Genesis 30:27 ” . . . the LORD hath blessed me for thy sake”. . . BUT GOD!

Songdove Books - flocksGenesis 30:27  And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the LORD hath blessed me for thy sake.

This is an interesting personal revelation that Laban makes of Jacob.  Another example of blessing coming about because of someone else is that of Joseph in prison and later Potiphar’s house, which we will eventually come to as we go along.  Genesis 30 is another real-world example of day-to-day life in the household of what we tend to term as one of the patriarchs.  Family life with two wives was no picnic in the park by any stretch of the imagination, especially when a woman’s perceived sign of blessing was being able to bear children.  Two bickering wives who happen to be sisters in this scenario compounded things by each giving their handmaid to Jacob as wife in order to use them as surrogate mothers.  Poor Jacob.  All he wanted years ago was just one wife, Rachel, and when we get to this stage of family relations, he ends up with four wives!  Unfortunately for him, this particular state of affairs was caused by his now brother-in-law, Laban.  I’m sure in Jacob’s mind, Laban’s underhanded dealings beat out anything he may have done under his own father’s household with Esau, although Esau was angry with him when he’d left home for having stolen his birthright and the accompanying blessing.  As the saying goes, “oh what tangled webs we weave”.  But God. . .

BUTGOD-songdovebooksjuly242014Did you read that???  Let me say it again. . . BUT GOD. . . In spite of the negative family traits that wound others up their webs of deceit and consequences, God continued in His determination to make a nation of Abraham’s descendents.  And you thought you had a dysfunctional family. . . Here is God, choosing a family line that has trouble being honest and upfront with each other, living in the turmoil of those consequences and trying to do life at the same time.  In spite of the family problems, God blessed Laban’s household because of Jacob!  For all of Jacob’s faults, for all of Laban’s underhandedness, God was blessing Laban because of Jacob, Abraham’s grandson.

My own daughter has observed that because of her presence at her trainer’s barn, that her trainer’s business has begun to pick up and things didn’t tank the way they could have for her trainer.  My daughter also found herself in a bit of spiritual warfare when she returned to a facility she used to work at, finding God’s presence no longer there when she began work again.  But being the young scout of a warrior she is, she began praising and singing praise songs to God at this second barn, and just as at her trainer’s place, the horses began to perk up and pay attention.  Is my daughter superhuman?  Has she left her human tendencies in the dust and sprouted wings? No!  BUT she has brought the presence of God with her into her workplace, and her trainer’s business is doing better this year than it ever has in years past.  She’s been working for her trainer now for 6 years and has watched the progression develop.

This leads to an interesting and thought-provoking question.  What situations are you in right now, that would be worse off if God was not there with and perhaps because of you?  Just as Jacob and Joseph’s presence in their respective circumstances produced blessings for those that were over them, is your presence producing blessings for those over you?  It’s a relief to know that God can bless others because of us, even in spite of us!  Clearly, if God could bless Laban because of Jacob even though Jacob was so amazingly human in his family failings, then there is hope for you and me!  God didn’t wait till Jacob was a shining example of God’s glory before working in and through him to others.  God worked in and through Jacob right in the middle of his tarnished and stumbling ways.

This is a relief for me, I can tell you that.  There are those out there who think because of how I write and because of all God has brought me through, that I’m on some pedestal that I can’t fall off of.  Then when I show some aspect of my darker humanity, they get disillusioned and run the other way as fast as they can.  At times this behaviour toward my faults and failings has been enough to bring on depression and contribute to withdrawing from those around me.  Then I read passages like this with all the faults and failings and dysfunction hanging out for all to see, and I am reminded that God can still use me even in the middle of my less-than-stellar situational consequences of prior behaviour.  I am so incredibly grateful for the BUT GOD moments!  What is your BUT GOD. . . story?

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