BSF Genesis Week 23

BSF Genesis: Week 23, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

11.
a.
God said

b.
20 years, Gen 31:38

12.
a.
7 God has not allowed him to harm me, 9 God given them to me, 11 vision in dream, 42 God rebuked you,

b.
Jacob and Isaac both justified action because of their fear, both formed a covenant with the one they had feared. Jesus on the other hand, when faced with swords and clubs, was not afraid.  He did not lie out of fear, but told the truth daily

c.
5, God with me, 7 protected me, 9 provided for me,  11 in dream, 12 restored from wrong, 13 remembered vow from Bethel, 16 wives who honored, 24 warned Laban, 42 God provided, 50 witness, 53 judge

13.
a.
He sought to live in honesty and peace.  He formed a covenant with the one he ran from to not do him any harm

b.
vs 55, Laban kissed his grandchildren and daughters and blessed them and left.  Through God there was the ability to find peace and reconciliation even for one who had repeatedly done wrong.  through which both parties were blessed and moved on.

My Daily Journal:

There will come a time when each of us faces the reality that Laban faced in verse 43.  “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?”

We go through life accumulating possessions.  This is mine, that is mine, all of this belongs to me.

But, as Laban learned, it doesn’t.  We are caretakers.  We are servants.  We are stewards.  Everything on this earth belongs to the one who created it.  He is eternal we are temporal.

But, like Laban, we deceive ourselves far more than anyone else deceives us.  He calls Jacob the deceiver because he left without notice, but was he really being truthful that he would have thrown a big party send off to all of these things that he considered his own. Who is truly deceiving whom?

But faced with the truth of God, we too will recognize all that we have accumulated is not really ours.

We have all done wrongs in our lives.  We have wronged and hurt others and strained and broken relationships over time.  The final verses of this chapter provide hope for peace.  When Laban did recognize that what he thought he owned, was not truly his, he did a wise thing: he sought to make a covenant of peace.  The greatest benefit that he received from that covenant wasn’t the lack of hostility or monetary gain, but it is what we see in verse 55.  He gained the opportunity to kiss his grandchildren and his daughters and to bestow his blessing on each of them.  These daughters, who earlier in this same chapters felt like they were foreigners to their father, objects that he had sold for personal gain and then squandered that profit, these daughters now bring their children to him, kiss him and kneel before him to receive his blessing.

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BSF Genesis Week 23

BSF Genesis: Week 23, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures:

Questions:

8.
a.
He worked for him for 7 years before marriage and then had 12 children after that, completing at least another 7 years (likely more).  During this time Laban prospered, his livestock grew and prospered

b.
Jacob honored Laban, he didn’t cheat, he didn’t run off.  He worked hard and brought the blessings that God gave him to his workplace.  Thus, the glory of the outcome went to God

c.
Col 3:18 – Whatever you do, do it dilligently as for the Lord because it is He who you serve not men

9.
a.
self-centered

b.
He changed the field after the deal was made.  He removed all of the spotted and speckled animals and moved them 3 days journey away.  After all these years, Jacob started with nothing.

10.
a.
Running a business, writing and teaching, story-telling

b.
By ensuring God is glorified in all that I do, that there is recognition that all work I do is for God

My Daily Journal:

God is not the God of church, he is the God of everything.  But so many don’t recognize that.  You can’t talk about God at work.  You need to cover up and hide your faith to not offend others. Etc., Etc.

But that is not what we see with Jacob.  Jacob lived his life and worked for the glory of God.  He saw all that he received not something he had earned, although he worked very hard, but as blessings bestowed by the Lord.

I had the opportunity to attend a dinner earlier this week where the speaker was Bobby Albert, Chairman of Albert Companies, Inc.  Mr. Albert presented about faith in the workplace and one of his points was very fitting in the discussion of Jacob and Laban.  He said, we would rather be a Values-Driven company that provides results than a Results-Driven company that provides value.

What drives your workplace behavior and decision making.  Do you have fears of loss that cause you to lie (like we have seen time and again with Abraham and Isaac)?  Or do you have the strength to do what is right and God honoring even when faced with hardship and adversity.  Do you treat others, with whom you work, with respect as brothers and sisters in Christ or do you take the profit of their labor and treat them as servants?

What drives your decision making, a focus on results or a focus on values?

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