Archive of Pastor Darby's Sermon Notes, transcribed from his original typewritten documents

 

Gen 30,31

BENEFITS OF BEING A CHRISTIAN

Sept. 14, 1969 pm


HERE IS A STRANGE PART OF THE WORD OF GOD, WITH SOME STRANGE THINGS HAPPENING

  • There is no way to escape the fact that God had a calling for Jacob and helped him in strange ways
  • Laban wanted to keep Jacob near to reap the benefits of God's blessing on his son-in-law
  • Many people want the benefits of a Christian culture without being Christians themselves-

Just as some want a spiritual church, but are unwilling to pay the price to produce it.

I. JACOB'S CONTRACTS FOR SERVICE - Gen 30:25-

A Christian must live in the world, contract for earthly services, and work for a living

A. JACOB WANTED TO LEAVE LABAN AND BE ON HIS OWN v.25,26

  • He had been tricked before, and know it could happen again- it is hard to live in the world
  • He had a birthright that was waiting for him back home, and, of course, a brother to kill him
  • The birth of Joseph was regarded by Jacob as the Messianic promise fulfilled in his son.

B. LABAN RECOGNIZED HIS OWN GAIN FROM HAVING JACOB AROUND v.27

  • Laban had been working for his own advantage, had he not tricked Jacob out of 14 years labor?
  • He asked Jacob to name his wages - learning that humility would keep Jacob from demanding much
  • Jacob declared his wage - v.36, and Laban protected himself as instructed by Jacob v. 33-

C. GOD INTERVENED FOR JACOB, THOUGH JACOB THOUGHT IT WAS JUST SMART ANIMAL HUSBANDRY 31:9

  • Laban made sure of his flocks- v.36., and Jacob set about to make sure of his work v.41
  • As Laban changed his wages, - v.31:7, so God changed the birthmarks of the flock- for Jacob
  • Whether animal husbandry or magic rods, or God's intervention- Jacob soon owned the flocks.

The attitude of Laban and his sons began to change- 31:1,2- objected to Jacob's gain

II. GOD CALLED JACOB BACK HOME 31:3,11

There are many strange things mixed in with the normal in the way God dealt with Jacob here

A. GOD CALLED, "JACOB" AND JACOB ANSWERED, "HERE AM I"  31:11

  • God spoke to him- and the general call given earlier became very specific now v.3
  • Jacob spoke to his wives, and told them of his vision- v.4, and they agreed to leave 14-16
  • Serious trials often work to place us in the center of God's will for our lives

B. JACOB GATHERED HIS FAMILY, AND FLOCKS AND FLED TOWARD CANAAN v.17-21

  • The family were nomads anyway, no problem for them to fold up their tents and keep going
  • Rachel stole her father's images - idols- no value to her, but for the jewels?  Or what?
  • It was three days later later that Laban heard of their departure- a good head start

C. THE DAY OF CONFRONTATION COULD HAVE BEEN A GREAT DANGER, BUT GOD INTERVENED 22-42

  • God gave a caution to Laban v.24 not to speak good or evil- we need the same caution!
  • Laban came before Jacob with plain words, open feelings he should have spoken before-
  • Jacob answer him plainly- but Laban could not find the idols 30b,34b and was taken aback

Tired from a seven day journey, and caught in an apparent lie, Laban had to deal gently

III. TWO STRONG MEN MAKE A COVENANT

Laban had started out angry and vengeful, Jacob had no doubt feared the worst from the army

A. BUT GOD LED THESE MEN TO DISCUSS THEIR PROBLEMS OPENLY AND FAIRLY

  • Jacob spoke plainly of Laban's lack of consideration and ill treatment v.-36-42
  • Laban spoke of the lack of Jacob's consideration v.43
  • They both had been wrong, but to perpetuate the injustice would have been a greater wrong

B. A COVENANT WAS FORMED BETWEEN THESE TWO STRONG MEN THAT GOD MIGHT BLESS EACH

  • A heap of stones was gathered, and a meal was eaten together - compromise in this area is okay
  • Jacob was to treat the daughters of Laban well, and take no other wives- v.50
  • Neither was to cross over this pile of stones to do the other harm- v.52 Lord watched- v.49

C. A SACRIFICE WAS MADE TO GOD TO LET ALL KNOW THAT IT WAS GOD WHO WAS TO JUDGE  v.53

  • We must give recognition to God- the only sacrifice is Jesus Christ our Lord
  • When we stand before God, and do as He commands, He it is that judges us and our relatives
  • Are you a Jacob- stumbling through a walk with God, or are you a Laban, wanting the rewards of having God around, but not really a Christian?

SEARCH YOUR OWN HEART WITH GOD'S HELP TONIGHT, AND SEE IF YOU WANT GOD'S PRESENCE, OR JUST HIS PROSPERITY

  • No matter what you have done in the past, come to Jesus- only sacrifice
  • Walk with the Lord Jesus Christ all the way, don't be half-hearted like Jacob
  • Obey God, and you need not be alarmed when surrounded by this world's armies