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Page Fifty-Four





Jacob

The Shepherd of Prosperity

And when the business relationship that Jacob and Laban had between them, would begin to sour. We find Laban's sons, saying things like: "Jacob has taken everything our father owned and has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father." -- Genesis 31:1

(Bible Study Online Article Covers : Genesis 30:29-43 ; 31:10-13)


Short Recap

In the last article we'd learned, that Jacob had proposed a counter-offer, when it came to Laban's latest job proposal. Remember that Jacob's counter-offer, dealt with him receiving all the newly "spotted and speckled" lambs and kids (young goats) -- that were born from out of the flock that he'd tended to, as compensation for his shepherding services.

Now I also want to point out, that Laban knew -- that history had showed, that the newly born that had came from his flocks, were primarily born solid in color.

As a matter of fact, in those lands -- it was considered as something that was rare, when the lambs and kids were born "spotted and speckled".

And it was because of this birthing track record, when it came to his flocks -- that Laban immediately jumped at the deal, that Jacob was countering with. For Laban had felt, that with this type of so-called payout that Jacob was requesting, he'd believed, that he would be getting Jacob's expert shepherding services for next to nothing.



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Laban Was Wrong In His Assessment?


But understand, that as time had went on -- we would also find, that Laban's assessment of Jacob's counter-proposal, would turn out to be wrong? For Laban would discover, that within six years after he'd made this new deal with Jacob -- that Jacob would finally begin to bear prosperous fruit, when it had came to his overall ordeal with his father-in-law?

In short, Jacob was now a very wealthy man. And it was all made possible, through the vision that God had given earlier to Jacob, before he had made the counter-proposal to Laban? For it was this vision, that had led to Jacob, pitching his new business agreement to Laban to begin with.

Nonetheless, like I'd stated earlier, Jacob had now became a very wealthy man. And it's for this reason, that we also find, that the business relationship that Jacob and Laban had between them, would begin to sour. And this is why we find Laban's sons, saying things like: "Jacob has taken everything our father owned and has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father." -- Genesis 31:1



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Jacob's No Deceiver - Just Being Obedient?


Now if you don't mind, before we go further -- I would like to take this moment, and point out some things that I find to be very interesting from within this recorded account? First off, I find it very disappointing, that when most people study this particular record -- they seem to come away, thinking that Jacob is some type of corrupt deceiver? And for those of you, who have been traveling along with me, as we journey throughout the Sacred Scriptures -- you should know by now, that I've been defending Jacob, and his actions for some time now?

And now, once more, I find that I must stand by him again, and go against the majority -- when it comes to this particular situation as well? For it appears, that those who see Jacob as a some sort of corrupt deceiver -- would seem to forget, that everything that Jacob had done up to this point, when it came to him presenting a counter-proposal to Laban... a counter-proposal that called for him to accept: the spotted, streaked and speckled young as his wages -- like I'd pointed out earlier, was done through the guidance of the Lord, which came through a dream that the Most High had given him.



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Jacob's Dream?


"In breeding season I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats mating wit the flock were streaked, speckled or spotted. The angel of God said to me in the dream, 'Jacob.' I answered, 'Here I am.' And He said, 'Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.'" -- (Genesis 31:10-13)

Now I don't want to get too far ahead of where we're at from within the account, but in order to make my point at this time, I wanted to reveal that particular passage, a little bit earlier than anticipated. However...



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Putting It on Record?


Now let's go back, to when Jacob and Laban had made the new deal, and let's do a quick summary. For we'll find, that after Jacob had worked honestly and hard for Laban, for the last fourteen years -- the Sacred Record reveals, how Laban had prospered because of Jacob. Now remember, when I kept pointing out, that Jacob wanted to get Laban on record -- when it came to him acknowledging all that Jacob had done for him the last fourteen years?

Know that this was the reason why? For it also dealt with the time, that Laban had came to Jacob, and pleaded with him to stay and continue on managing his flocks. And it also dealt with the success record, that Jacob had accomplished throughout the years, when it came to those flocks as well. And it was because of Jacob's successful track record, when it came to those flocks, that Laban was willing to pay him a top salary.



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A Deal Laban Couldn't Refuse?


And because of the dream that Jacob had, the one that God had showed him -- a dream that dealt with the young that were: spotted, speckled and streaked. And after seeing this dream, Jacob would take advantage of what God had shown him. And again, this is what lead to him, making Laban a counter-proposal when it came to how he wanted to be compensated -- instead of accepting a high paying salary, like Laban wanted him to do.

But nonetheless, Laban would quickly accept the deal -- for he'd felt that since: the spotted, speckled and streaked young, were so few in number -- that overall, he would be paying Jacob next to nothing for his expert services.



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Laban's Mistake?


Now the first mistake that Laban would make -- is when he'd separated the majority of his flock, and put them under the management of his sons. And after Laban had done this, he'd placed a three day journey between them and Jacob. Now by Laban doing this, he'd thought that he would be taking the advantage away from Jacob, by giving him less to work with.

But instead, he ended up hurting himself, when he'd placed the majority of his flocks under the control his sons? And by doing so, Laban had instantly put his business in a state of stagnation. For his sons would be considered shepherding amateurs, when compared to Jacob. And as a matter of fact, before Jacob had came on the scene -- Laban's sons weren't even running the flocks at that time either? Remember that it was his youngest daughter (Jacob's wife), Rachel.

You see, Laban thought, that if took away what Jacob had built for him during the past fourteen years, and forced Jacob to start over from scratch -- when it came to the flocks that he was managing -- that it would somehow limit Jacob's production from the current flock that he was managing, therefore, limiting his wages. But as time went on, Laban would soon find out, that once again, his overall assessment would be wrong.



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The Good Steward?


Now when it came to Jacob's own flock, which consisted of just: the spotted, speckled and the streaked young. Jacob would simply be a good steward of what was rightfully his -- and since it was his own personal flock, he'd taken more aggressive measures when it came to them. And this is where the "mating branches techniques" would be applied.

And also, let's not forget, the "mental focus methods" that Jacob would use on the female livestock, in the hopes of getting them, to give birth to: the spotted, speckled and the streaked young. Which in my opinion, was perhaps an overreach on Jacob's part? And the reason why I'm making such a statement, deals with the fact -- that God had already shown Jacob, what his results were going to be in the first place.

So bottom line, if Jacob wanted to risk the overall well-being of his own flock, by using some aggressive shepherding methods and techniques, then you know what? that's his business. And fortunately for him -- it paid off.



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I Stand by My Statement?


Now remember in my last article, I'd gave Jacob the credit, of being what you would call "a master shepherd." Know that I still stand by that comment -- even though, Jacob had guidance from the Lord, through a dream that the Most High had given him. Now the reason why I'm still standing by that statement? deals with the fact, that God did not tell Jacob how to manage the flock? Jacob already knew how to do that. What the Lord did do, was to simply show Jacob, what his end results were going to be.

For you must keep in mind, that it would still take: the skill, and knowledge, that Jacob had acquired throughout the years, when it came to his craft -- in order for him to pull it off. Now I'd noticed, that from within the Sacred Record -- I did not read anything that would suggest, that Laban did not have any progress when it came to his flocks? For I'd like to believe, that he did have some progress? But when Laban compared his results with Jacob's -- he simply wasn't happy with how his results matched up, with Jacob's overall success.



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Laban's Greedy Heart?


Remember that because of Jacob, Laban had been very prosperous during 14 of the last 20 years. But it would be through greed, that he decides to have Jacob start from scratch when it came to his flocks -- therefore placing the majority of his flocks, under the control of his sons. And like I stated earlier, this would be a huge mistake on Laban's part, for the move caused his business to go into a state of stagnation.

Now I stand by that statement, being that from within the Sacred Record, there's no indication that Laban's sons had did well, when it came to managing their father flocks. And needless-to-say, their lack of success, is what eventually led them to be so envious of Jacob's.



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Jacob a Deceiver - Or - A Good Man?


Now again, personally, I believe Jacob was just being obedient, by following what the Lord had shown him. And it's for these reasons, I can't agree with the majority, when it comes to calling him a "deceiver." Especially when it comes to this particular situation.

As a matter of fact, it was because of Jacob's: honesty, hard work-ethic, and humbleness -- that the Lord continued to bestow favor upon him -- by providing, and rewarding him in a very special way.

As for Laban? He'd simply reaped a bad harvest, from all the bad seeds he had sown against Jacob, during 14 of the past 20 years. Remember that Laban had did very well, while Jacob was managing his business. But it would be Laban's greed and deception, that would eventually cause him to lose all, that he had gained under Jacob.


In the next Bible Study Online Article:

Now that the business agreement has begun to go sour between Jacob and Laban, what will be Jacob's next move? And how will Laban react to it?


May God blessings be upon you, and thank you for your support



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Continue Reading - Current Bible Study Online Series:


42) Esau - Heart of Vengeance

43) Jacob - The Path of Uncertainty

44) Jacob - The Stone Pillow Dream

45) Rachel the Shepherdess

46) Jacob - The Love Season of Reaping

47) Leah Gains Favor with God

48) Bilhah the Child Bearer

49) Zilpah the Child Bearer

50) The Mandrake Plant of Love

51) The Birth of Joseph

52) Spotted & Speckled

53) Jacob the Master Shepherd

54) <-CURRENT - BIBLE STUDY ONLINE - PAGE->

55) Jacob Departs from Laban




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