with you. 17 But if you will not agree to be circumcised, we’ll take our sister and go.” 18 Their proposal seemed good to Hamor and his son Shechem. 19 The young man, who was the most honored of all his father’s family, lost no time in doing what they said, because he was delighted with Jacob’s daughter. 20 So Hamor and his son Shechem went to the gate of their city to speak to the men of their city. 21 “These men are friendly toward us,” they said. “Let them live in our land and trade in it; the land has plenty of room for them. We can marry their daughters and they can marry ours. 22 But the men will agree to live with us as one people only on the condition that our males be circumcised, as they themselves are. 23 Won’t their livestock, their property and all their other animals become ours? So let us agree to their terms, and they will settle among us.” 24 All the men who went out of the city gate agreed with Hamor and his son Shechem, and every male in the city was circumcised. 25 Three days later, while all of them were still in pain, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took their swords and attacked the unsuspecting city, killing every male. 26 They put Hamor and his son Shechem to the sword and took Dinah from Shechem’s house and left. 27 The sons of Jacob came upon the dead bodies and looted the city where their sister had been defiled. 28 They seized their flocks and herds and donkeys and everything else of theirs in the city and out in the fields. 29 They carried off all their wealth and all their women and children, taking as plunder everything in the houses. 30 Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me obnoxious to the Canaanites and Perizzites, the people living in this land. We are few in number, and if they join forces against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed.” 31 But they replied, “Should he have treated our sister like a prostitute?”

This text strikes me as an example of how destructive poor communication can be, especially amongst people who could do better with each other!

Firstly, Jacob’s sons don’t hear the shocking news from Jacob directly. As a result there seems to be an immediate lack of trust between sons and father. So much so that the sons won’t disclose their destructive plans to their father. Secondly, Jacob’s sons are angry but don’t seem to talk out their anger with Jacob. Instead, they harbour it amongst themselves. Thirdly, the sons speak deceitfully to Hamor and Shechem. This deceit ends in much death at the hands of Jacob’s sons.

The reality is, no matter the justifications for each parties course of actions were, I’m sure things could have ended very differently in this episode if people had talked openly and honestly towards one another. Especially for Jacob and his Sons.

The result of poor communication will tend to be painful, likely involve loss, and make us look far nastier than we actually are.

Lord, help me to speak early and often regarding situations that distress me with those who I need most to speak to about it. It will end up better for all involved, if done well. And the only way to do such communication well is through practice. Help me Lord, Amen.

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

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Monday 29 July, 2019

Genesis 33:12-20

12 Then Esau said, “Let us be on our way; I’ll accompany you.” 13 But Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are tender and that I must care for the ewes and cows that are nursing their young. If they are driven hard just one day, all the animals will die. 14 So let my lord go on ahead of his servant, while I move along slowly at the pace of the flocks and herds before me and the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.” 15 Esau said, “Then let me leave some of my men with you.” “But why do that?” Jacob asked. “Just let me find favor in the eyes of my lord.” 16 So that day Esau started on his way back to Seir. 17 Jacob, however, went to Sukkoth, where he built a place for himself and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place is called Sukkoth. 18 After Jacob came from Paddan Aram, he arrived safely at the city of Shechem in Canaan and camped within sight of the city. 19 For a hundred pieces of silver, he bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, the plot of ground where he pitched his tent. 20 There he set up an altar and called it El Elohe Israel.

Esau continues his gesture of forgiveness and reconciliation towards Jacob by asking him to come and settle at Seir with him. He even offers protection for Jacob who makes an excuse about not being able to travel together. Jacob’s trust of Esau is tested – and he seems to have deceived Esau again with deception as his fallback position.

This is the man whom God has chosen to carry on the line of blessing from Abraham, to be a foundation of his chosen people, Israel. It’s surprising but powerfully shows that God will overcome our failings. Jacob loved God and passionately desired his blessing, and recognised in the depth of his soul that the blessings he enjoyed were from God – v 5, 11 and 20.

I notice that God didn’t wait until Jacob was perfect to choose him and work his plans through him. He knew Jacob’s heart and was transforming him through humility. He didn’t wait till I was perfect before choosing me to be his child. He works out his plans through me as he is transforming me in his image. I ask myself – is my heart yearning for more of his blessing? Is my heart open to the transformation only his love can bring?

Dear God, work your transformation in my life today by your Holy Spirit. Amen

Written by Claire Moore

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Sunday 28 July, 2019

Genesis 33:1-11

33 Jacob looked up and there was Esau, coming with his four hundred men; so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two female servants. 2 He put the female servants and their children in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph in the rear. 3 He himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother. 4 But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept. 5 Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children. “Who are these with you?” he asked. Jacob answered, “They are the children God has graciously given your servant.” 6 Then the female servants and their children approached and bowed down. 7 Next, Leah and her children came and bowed down. Last of all came Joseph and Rachel, and they too bowed down. 8 Esau asked, “What’s the meaning of all these flocks and herds I met?” “To find favor in your eyes, my lord,” he said. 9 But Esau said, “I already have plenty, my brother. Keep what you have for yourself.” 10 “No, please!” said Jacob. “If I have found favor in your eyes, accept this gift from me. For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably. 11 Please accept the present that was brought to you, for God has been gracious to me and I have all I need.” And because Jacob insisted, Esau accepted it.

In this passage we see the story of the reconciliation of two brothers separated by greed and deception – Esau and Jacob.

From birth these twin brothers competed and never reconciled their differences.  It’s a story of a broken family, with favouritism and envy, which leads to the destruction of their relationship for many years.

Esau’s lack of wisdom and living for today; along with Jacob’s deception and stealing of Esau’s legal birthright was a deep wound in their relationship.  It was a huge step for both these brothers to seek out reconciliation.

In the previous chapter we see Jacob sending many gifts with his messengers to Esau to prepare for reconciliation.  How these messengers get the story so wrong for Jacob.  “Esau is coming to meet you with 400 men”.

That night in desperation – Jacob prays and cries out to the Lord.  He has had an encounter with God, he wrestles with God and is renamed, Israel.  He has a life changing God encounter and he is never the same.

The next day, we see Jacob prepares for the destruction of his family by separating them into two groups.

However, these 400 men were coming to assist in the final part of Jacob’s journey, not to bring destruction on his family.

Jacob goes out to meet Esau, and bows seven times before him.  Jacob has understood humility.  He comes in repentance to Esau and as an act of forgiveness bows in honour to his older brother.

We see Esau has understood forgiveness.  Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck and kissed him.

They both wept and their relationship is healed.

To heal our broken relationships – repentance and forgiveness is necessary.  This story encourages us to sort out our relationships with repentance and discover forgiveness and freedom as a result.

Lord show me where my relationships need your healing.  Help me to be an agent of love and forgiveness.  Show me where I need to repent and reconcile.  Thank you Jesus that life with you is all about relationship.  Help me to be more like you.

Written by Ps. Sue Botta

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Saturday 27 July, 2019

Genesis 32:22-32

22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. 28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” 29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there. 30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” 31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.

So clearly an encounter with God will always be life changing. But in this encounter there are a few things that strike me. Firstly Jacob held his own – he wrestled back, he didn’t just take it. Often when I approach God with something I want his answer to my problem… now. But maybe I can persist and wrestle it out. Jacob wanted blessing. Isn’t that what I want too? Secondly, Jacob’s wrestle with God changed him forever. I would hope that my relationship with God is evident to others because of how it changes me. Jacob left that night with a limp. So even someone who had never known him before could see something had happened to him.

I am quite intolerant of my own flaws but maybe I need to look at them differently. Jacob’s flaw/limp was a reminder to him and others of God’s blessing on his life. My best testimony to others of God’s power at work in me is not in my own perfection, but in the process of God perfecting me. I want to be like Jacob and wrestle with God until He is tired. I want to be transformed and clearly show God to others.

Heavenly Father there are not enough words to thank you for all you have done for me. God I ask you to release your power into my life. I ask you to change me and I ask you to bless me. May I always bring Gory to you. In Jesus Name Amen!!

Written by Christine Knight

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Friday 26 July, 2019

Genesis 32:13-21

13 He spent the night there, and from what he had with him he selected a gift for his brother Esau: 14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15 thirty female camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16 He put them in the care of his servants, each herd by itself, and said to his servants, “Go ahead of me, and keep some space between the herds.” 17 He instructed the one in the lead: “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘Who do you belong to, and where are you going, and who owns all these animals in front of you?’ 18 then you are to say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a gift sent to my lord Esau, and he is coming behind us.’” 19 He also instructed the second, the third and all the others who followed the herds: “You are to say the same thing to Esau when you meet him. 20 And be sure to say, ‘Your servant Jacob is coming behind us.’” For he thought, “I will pacify him with these gifts I am sending on ahead; later, when I see him, perhaps he will receive me.” 21 So Jacob’s gifts went on ahead of him, but he himself spent the night in the camp.

I think the key word to describe this passage is ‘suspense’. Jacob is caught between God’s promise – to make him prosper and have countless descendants (32:12) – and this news he has received that Easu is coming to meet him with 400 men (32:6). I can almost hear Jacob’s mind whirring as he tries to compute, how is this going to work out? How can God’s promise come true if Easu completely annihilates his family?

Jacob’s plan is pretty cunning. He tries to woo Easu with gifts, and sends the gifts in such as way as to maximise the impact. Jacob may be outnumbered, but he is not about to be outwitted!!

What’s interesting is that Jacob has no idea how these gifts will be received. In verse 20 he says ‘perhaps he will receive me’. He’s done all he can and now Jacob has to wait and see how things will unfold…

God, from what I can see Jacob was relying on himself and somewhat hoping you would fulfil your promise. I don’t see a man at rest here. Help me to trust you in the suspense and learn how to rest in the unresolved. Amen.

Written by Ps. Bethany Waugh

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Thursday 25 July, 2019

Genesis 32:1-12

32 Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2 When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is the camp of God!” So he named that place Mahanaim. 3 Jacob sent messengers ahead of him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom. 4 He instructed them: “This is what you are to say to my lord Esau: ‘Your servant Jacob says, I have been staying with Laban and have remained there till now. 5 I have cattle and donkeys, sheep and goats, male and female servants. Now I am sending this message to my lord, that I may find favor in your eyes.’” 6 When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We went to your brother Esau, and now he is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” 7 In great fear and distress Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups, and the flocks and herds and camels as well. 8 He thought, “If Esau comes and attacks one group, the group that is left may escape.” 9 Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, Lord, you who said to me, ‘Go back to your country and your relatives, and I will make you prosper,’ 10 I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only my staff when I crossed this Jordan, but now I have become two camps. 11 Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me, and also the mothers with their children. 12 But you have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’”

The background to this narrative is that Jacob has previously tricked and deceived his brother Esau and therefore has had to flee from him. So when Jacob hears the news that Esau is coming to meet him with 400 men, he has good reason to fear that they may be coming for revenge.

Jacob does a three key things here to show that he is a changed man.

Firstly he acknowledges that God has blessed him far beyond what he deserves. Jacob came into this new land with nothing, and with a shady past as a liar and a trickster and yet God has greatly prospered him. He humbles himself before, saying “ I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant”.

Secondly, Jacob is honest before God, acknowledges his fear and asks for help, “Save me, I pray, from the hand of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me”.

Thirdly, Jacob recalls God’s promises to him which boosts his faith in the face of fear, “But You (God) have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted”.

This is a very good model of how to face a challenging situation – humbly recognise my failings and the unmerited grace of God in my life, honestly tell God how I’m feeling and ask for His help and then remember the promises of God that He is ALWAYS at work on my behalf.

Today I am thinking of a challenging situation that I am facing, and I choose to apply these principles. I encourage you to do the same!

Written by Shelley Witt

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Wednesday 24 July, 2019

Genesis 31:43-55

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.” 45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar. 46 He said to his relatives, “Gather some stones.” So they took stones and piled them in a heap, and they ate there by the heap. 47 Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, and Jacob called it Galeed. 48 Laban said, “This heap is a witness between you and me today.” That is why it was called Galeed. 49 It was also called Mizpah, because he said, “May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other. 50 If you mistreat my daughters or if you take any wives besides my daughters, even though no one is with us, remember that God is a witness between you and me.” 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. 54 He offered a sacrifice there in the hill country and invited his relatives to a meal. After they had eaten, they spent the night there. 55 Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then he left and returned home.

So ends a significant chapter in the life of Jacob. It began with Jacob fleeing for his life from Esau, having deceived his brother and father and left with only the birthright and God’s promise of blessing.

Now Jacob is returning home, with wives, children, servants and vast flocks. God has kept his promise to Jacob.

It is important to remind myself, that no matter how circumstances look today, God’s promises to me will never fail.

Father, thank you for all your promises to me. Help me to keep my eyes on you, to trust you and not my circumstances.

Written by Andrew Martin

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Tuesday 23 July, 2019

Genesis 31:22-42

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. 27 Why did you run off secretly and deceive me? Why didn’t you tell me, so I could send you away with joy and singing to the music of timbrels and harps? 28 You didn’t even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters goodbye. You have done a foolish thing. 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. 32 But if you find anyone who has your gods, that person shall not live. In the presence of our relatives, see for yourself whether there is anything of yours here with me; and if so, take it.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the gods. 33 So Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s tent and into the tent of the two female servants, but he found nothing. After he came out of Leah’s tent, he entered Rachel’s tent. 34 Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them inside her camel’s saddle and was sitting on them. Laban searched through everything in the tent but found nothing. 35 Rachel said to her father, “Don’t be angry, my lord, that I cannot stand up in your presence; I’m having my period.” So he searched but could not find the household gods. 36 Jacob was angry and took Laban to task. “What is my crime?” he asked Laban. “How have I wronged you that you hunt me down? 37 Now that you have searched through all my goods, what have you found that belongs to your household? Put it here in front of your relatives and mine, and let them judge between the two of us. 38 “I have been with you for twenty years now. Your sheep and goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks. 39 I did not bring you animals torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded payment from me for whatever was stolen by day or night. 40 This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes. 41 It was like this for the twenty years I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times. 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.”

This story starts with Jacob, true to his trickster form, sneaking out in fear of his father-in-law, Laban. And Laban, true to his bullying form, pursues him with a lynch mob of relatives. Given Laban’s threat, Jacob’s fear may be wise. And then there is Rachel stealing the household gods. What is she thinking? Hasn’t she been paying attention as God has been blessing Jacob? She seems to have missed Jacob’s real god but embraced his trickiness in hiding the empty statues of gods.

But then God speaks. I like his bluntness: “I’m warning you—leave Jacob alone!”

Laban hears the warning to him: the bully is intimidated and backs off (a bit). But Jacob seems to have heard the bigger significance: God is for him. He speaks up for himself, confidently testifying that it’s “the God of Abraham and the fearsome God of Isaac” who protects him.

But it’s not yet the “God of Jacob” – he still has a way to go before he is able to see him that way.

Lord, speak into my life today. Holy Spirit speak into my heart. Give me faith and courage to claim you as my God today.

Written by David Cornell

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Monday 22 July, 2019

Genesis 31:1-21

31 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. 10 “In breeding season I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled or spotted. 11 The angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob.’ I answered, ‘Here I am.’ 12 And he said, ‘Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.’” 14 Then Rachel and Leah replied, “Do we still have any share in the inheritance of our father’s estate? 15 Does he not regard us as foreigners? Not only has he sold us, but he has used up what was paid for us. 16 Surely all the wealth that God took away from our father belongs to us and our children. So do whatever God has told you.” 17 Then Jacob put his children and his wives on camels, 18 and he drove all his livestock ahead of him, along with all the goods he had accumulated in Paddan Aram, to go to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan. 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. 21 So he fled with all he had, crossed the Euphrates River, and headed for the hill country of Gilead.

Being a Christian in the workplace

Laban was an unrighteous boss, cheating Jacob of his entitlements. Jacob worked hard and was blessed by God, but he was not a man of complete integrity at work.

While in our modern context, we have better systems in place to ensure that the rights of workers should not be abused, I’m still astonished how often I hear of people being treated unfairly.

Regardless of how I’m treated, my faith needs to impact my occupation, both through motivational elements, or my understanding of divine calling and its impact on how I strive or demonstrate contentment at work AND relational elements, or how I interact with my boss, peers and those I supervise at work.

Lord, help me to always live out my faith in the way I engage in all elements of my life.

Written by Ps Justin Ware 

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