by Greg Barolet
God is sovereign, man is not, and sin distorts our understanding of this truth. God always keeps His promises to His people despite our shortcomings, as we see in Genesis 30. God blessed Jacob even though he was a cad. Laban was even blessed by God because He associated with Jacob in the business dealings (more like wheeling and dealing, actually). This is a very busy chapter, filled with lots of negotiations, re-negotiations; promises and breaking of promises, colored sheep, spotted sheep, goats and lambs — not to mention Jacob rushing ahead of God’s timing by having children with many women. These children will become the tribes of Israel one day because God keeps His covenant promises.
God says in 30:22 that He “remembered” Rachel and she bore a son. This is called an “anthropomorphism.” It is language that accommodates us in order to reveal God. God never forgot Rachel, of course, but He heard her prayers and answered them in His sovereign timing. Jacob’s blessings were so great that Laban found out how this could be through divination (v. 27), which is an abomination to God. In this chapter there are many strange customs to comprehend. But all in all God is gracious, God is kind, and God is dependable — even when we aren’t.
In 1 Corinthians 10:13, the apostle Paul writes, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” (nasb).
God remembers our hurts and our frustrations, and when all seems lost all is won because He is a God who is working even before we are speaking those desperate prayers. At times we fail the test, we succumb. But there is forgiveness with God. In His working, His strengthening, and Jesus’ interceding, we are overwhelmingly conquerors through His blessings. He blessed Abraham despite his faults, and He blessed Isaac, Jacob, and Israel despite their faults. Even though we too have many faults, He has blessed us in His sovereign love.
God was faithful to Jacob, which shows us that we should remain humble and count our blessings, one by one, and see what the Lord has always done.