But Laban said to [Jacob], “If I have found favor in your eyes, please stay. I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed me because of you.” (Genesis 30:27)
In another one of those curious passages of the Bible, Laban tells Jacob that he realizes that Yahweh, the Lord, is blessing him because of Jacob. Jacob, you may remember, has been working for his uncle Laban for 14 or more years (based on the number of pregnancies Leah had) and receiving no wages. Jacob has had enough and has decided to ask for a peaceful release from serving his uncle, so he can return to his homeland with his wives and children.
Laban had a good thing going. He had his daughters and grandchildren living nearby so he could see them often, he had free labour from Jacob, and Jacob’s presence with Laban resulted in him being blessed materially.
Laban is not a follower of the one, true God. That is evident because he gained news of the source of his blessing through divination. And yet, despite not following the one, true God, he is blessed by that God because one of God’s followers is living in community with him and serving him well.
The God of Jacob has brought you into His family of Blessing People through His Son, Jesus Christ. You have been blessed with the gifts of forgiveness, salvation and eternal life. You know that you are unconditionally loved and accepted by God through Jesus.
But God’s purposes for your life do not end there.
God created His Blessing People as part of His plan for renewing and restoring all of creation. God’s Blessing People have been blessed to be a blessing to the people around them. We bless the people around us when we love, support, encourage and faithfully serve them. But there is also a supernatural component to God’s Blessing Cycle. Somehow, someway, people, even those who do not believe in the one, true God, are blessed by the presence of God’s people among them. And God has chosen you to be His Blessing Person right where you are and to bless the people around you with His love and grace.
How do we do that when we have needs and desires of our own to attend to? Jacob shows us the way.
When Jacob offered a simple way for Laban to pay him wages (Jacob would keep all the speckled, spotted or dark-coloured lambs and kid goats that were born and Laban would keep the rest), Laban agreed and then took steps to swindle Jacob out of most of his agreed-upon wages by taking all the existing speckled, spotted and dark-coated sheep and goats and moving them three days journey away from Jacob and the main flock. This meant that Jacob would have a greatly reduced opportunity of getting speckled, spotted or dark-coated lambs or kid goats from the remaining flock which was all white.
But Jacob relied on his Lord and used tree branches to cause the sheep and goats to have more spotted, speckled and dark-coated babies. Our understanding of livestock genetics today says that Jacob’s approach should not have worked. This was a series of miraculous interventions by Yahweh, the Lord, to provide for His Blessing Person, Jacob.
God can make a way where there is no way. He did that to save us from everything that could eternally harm us and make us part of His Blessing People. He can do that again to provide us with the care that we need.
We open ourselves to having God work through us to bless those around us when we trust that God is going to take care of us. Our lives are in the care of a faithful and loving God Who has saved us and is in the process of renewing and restoring all things. Because of God’s faithfulness, you bless others with your presence.
Dear Jesus, help me to trust in Your love and faithful care. Help me to see the opportunities you set before me to love and serve others. Please bless them through me. Amen.