SER # 31Wa
FIRST UMC – NEBRASKA CITY
8TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
SUNDAY JULY 26TH 2020
TEXTS: GENESIS 29: 15 – 28
THEME: PAYING THE PRICE.
In our bible story today, we encounter Jacob at his uncle Laban place. I need to remind you that the reason he was there he was running away from his brother Esau whom he had cheated on his birth right. In a sense Jacob was in hiding at his uncle’s place. Jacob and Esau were twins but Esau was born first. According to the custom in those day when on is the first born had special privileges that the other children that followed did not have. His brother Esau had come home from hunting and was hungry that he needed something to eat. His brother Jacob said to him that he had to trade his birthright if he wanted a bowl of rental soap. That what he did. Jacob’s mother Rebecca conspired with him to have his father Isaac bless him instead of Esau. That is when Jacob run away when he got blessed by his father who all along thought he was bless Esau. We can rightly say that Jacob was a cheater. In our passage today we find the cheater (Jacob) being cheated by his uncle when he was given the woman he did not work for and denied the one he worked for. He wanted Rachael but he was given Leah. WHAT Jacob may have missed was that the younger daughter would not be married before the older daughter. Maybe Jacob assumed that before he would finish his seven years contract Leah would have gotten married. It was also not unusual for one to marry sisters as we see in this case.
We learn a few practical lessons for our daily living:
- The cheater becomes the cheated: From our background information Jacob was running away from his brother after stealing his blessing from his father. Jacob’s mother helped him to plan this lie to the father who by now was blind. He relied on smell and touch to differentiate the boys. Jacob maneuvered that when he made a special mail to the father pretending to be Esau. It was a lie that the mother encouraged as she helped him take the brother’s blessing. It is unfortunate that even today we have parents who favor one child over the other. When people plant a seed of dishonesty, they forget that they are passing a wrong lesson that might destroy their family. Jacob struggled with this behavior until when he met with an eagle on night as he was preparing to re-unite with his brother Esau. It was during this struggle that Jacob seek to have God’s blessing. “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. After he had sent across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. So, Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till day break. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so the hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. The cried let me go, for it is daybreak. But Jacob replied, I will not let you go unless you bless me (Genesis 32: 22 – 26). We know it was during this blessing that his name changed to Israel (Jacob).
- With love time passes quickly: Love in all aspects of life seem to change people, motivate, and even give them new strength to continue with life. Jacob worked for 7 years so as to get Rachel the woman he loved. Because of this love the bible tell us time went very quickly. This tells us a fact of how love operate in the lives of people who are willing to love. God summed the 10 Commandment we two Commandment. When Jesus was asked which was the greatest commandment Jesus responded, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This the first and the greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22: 36 – 39). We can conclude that the basic thing here is love. When there is love or when love is applied nothing is impossible. God is inviting us to be the extension of his love always and be able to make sure that we touch the hurting world with the love of God.
- We harvest what we plant: Jacob cheated through life to get to where he was. Running for his life just to find refuge at his uncle’s home. The faith lesson we learn here is we can’t keep running from our mistake but rather we need to be bold and face ourselves. We get to a point in life where you can run anymore. Jacob did not use this moment at his uncle to repent and come into terms the with his bad way of living. We know that because when you follow his story, we read he eventually cheated his own uncle. He even stole from him as he was leaving. As people of faith we have to learn to turn our lives to God and live a righteous life. the world is looking at us and we have to be the best example to our children, neighbor and workmates.