“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;” - Deuteronomy 30:15
Choices should sometimes require no thought. Like the choice between a switch across the rear end or doing a simple task, like picking up a piece of laundry. Growing up, my mother was the disciplinary I feared most. She used the metal end of a fly swatter and was quite proficient at getting her point across with that thing. The last spanking I ever received was when my mother asked me to pick up a article of clothing and throw it in the washer. I refused with some added sass, and I was met with the alternative, a whooping.
With my children now, I wonder, “they cant really be this ignorant”? It is either a spanking or pick up the plate they left at the table. Really it is a super simple task that would take seconds. Yet, all of us likely have stories of either ourselves or our children following suit with this behavior. Something in our sinful nature wants our way, and refuses the promised way of blessing and happiness.
There are innumerable promises contained in the Scriptures that go something like this, “you do this… and I (God) will do this”. They are so simple and really should require no decision making ability… they are almost brainless choices, or at least should be. But, all to often we elect for the hard, difficult, and void of blessings way.
The result, tragically, is not only the missed blessings but the added hardship and difficulty for wrong choices.
In our text, we see two prominent men behaving very differently: Jacob and Laban. Jacob has a desire to be ethical and upstanding in all his dealings of life. He made a covenant with God, and seems faithful to that covenant. Laban, on the other hand, has proven time and again that he is will to do whatever it takes to get his. He sold off his daughters for fourteen years worth of labor. He worships false gods, identified by the idol he was so zealous to retrieve. He also consistently tried to swindle Jacob by changing his wages ten times. It is apparent that we are dealing with a crooked man and a chaste man.
What is simply amazing to me is the result of their actions. Laban did whatever he could to get an edge and gain benefit, and in the end he lost out. Jacob did whatever he could to be honest, work hard, and received blessing after blessing. Laban continually lost, while Jacob continually gained!
We see this apparent today. A business man may get a short advantage by shady dealings, but in the end he loses out, because people quit going to him due to his dishonest character. Those who choose the abundantly evident poor option, always lose in the end.
Choose today to live for God. He has promised so many blessings, so why not just take Him at His Word? Why not just decide to avoid hardship and loss by simply doing what He said? In the end, the choice is YOURS.
Daily Scripture Reading
Genesis 30 - 31
(Follow this Scripture Reading Plan to accompany this devotion and read through your Bible in a year)
“I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.”