Genesis 47:9 Jacob replied, “I have traveled this earth for 130 hard years…
Jacob received an amazing blessing:
Genesis 27:28-29 “From the dew of heaven and the richness of the earth, may God always give you abundant harvests of grain and bountiful new wine. May many nations become your servants, and may they bow down to you. May you be the master over your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you. All who curse you will be cursed, and all who bless you will be blessed.”
Yet, when the ruler of the known world asks his age Jacob replies, “130 hard years.”
Why did someone who had God’s blessing on his life live such a hard life?
Ephesians 1:3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.
You have the blessing. Life does not have to be hard.
Sometimes we make it hard on ourselves.
How do we make life hard on ourselves?
Jacob had the wrong perspective – life was hard.
Let’s look at Jacob’s hard life: His brother wants to kill him, he married four women, daughter raped, sons killed a city in revenge, his son Reuben had an affair with one of his wives, thought his son was dead for 13 years, survived famine.
Jacob also had incredible experiences. He was blessed by his father, he dreamt of angels bringing blessing, God promised his descendants would be great, he fell in love with a beautiful woman, had twelve children, prospered even when Laban tried to deceive him, he was protected, reconciled with Esau, he wrestles with God (theophany), supernatural protection, when there is famine God sends him to Goshen, reunited with his son and dies passing the blessing on to the rest of his family.
John 16:33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
In the passage “work” is mentioned four times.
Perhaps it is hard because you are working for it instead of operating out of grace.
Jacob worked seven years for Leah.
Jacob worked seven years for Rachel, but it felt like days.
There is work where seven years feels like days – grace.
There is work that feels like more than seven years – toil.
There is a fine line between them both.
Matthew 11:28 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Who are you in agreement with?
Laban was bad news. Jacob should not have gotten into agreement with Laban.
Get in agreement with the wrong person and you end up with Leah.
You end up with trouble, debt, bad relationships, addictions.
How do I get out of agreement?
Stop their Facebook.
Stop answering the phone.
Pray for wisdom.
Leah had weak eyes (NIV), Jacob had weak eyes. He couldn’t see the future.
Jacob was ruled by circumstance. He lived in the past. Jacob thought he would die if Benjamin died. Everything was tied up in the past.
Life is not meant to be lived in reverse.
Nothing makes life hard like looking back.
1 Corinthians 3:21-23 So don’t boast about following a particular human leader. For everything belongs to you— whether Paul or Apollos or Peter, or the world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
The past does not belong to us.