Messy Lives, Merciful Savior

As you view the complicated situations caused by sinful hearts in this fallen world, remember that God keeps his covenant with his people, and he will bring you home to the promised land. No sin can thwart his purposes, and he will be faithful to his children.

Sometimes, our lives can get so messy that we wonder if God can redeem them. Reading through Genesis 30 and 31, we see how God’s plan proceeds even through jealousies, envy, and the strivings of our human nature. Sinfulness cannot thwart God’s plan. Though the sinner is guilty, the Lord continues in his grace to honor his covenant people.

Chapter 30 reads like a soap opera and spans many years. Jacob’s wives, Rachel and Leah, are jealous of each other and compete by trying to give Jacob more children than the other. They do this either through their wombs or the wombs of their handmaidens. The amount of sin and misguided ambition the Lord overlooked in all three of them at this time is astonishing. Despite their sins, God blesses them with children, and the twelve tribes of Israel are born. God’s plan for the nation of Israel continues.

Later, Jacob grows tired of his father-in-law Laban never keeping his word in their agreements and works a scheme to strengthen his flock and weaken Laben’s. He agrees with Laben that any sheep born with stripes or speckles would be his, and any without them would be Laben’s. In an unimaginable turn, Jacob’s strategy to get the striped sheep to be born was likely a folk custom of the time. Despite this, the Lord favors Jacob and grows his flock by giving him striped and speckled sheep.

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