A humbled and open heart is fertile soil for God’s seeds of wisdom. Establishing deeper roots requires analyzing God’s word to discover truths, values, and lessons for application to our lives. Periodically, a scripture or passage calls for further exploration, like Genesis 30:26-43.
Our Deeper Roots passage in Genesis demonstrates how God’s favor is not dependent on the environment, circumstances, or skillset. Our scripture selection begins with Jacob and his uncle, Laban discussing Jacob’s departure. Jacob had finished his years of service for his wives, Leah and Rachel, and was ready to return to his home country. Laban knows that his wealth is because of the favor on Jacob’s life and Jacob knows how much his presence has benefitted Laban. So they negotiate a deal, Jacob will take all of the black, speckled, or spotted flocks. Laban quickly agrees and proceeds to separate all of the animals. He sends the black, speckled, and spotted animals with his sons and keeps them separate from the remaining flock that he leaves with Jacob. Jacob outwits his uncle with peeled bark to grow a large number of strong speckled and spotted animals with his uncle’s flock.
Laban knew that he was being blessed in proximity and he didn’t want to lose it. So when Jacob suggested keeping the speckled and spotted animals, Laban knew that that population of animals would be rarer, and smaller in number; so he agreed. But Laban made it even more difficult for Jacob by separating the flocks from each other. Determined for getting his independence, Jacob used the white bark from trees while mating the animals to get them to produce stronger spotted and speckled offspring. His selective mating practices worked; his flock flourished while Laban’s became weaker.
The biggest piece in all of this is God. Remember, the favor of God outweighs any manipulation or deception of man, period. Before Jacob arrived at Laban’s home, he was given a promise by God that he would prosper. Now Laban deceived Jacob in several ways, like marrying both of his daughters for 14 years of service and the trickery with flocks of animals; but God’s favor was still on Jacob. Yes, Jacob employed tactics in mating Laban’s flock, but it was God’s hand that ultimately allowed him to prosper. When God’s promise and favor are on you, the environment, the circumstances, and your skillset are little details. God will accomplish all that He sets out to do and your role is to keep being obedient to His instructions.