Text: Genesis 30:37-43
After Laban has robbed Jacob of 14 years of his life. Jacob makes a deal with Laban that all the speckled and spotted cattle, brown sheep, and speckled and spotted goats will be his after 7 more years of service. The plain colored will belong to Laban. Sounded like a good deal since most sheep there are either white or black. All Laban could see was his wealth increasing because of Jacob so he heartily agrees to it.
Jacob set up a six-year breeding program that essentially stripped Laban of all of the best of his flocks. He peeled poplar, hazel and chestnut branches until the white wood appeared. He put these branches in the gutters around the water troughs. Gutters are the grooved out places around the troughs where the animals have been watering. These rods were used as a sort of temporary fencing so that Jacob could control the breeding. He bred the he goats that produced ringstraked, spotted and speckled kids with the stronger she goats. And he bred the rams that produced brown lambs with the stronger ewes.
Of course, he knew which rams and he goats would produce these because he had been with these flocks for 14 years. That way, no matter how Laban renegotiated their agreement, Jacob was guaranteed to get the best lambs and kids out of each year’s crop (Genesis 31:8).
Jacob is corralling the cattle—sheep and goats—as they come for water. By making sure a ram gets in with several ewes he’s going to get the ewes to go into heat. Jacob has shepherded Laban’s flocks for 14 years. He was a shepherd before then for 25 years.
Division (vs 40) Jacob did separate the lambs…
- Separation is preparation
- One of the first acts of wisdom is separation.
- You and I are impressionable. The moment you think you’re not is the moment you’re at your most vulnerable. Accept the fact that you and your children are impressionable and protect yourself from bad influences.
- We say, well don’t we have to be a witness. Being a witness is different than being the crowd you say you’re a witness to. If you can identify more and spend more time with people you’re witnessing to as opposed to God’s people then you’re not a witness you’re just part of the crowd.
- Point is to accept that you’re vulnerable and impressionable and quit thinking you’re not.
- Abraham’s strength and ability to pray for his family in Sodom & Gomorrah was the fact that he wasn’t a part of Sodom & Gomorrah, yet interestingly enough he had more influence on what happened to Sodom & Gomorrah than Lot who built his entire life around the place.
- Your standards of separation ought to produce a better 2nd generation. Jacob divides the cattle in a way that’s going to make his flock stronger in the future (vss 41-42)
Congregation (vs 40) put his own flocks by themselves…
- Be around who you want to be like. He set the faces of the flocks toward the ringstraked and all the brown in the flock…(vs 40).
- Accomplice in robbery that turned to murder who just happened to be in the car at the time.
- All the more as ye see the day approaching…
- Can’t worship God by yourself