Saturday, April 5, 2008

Moving On In His Will - Gen 31

Moving On In His Will

Gen 31:13 I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.

Bethel is the place where Jacob personally met God. He asked God to prove himself to him. He built an altar there and anointed it with oil.
Gen 28:15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
Gen 28:16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.
Gen 28:17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
Gen 28:18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.
Gen 28:19 And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.
Gen 28:20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,
Gen 28:21 So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:

The God of Bethel certainly had met all of the desires of Jacob's heart. Now the return to the promise land is the last part of the covenant. God would be with Jacob, he had told Jacob to leave his father in law, Laban, now he wants a confirmation from his two wives, the daughters of Laban.

Gen 31:14 And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him, Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father's house?
Gen 31:15 Are we not counted of him strangers? for he hath sold us, and hath quite devoured also our money.
Gen 31:16 For all the riches which God hath taken from our father, that is ours, and our children's: now then, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do.

Rachel and Leah agree to leave, being women they had no inheritance left with the Father. Any increase was due to the hard work of Jacob with God's blessings. The increase could be considered the dowry of the father and more importantly the grace and provision of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: the God of Bethel.

Some things to consider in the midst of change.

1. By seeking God first,he promises to meet our needs.

Mat 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
Mat 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

2. Be faithful

Luke 16:9 And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.

Share your wealth and make friends using your gain for good things

Luke 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
Luke 16:11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
Luke 16:12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?
Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Remember the Church at Laodicea was wealthy, but they were also self sufficient and not seeking the true spiritual riches. They were not trusting in Jesus and seeking his will.

3. Seeking the counsel of your spouse or confirmation from a trusted source

Pontius Pilate was seeking political advantage and ignored the warning of his wife concerning Jesus

Mat 27:19 When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.
Mat 27:20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.

Be careful who you listen to. Job's wife told him to curse God and die. Check the spirit and follow the Holy Spirit as the apostle Paul did, not following the advice of others. Ultimately we answer to God. It was God who first came to Jacob and told him to leave Laban. Confirmation followed hearing personally from God. Too many want others to give them a word, but are not hearing from God personally.

4. Do what you know is right to do

What good is faith, if we do not act on it? Fear could have kept Jacob from moving on. Fear of his brother Esau, who vowed to kill him for stealing his birthright blessing. Fear may keep us from doing what God has told us to do. If God is in it, obey God not man nor devil.

Be bold as Peter was bold.

Acts 5:27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,
Acts 5:28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.
Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
Acts 5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
Acts 5:33 When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them. Jesus fought the devil by quoting him God's word. We should be strong in faith by speaking the word of God.

Mat 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
Mat 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Mat 4:11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

God, the Holy Spirit goes with you and angels minister to you when we step out in faith, directed by the will of God.

The Journey begins

Gen 31:17 Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels;
Gen 31:18 And he carried away all his cattle, and all his goods which he had gotten, the cattle of his getting, which he had gotten in Padanaram, for to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan.
Gen 31:19 And Laban went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen the images that were her father's.

Rachel took Laban's idol. Her heart was not towards the God of Bethel, but she wanted the god of her father. Her heart was with the father's god. She was not unlike Lot's wife who when forced to flee, looked back coveting the things of the city.

Gen 19:24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;
Gen 19:25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.
Gen 19:26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. Some are not worth their salt, until they come personally to the God of Bethel. Jesus restores our hearts back to the God of Bethel and his worship and service. Thank you Jesus for changing us. We fight the temptations of the flesh, the fear of doing your will, but we overcome by faith and the strength of God through your Holy Spirit.

Gen 31:20 And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he fled.

If he had have told Laban, then the subtle manipulation of the Father in law would have hindered them. God tells us when to move, do not let others hinder you.

Gen 31:21 So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river, and set his face toward the mount Gilead.

It would be a long journey, of three hundred miles from Haran to the mountains of Gilead. No doubt a certain fear of meeting Esau would keep him concerned and then behind him would be an angry Laban. There was no turning back. In my experience, the unpleasant memories of past trials help to drive you into the uncertain future, especially if God has given you an open door. If peace leaves you completely, then seek God to be sure. God had already spoken to Jacob, so it was an open door for him. God always makes a way if he opens the door. Often we only know the next step. Move one step at a time towards the destination God has placed in your heart.

Gen 31:22 And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled.
Gen 31:23 And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days' journey; and they overtook him in the mount Gilead.

They overcame Jacob at Mt. Gilead, after ten days. The herds of Jacob averaged thirty miles per day in their journey. A grace period of three days was given to Jacob before Laban knew that they had left him. Jesus was three days in the grave until our grace was realized by his resurrection. Three days can mean leaving bondage and receiving the victory. Moses was to go a three days journey into the wilderness of Egypt to bring God's children out of bondage.

Gen 31:24 And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said unto him, Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.

In the old testament, God used dreams to speak his warnings. This was before the Holy Spirit was poured out. Now we have the Holy Spirit to speak to us. Old men can dream dreams, as prophecied by Joel.

Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
Acts 2:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

Gen 31:25 Then Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mount: and Laban with his brethren pitched in the mount of Gilead.
Gen 31:26 And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword?
Gen 31:27 Wherefore didst thou flee away secretly, and steal away from me; and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth, and with songs, with tabret, and with harp?
Gen 31:28 And hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters? thou hast now done foolishly in so doing.

Laban spoke of how it could have been, but Jacob remembers how it was. A feast, with drinking wine may have kept Jacob under bondage. Would Laban not use this as an opportunity to keep them still in his power? Laban was subtle as the devil is subtle. It was Laban's feast at the wedding, that he used as an occasion to deceive Jacob by substituting Leah as the bride, instead of Rachel. This kept Jacob in bondage for 20 years. Will he allow another feast and something taken from him again?

Gen 31:29 It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt: but the God of your father spake unto me yesternight, saying, Take thou heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.

Laban was restrained by the God of Jacob.

Gen 31:30 And now, though thou wouldest needs be gone, because thou sore longedst after thy father's house, yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?

Jacob was unaware that his beloved Rachel had stolen her father's idols. His love for her made him blind to many of her faults, and unable to see the Leah was perhaps a better wife.

Gen 31:31 And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid: for I said, Peradventure thou wouldest take by force thy daughters from me.

I do not trust you Laban. There are some online that I do not trust. Their ways have shown their hearts.

Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Gen31:32 With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live: before our brethren discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee. For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them.

She was too close to him; he loved her too much to see her faults. King David was blinded by his desire for Bathsheba in a similar way. When he had Uriah, her husband killed, he was blind to this until Nathan the prophet came to him speaking a parable.

2 Sam 12:5 And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die:

2 Sam 12:7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. ...

We must not be blind to the Lord's will. Do not expect an idolater to be a servant of God. Be faithful, and be wise. Do what is required to be the servant of the most high God.


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