As I read this mornings saga of Jacob and Laban, I am reminded of a sermon I heard from a man named Andy Justa, so many years ago at ‘The Searchlight’ a Christian coffee house we used to run, entitled ‘God’s got a Laban for you’. Must have been a great sermon, because I still remember it over 15 years later.
How people who are liars, cons, sneaky, got great game:
have an appointment with the sultan of swing, their particular Laban.
Jacob ended up working 20 years for Laban, and he changed his wages 10 times, until finally, broken, he fell at the feet, wrestled with an angel to finally receive what God has all along, the blessing of God, and royal rank and privilege in the kingdom. His name and his nature was changed from Jacob (his name means ‘swindler’) the con, to Israel (prince before God). As I watch the Jacob’s of this world, I know, as Paul Harvey describes: ‘The rest of the story’.
If you are a liar, manipulator, and con:There is a Laban coming.
And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder
God is not threatened by wicked people, although in our day to day world, it is sure frustrating for us who have to deal with these sneaks. In business, they are malicious predators who would bankrupt you without conscience, claiming ‘It’s just business’.
Jacob learned that it is the blessing of God that will prosper you. Laban was a thief, his brother Esau a murderer, and he was in between a rock and hard place. Keeping working for a thief, or go home and get killed by your brother.
Twenty long years!
I believe He could have cried out to God right up front, and been delivered, but how we love to run….
In Ps 73, king David had the same lament before God:
3 For I envied the proud
when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.
4 They seem to live such painless lives;
their bodies are so healthy and strong.
5 They don’t have troubles like other people;
they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else.
6 They wear pride like a jeweled necklace
and clothe themselves with cruelty.
7 These fat cats have everything
their hearts could ever wish for!
8 They scoff and speak only evil;
in their pride they seek to crush others.
9 They boast against the very heavens,
and their words strut throughout the earth
He had had enough, and was pouring out his heart to God, when suddenly he saw his life, and theirs from heaven’s perspective:
16 So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper.
But what a difficult task it is!
17 Then I went into your sanctuary, O God,
and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked.
18 Truly, you put them on a slippery path
and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction.
19 In an instant they are destroyed,
completely swept away by terrors.
It is always payday, someday and those who think they are running their particular show, have an appointment with God, that they will keep. My hope and prayer is always they make the appointment before they die, for we all will appear before Him upon the hour of our death, and if we have not got right with Jesus by then, it is too late:
To you child of God, I feel impressed to tell you this from the heart of God this morning:
‘There is help for you from the Sanctuary!’
To you who are challenged by the antics of wicked people, know their day is coming, but your day is today!
His name is ‘I AM’ and He is your ever present help in time of need.
NOW is the time to cry out for help.
Jesus really does love you, and will deliver you out of their hand, if you cry out to Him, today.
But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears.
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most
‘Father, HELP! You see how these wicked people rip me off, oppress me, and steal from my family. How hard I work, fighting my fight of faith, while they walk in pride, mocking me, and You, and all that I stand for! Send Your power, Your grace, Your peace, Your revelation, Your provision, Your blessing, Your strength, Your courage to me and my family, NOW, in the name and authority of Jesus, I come. AMEN’