Altar of Obedience

Message: Jacob made built an altar and made a commitment to God before he met his uncle Laban. He honored his commitment even when he was cheated, abused and taken for granted and because of this, God honored that commitment and blessed everything Jacob put his hand to. We all want that kind of blessing and favor but what stood out to me here is that there were long periods of continued honor and obedience to that commitment, and at first, God’s favor benefited his uncle WHILE he was cheating Jacob and before that favor benefited Jacob. Jacob honored his commitment because it was right, and he didn’t become impatient with God’s timing. He continued to be honorable when it wasn’t appearing to benefit him. He knew that God’s favor on him was benefiting Laban, but he was also confident that God’s favor would bless his own family when he was finally free. Not only was this true, but God also protected Jacob by warning Laban in a dream.

Command: Honor my commitments and be obedient to God regardless of circumstances. My commitment to God is non-negotiable and is not contingent upon my circumstances.

Promise: God’s favor will follow me when I honor and obey him even when it doesn’t appear to pay off for a while, or even when I am treated unfairly, cheated or abused.

Warning: Don’t give up on doing the right thing just because people or circumstances don’t look favorable. Jacob endured many years of building someone else’s wealth while being cheated, misused and lied to. Imagine how things might have changed had Jacob decided to vindicate himself.

 Application: This reminds me of Galatians 6:9 where we are reminded not to grow weary in well doing because in due season we will reap if we don’t faint. Jacob had the same promise in the first 20 years of faithfulness before he ever saw any of it benefit him. In fact, he watched HIS favor benefit the person who was cheating him and he never once questioned God about it. If my obedience and commitment to God is non-negotiable, than I can’t choose to stop being faithful, or blame God when his favor on my life doesn’t seem to feel like a benefit.

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