RESENTING THOSE WHO ARE BLESSED
Laban said, “Good! Let it be as you have said.” [But] he set a three days’ journey between himself and Jacob and Jacob pastured the rest of Laban’s flock. Genesis 30:34,36
Laban’s view of Jacob was very limited. He did not know the struggles of the first three decades of Jacob’s life. All he saw was the blessing of God on Jacob those seven years. Everything Jacob touched prospered. So when Jacob offered to take the least amount of the flocks (the striped, spotted, and black), and only count those and their offspring as his, it sounded like a great deal to Laban but misgivings set in. Though Laban clearly had the advantage on paper, he had seen God’s blessing on Jacob firsthand. He knew that, somehow, Jacob would prosper. Scheming ensued to make sure Jacob would be the disadvantaged in the deal.
I can look at the life of someone God blesses and witness firsthand how God takes whatever little they have in their hands to continually produce abundance. I can privately hate them for it. I find little ways to steal from them, even if it’s their reputation. I delight in finding flaws in their character, in their family, and relish telling others that they’re not so perfect. Such is the bent of my flesh without God.
Laban’s issue was with God, not with Jacob. If he felt forgotten and second-rate, this was not Jacob’s doing. Since Laban didn’t even acknowledge Yahweh, he had no way to cope spiritually except to take matters in his own hands.
This past Sunday, I was visiting a church where there had been a divine healing of a young man’s cancer. After praying, the tumor was just gone. The congregation was invited to praise out loud. Next to me was a dear friend who has survived brain, and breast, cancer. Healing prayers were prayed for her too but God did not do for her exactly what he did for this young man. Though she clapped and celebrated his good news, I wondered if there was a brief struggle in her soul though she is in remission.
If you are in painful times today and your trust in God is shaken by another’s blessing, press through your anger to seek God. “Man is born unto trouble…” and looking at others lives through momentary lenses is dangerous. Good and bad times are allotted to us all.
Help my unbelief. I have often despaired that your ‘plans for others were good’ — but I was excluded. Time proved otherwise but help me trust you when I can NOT see. Amen
Journal Question: Do you envy another’s story? What must you do to be right with God? What beliefs are simmering in your anger?