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God Fulfills His Promises. Genesis 28:15 – 31:55. God’s Promises to Jacob Genesis 28. The Purpose of His Blessing So that we may be a blessing to others The Promises of His Message - Genesis 28:15 I am with you I will keep you I will bring you back I will not leave you.

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God Fulfills His Promises

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God Fulfills His Promises

Genesis 28:15 – 31:55


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God’s Promises to Jacob Genesis 28

  • The Purpose of His Blessing

    • So that we may be a blessing to others

  • The Promises of His Message - Genesis 28:15

    • I am with you

    • I will keep you

    • I will bring you back

    • I will not leave you


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“Better Late Than Never”Genesis 28:10 - 29:13

  • A Poor Start

    • Jacob made a bad name and a horrible life for himself

      • He deceived his father - Genesis 27:35

      • He angered his brother - Genesis 27:45

      • His mother had sent him 500 miles away to Haran, where her brother lived

    • Jacob had a lot of spare time to reconsider his ways

      • He was a changed man by the time he reached Haran

    • What was different in his life?


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What was different?

  • He Began to See God’s Providence - 28:1-14

    • Jacob’s ladder - God’s deliberate disclosure of His involvement in our lives


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Jacob’s Stairway

  • John 1:51

    • . . . “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man”


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What was different?

  • He Began to See God’s Providence - 28:1-14

    • Jacob’s ladder - God’s deliberate disclosure of His involvement in our lives

      • God literally threw down a ladder of hope

      • God promised His presence and providence in a powerful and unmistakable way

    • From then on Jacob began to look for and see God’s provision in his life


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What was different?

  • He Began to See God’s Providence - 28:1-14

  • He Changed His Perspective of Life

    • Previously: “The LORD your God gave me success” - Genesis 27:20

    • God was in the second person and a second-hand experience

    • Jacob vowed to make a change

      • He offered to God an altar (Genesis 25:3), a tithe (v 22), and a commitment

      • He did not ask for what God was not willing to give

      • Instead of relying on his abilities, he began to trust God to supply His needs


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What was different?

  • He Began to See God’s Providence - 28:1-14

  • He Changed His Perspective of Life

  • He Began to Care About Others More Than Himself - 29:4-11

    • The new Jacob was friendly, helpful, and more real

      • He addressed strangers as “my brothers”, politely asked about his uncle’s welfare, and was genuine in his interactions with people

      • He readily helped strangers and relatives without being asked, worked for free

    • His education is not complete, but it is off to a good start

    • Priorities: God first, family and others next, and himself last

    • Then God really began to work in Jacob’s life


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Ways God Works in the Lives of His People

  • After the dream, Jacob continued on his journey

  • Chapters 29-31 - summary of the next 20 years of Jacobs’ life

    • More than a biography

    • A history of God’s presence and activity

    • An example of the way that God works in the lives all of His people


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By Guiding Them Genesis 29:1-14

  • The Lord is guiding His people’s lives so that His plan is fulfilled

    • Our lives are not controlled by fate, chance, or luck, whether good or bad

    • God’s guidance may not always be obvious but it is always there

    • It is easy to see God’s guiding hand in Jacob’s life


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By Guiding Them Genesis 29:1-14

  • The Lord is guiding His people’s lives so that His plan is fulfilled

    • Did Jacob just happen to arrive at the very well where there were shepherds who were from Haran and knew Laban? - Genesis 29:4,5

    • Was it just coincidence that Laban’s daughter Rachel shows up at the very time Jacob is asking about the family? - Genesis 29:6

    • Was Jacob just lucky enough to have encountered lazy shepherds who were unwilling to move the large stone from a well? - Genesis 29:8-11

    • The circumstances were not coincidence - God was actively working in Jacob’s life


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By Guiding Them Genesis 29:1-14

  • The Lord is guiding His people’s lives so that His plan is fulfilled

  • What is true Jacob is also true of all of us

    • Good circumstances like Jacob

    • Bad circumstances like Joseph

    • You can be sure that God is present and active to bring about his plan

    • Sometimes life may seem out of control and it may seem that were heading in the wrong direction

    • Sometimes it may seem that we are all alone

    • During those times we need to know by faith in God’s word that God is guiding and directing our lives


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By Disciplining ThemGenesis 29:14-30

  • After seven years of hard work, Jacob was deceived by Laban

    • He woke up to discover that he had married Leah

    • He would have to work another seven years for Rachel

  • Not just a coincidence or bad luck!

    • It was God’s discipline of Jacob for his deception of his father, Isaac

    • Similarities - Laban’s deception and his own of Isaac

      • Jacob pretended to be the oldest son in order to deceive Isaac, now he is Leah pretending to be the youngest daughter

      • Jacob deceived Isaac by the disguising himself and most likely he himself was deceived because Leah was disguised by veils

      • Laban specifically mentions the rights of the “firstborn” as his reason for deceiving Jacob


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By Disciplining ThemGenesis 29:14-30

  • Sometimes circumstances cause pain and trouble

    • Discipline for sins we have committed so that we can learn not to do them again

    • Not to harm us or in anger but to shape and develop us as His people

  • We must learn that actions have consequences!

    • When we disobey God’s standards or act in distrust of him we’re going to pay a price

    • We’re going to be disciplined by our loving Father


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By Disciplining ThemGenesis 29:14-30

  • Jacob had discovered a spiritual truth

    • You reap what you sow

    • God will work in our lives so that we take sin seriously

    • Illustration: Billy Graham

  • God’s purposes in His correction are to shape us for the work He has prepared for us to do!


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By Prospering ThemGenesis 29:31-30:23

  • God prospered Jacob by providing the two most important things that he lacked: children and flocks

    • God still does the same today for his people

  • “Prosper” does not always mean money, wealth, or possessions

    • God prospers us by providing us with what we need to fulfill God’s plan and promises

    • Jacob needed offspring and flocks but the Christian today can prosper in other ways

      • We can prosper in our ministries

      • We can prosper in our relationship with the Lord

      • We can prosper in our growth in Christian character

  • God is actively working to provide all that we need


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Leah

  • She was not the most beautiful woman, but God was going to bless her tremendously

    • God knew that Leah was not loved by Jacob as she should have been, so he had compassion on her and blessed her with being the mother of six of Jacob’s sons directly, including Levi and Judah, and two more sons indirectly by her maidservant

  • Genesis 29:35“This time I will praise the Lord”

  • Genesis 30:17 “God listened to Leah”

    • Leah turned to the Lord to seek his blessing

    • Rachel who turned to superstition


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Jacob

  • Failure to exhibit leadership in his family

    • Abraham with Sarah and Hagar

    • Isaac with Rebekka, Jacob, and Esau

    • The end result is a very messed up family

    • When Christian husbands and fathers abdicate the leadership role they have been given by God then the family will not function correctly


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Rachel

  • Beautiful but she lacked the godly characteristics of Leah

    • Blames Jacob for her barrenness instead of going to the Lord for answers - Genesis 30:1-3

    • Turns to superstition as a means of resolving her barrenness instead of to prayer - mandrake root - Genesis 30:14-15

    • Steals idols from her father’s house - Genesis 31:19

    • Rachel finally prayed and Genesis 30:22 says, “God listened”

    • God in his grace and mercy blessed Rachel with two children her own – Joseph and Benjamin


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By Prompting Them in the Right Direction - Genesis 31:1-16

  • God uses various means to encourage us or prompt us to do His will

    • Opens and closes doors

    • Puts the pressure on

    • Remind us of what His will is for our lives

  • God’s will for Jacob is to return to the Promised Land

    • Jacob learns that Laban’s sons are angry

    • He notices Laban’s attitude has become bad toward him

    • His wives agree that their father has acted unfairly and that there’s no reason to stay

    • In a dream God reminded Jacob of his vow to return to Bethel and instructed him to leave at once


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By Protecting ThemGenesis 31:17-55

  • Leaving Haran was very risky

    • A strong chance that Laban and his sons would interfere forcefully

    • A strong chance that Esau was still angry and would kill Jacob

  • God was the only source of protection Jacob needed

    • If we are doing God’s will, we can be confident that He will protect us so that His work in us and through us is completed


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By Protecting ThemGenesis 31:17-55

  • Jacob and Rachel’s faith that God would protect them was not as strong as it should have been

    • They turn to their own devices to provide protection and in the end this caused them more trouble

  • Rachel stole her father’s household idols

    • Something she could fall back on in case things didn’t work out

    • We too may find our security in other things besides God

      • Our bank account

      • A relationship

      • A certain job

    • Because we trust in these things and find our security in them we desperately try to hold on to them, but God wants us to trust in him alone!


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By Protecting ThemGenesis 31:17-55

  • Jacob doesn’t trust God to protect him either

    • He depends once again on deception instead of God

    • Jacob’s deception and Rachel’s theft come from a lack of faith and they only produced more hostility with Laban.

  • Life lessons

    • When we act in distrust of God we only bring more trouble to ourselves

    • God protects His people despite their foolish choices

      • Laban intends to harm Jacob but God intervened in a dream

      • “Do not say anything to Jacob either good or bad”

      • A Hebrew idiom which means: Don’t mess with Jacob!

      • God was watching over him just as he has promised and does with us


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Be Encouraged!

  • God is present and working to accomplish His will

    • Trust His promises

      • I am with you

      • I will keep you

      • I will bring you back

      • I will not leave you

    • Watch for God’s providence in your life

    • Change your perspective to God’s perspective

    • Care more about others than about yourself


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Be Encouraged!

  • Then you will see that:

    • God is guiding your life

    • God is disciplining you when you sin

    • God is prospering you so that you can accomplish His will in your life

    • God is prompting you in the right direction

    • God is protecting you


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