“As a result, Jacob became very wealthy, with large flocks of sheep and goats, female and male servants, and many camels and donkeys.”Genesis 30:43 (NLT)
Where does wealth come from? How is it that some people prosper, while others can never get ahead?
When God appeared to Jacob in a dream, as he was fleeing his brother Esau, He told him that He would be with him and keep him wherever he went. Now after fourteen years of paying for his two wives, Jacob approaches Uncle Laban with his desire to return to his own country. Knowing what an asset Jacob has been to him, Laban convinces Jacob to stay, and the two work out an agreement by which Jacob can build his own estate.
After removing all the speckled, spotted and brown sheep and goats from Laban’s flock, any newborns that were multicolored would belong to Jacob. Through an elaborate process of breeding (a mixture of superstition and skill) Jacob builds his flock with stronger sheep and goats and increases his servants. Despite Laban renegotiating the contract ten times, Jacob prospers. But who was really responsible for this? Later, the LORD tells Jacob in a dream that He had seen all that Laban did to him. Thus, the rams were streaked, speckled and gray-spotted. In other words, it wasn’t Jacob’s cleverness but God’s blessing that was responsible for Jacob’s increase.
Many people desire to be prosperous, but prosperity comes from the hand of the LORD who gives every good and perfect gift and who gives us all things for our enjoyment (James 1:17; 1 Timothy 6:17). Some people rely on their own schemes to get ahead. But others pursue the path of integrity and trust in God to provide for their needs. Which way do you think the LORD will bless?
“Heavenly Father, thank you that you have promised that if we will seek first your kingdom and righteousness, then you will provide everything else that we need. Help us not to lean on our own understanding or rely on our own schemes, but to trust in you and continue to do good. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.”
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