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01 Aug 2021

Showdown : Jacob vs Laban [Genesis 30-31]

Overview

Even though Laban cheated Jacob many times, God saw to it that Jacob will have the last laugh and emerge prosperous. This story proves the loving faithfulness of God towards Jacob in fulfilling His promise (in Gen 28:13). 1. Jacob's Blessings. Jacob is blessed with abundance. His blessings contrast the power of God versus the impotence of Laban's idols (which were sat upon by Rachel!) And let us remember that Jacob was loved and blessed not because of Jacob, but in spite of Jacob. He was a swindler, cheat and con-man who deceived his own father. God's love is sovereign, amazing and magnanimous to bless him.  2. Jacob's "Belief". Jacob knew about God and His blessings. But he never recognised God as his own God. Jacob is a picture of how people can merely have an intellectual assent to God, but not repent and believe in Him and His Son as our Saviour.  It is sad to say that Jas 2:16 can be a description of many in church today. Make sure it is not you.  3. Jacob's Breakthrough. Eventually, God's love and faithfulness won Jacob over. Jacob finally bowed to God as his God, at the age of 97! There is no one too old to be saved!


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Well, this morning, we are continuing our journey in the book of Genesis. It's been a long journey so far, we are maybe past the midway point already. The last few chapters will go on real fast, so yep, we are looking to finishing up the story in the book of Genesis!

Now, last week after the sermon, when I got back I asked my sons what they thought about the message. And my youngest son, Matthias immediately asked, "Following how Laban cheated Jacob, who will win at the end?" He's very concerned about who will ultimately triumph. So today, in Episode 3 in the story of Jacob, we are looking at the showdown, the ultimate final showdown between Jacob and Laban.

Now, you recall, Jacob had to work for seven years in order to marry Rachel. That was his hope! That was his drive! That was his motivation! And so he must be very very surprised after the wedding night to wake up and realize that the woman she was ... he was with was not Rachel, but her sister Leah.

So immediately he was furious, he felt cheated. He went to confront his father-in-law Laban and said, "What happened! I thought we had agreed that if I were to work for you seven years you'll give me Rachel!" Oh, Laban very cunningly said, "Ah, you do not know the custom of our country, it is not right that the younger one should be married before the firstborn! So let me tell you what, work for me another seven years, and I will give you my daughter Rachel."

Now, I made a mistake last week saying that, "Jacob had to work for seven years first before he could get with Rachel, actually, it is that he would be with Rachel seven days after he married Leah, and then he had to continue working seven years for Laban after marrying Rachel."

And that's what happened. He married Rachel and he must be absolutely delighted, but he had to continue working for Laban another seven years. So in total, he had to work 14 years to marry Leah and Rachel.

Now, the story we joined in this morning is at this juncture, he had finished in a sense, working 14 years for Laban. And he's now thinking to himself, "Maybe I will have to leave." He might be thinking about his home, his father, his mother. He misses home! Maybe he's thinking that his brother Esau, whom he has swindled is not as angry anymore, so he could go back. Or maybe he's thinking to himself, "It's time for me to start my own family."

So he went to speak with Laban and said, "I want to go home." Now, Laban is a smart guy, he is a very shrewd businessman, cunning person to deal with. So Laban knew that his prosperity today is all because God had been with Jacob. And so he would be very hesitant to lose his golden goose, as it were.

So he tried his very best to make Jacob stay. He says, "No, don't go! God has blessed me, your God has blessed me because of you. I was very little, I had a little flock but now I have a lot. And so tell me, tell me what you want, tell me your wages. Don't go!"

So eventually, they settled upon this deal as it were, Jacob suggested and Laban accepted, that all of the striped, speckled and spotted sheep, goats or black lamb will belong to Jacob. That will be his wages, that will be what he would work for. And so they both happily shook hands on it, they seal the deal as it were.

But you know Laban is such a cheat. Laban is such a cunning guy, because on the very same day Laban told his men immediately to take all the spotted, striped and speckled sheep, goats, black lambs, and remove it from the flock. His sons will take care of it, and so what's left for Jacob is really zero, none of the spotted speckle or striped flock!

Laban reminds me so much of my neighbor, I think I've shared with you guys before - Glen. I was playing Monopoly, I played Monopoly many times, but I'm always wondering, "Why I'm losing out to him? Why I could never win a game of Monopoly?" And one day, I realized that we as ... we were playing, he will look one side and his hand will go the other. He was the banker for monopoly, and he would steal the dollar notes into his own stash.

Well, Laban here is a cheat, he's a swindler. Not to be outdone, Jacob then came up with a ... if I may say, a bewildering, or bizarre strategy. He took some sticks, he ... he took stick of poplar, plain and almond trees. And then he exposed the white of the sticks. Not sure why, not sure how, but when the sticks are exposed, he will then place it in front of the flock as they were drinking from the water trough.

And apparently as they saw the sticks, and as they were drinking, they will also be at the same time breeding. The offspring that were born out of this kind of environment would be the speckled, spotted and striped flock. So that is very amazing, bizarre, if I may say because as far I can research as far as I can read, there is nothing in animal husbandry that can explain this phenomenon.

It's almost like if you want to have a child who looks like Tom Cruise, you ... you look at Tom Cruise' photo every day. I don't think your child would come up looking like Tom Cruise, but that's how it worked! Now, there are people who maybe offer alternative explanations, such as how that peeled stick is really dipped into the water, so there are some medicinal effects. Now, that is debatable! All in all, I cannot quite explain. I don't think there's any commentator who can quite explain what's going on.

Nevertheless, this was the observed result as a ... as a consequence. There were many offspring who were speckled, spotted and striped that belonged ultimately to Jacob. Now, Jacob was also very smart, he also performed what we call, 'selective breeding', because when the stronger flocks would gather at the waters, he would take out those sticks. So what they would bring forth are the strongest speckled, spotted, striped ones.

But when the weaker flocks would come, he will not take out that ... that stick. So over time, you could imagine Jacob's wealth and possessions increased. He had large flocks. He had a lot of camels and donkeys and male servants and female servants, because he had a lot of the speckled, spotted and striped flocks.

Jacob's (sic: Laban's), well, he got the weaker ones! So over time of course, it became obvious. So we read that, "Jacob's (sic: Laban's) sons were saying, "Jacob has taken all that was our father's, and from what was our father's he has gained all this wealth." [Gen 31:1] And Jacob heard the sons talk about this, he knew that this was crunch time, he had to go, confrontation is coming soon!

"And he saw that Laban did not regard him with favor as before." [Gen 31:2] If I may say in Hokkien here in Singapore, Laban is now 'buay song' [Hokkien dialect], he's not very happy about the situation at all. "Then the LORD also said to Jacob, "Return to the land of your father's and to your kindred, and I will be with you." [Gen 31:3]

So he really knew this was the time to go. He spoke to his wives, told them about the situation, and this is what he shared with them, "Your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times." [Gen 31:7] So, Laban did not just cheat Jacob once in a while, he cheated ten times at least. Jacob remembers all that.

"But God did not permit him to harm me. Thus God has taken away the livestock of your father and given them to me. In a breeding season of the flock I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream that the goats that mated with the flock were striped, spotted and mottled." [Gen 31:9-10]

So, I suggest to you the real reason why there were many many speckled, spotted and striped flock is not because of the stick per-se, it was [sic:was not] just something that Jacob came up with, but the real reason is that God blessed. God worked in such a way that he had more of that flock. So that I think is the biblical explanation for the phenomena ... we just ... or phenomenon we just read.

So the wives Rachel and Leah, they heard what Jacob said and they were wholly behind Jacob. This decided to move, and so unknown to Jacob, uh ... unknown to Laban, they packed their stuff and they made a huge move away from Laban. At the same time, the Bible gives us a little snippet, a little insight that Rachel also stole from her father Laban, stole his idols, stole his household gods. For what, I do not know, but she stole from Laban.

Now, Laban finally got wind that his children, his son-in-law, his grandchildren, and a lot of the flock has now left. So he decided that he must give chase, I mean he was not happy that they would steal away from him. Maybe in his shrewd and cunning mind, he was still thinking of some ploy, some scheme to retain them, and to get back what he wants.

So he gave chase, but God in the middle of the night told Laban not to speak good or evil to Jacob. Meaning, I think to say, "Don't try to keep him anymore." Well, Laban still went to look for his family, he finally caught up with them and said, "Why didn't you tell me, these are my family? And you could have told me and I would send you off with a fantastic farewell!" Hah, I think Jacob must be thinking, "Yeah! Sure!"

He revealed that God spoke to him and he also asked them, "Why did you steal my gods? Why did you steal my idols?" Now, Jacob didn't know that Rachel had stolen the idols. So he said, "No, we didn't!" But Laban insisted on searching the camp and so he went to Leah's tent, searched around, couldn't find the idol. And now he went to Rachael's tent, searched around and couldn't find the idol.

The idols were actually being sat on by Rachel at this time. She wouldn't get up because she came up with an excuse that say, "The way of the women has struck her." I think that refers to the menstruation period, and so it was not convenient for her to arise. But actually all the while, she's just sitting on the idols.

Now, of course, Laban then couldn't find anything, and so this was the opportunity for Jacob to berate, to scold his father-in-law, why and so on and so forth. He said, "I work for you 20 long years, 14 years for your daughters, 6 years for your flock, and if God had not been with me, I would have been cheated by you and left with nothing."

So he was very upset, he poured out his grievances, but at the end of the day, both of them decided to establish a covenant, a covenant that says, "I'm not going to rob you anymore." Basically that's what it is, "This is a witness, I'm not going to defraud you, I'm not going to go over to you to take more of your stuff." And Jacob also at this covenant said that, "He will not oppress Leah and Rachel and will not take on any other wives."

Well, that settles it! And Laban finally bids farewell to the family. So this was the story, long one ... about the showdown between Jacob and Laban. Who won? Well, round 1 we read in the story earlier, that Laban cheated Jacob of this marriage. And so you could say, "Round 1 goes to Laban."

What about round 2? Round 2 about the wages that is to be given to Jacob. You could also say, "Laban cheated again, Jacob. Took all the spotted, speckled, striped flock, and you could say again, "Laban won that round."

But the final round we read here in Genesis 30 and 31, I could say, you could say, "Belongs ... of course to Jacob." He emerged with riches beyond his imagination. And you could say, "Jacob, therefore won and had the last laugh." Well, it was all because of course, it was all because God blessed Jacob.

So what's the big idea? I know I just gave you the story. You did not come just to listen to a story. We're here to have some insight, so very quickly with this long story, what's the big idea?

I believe the big idea that we must trace in the story of Jacob, is - how God is faithful, lovingly faithful to Jacob, and how God will fulfill His promises to Jacob.

You will recall in Genesis, chapter 28 in Episode 1 of Jacob's life, we read that God said, "I will not leave you until I've done what I have promised you." God promised to give him the land. God promised to give him many offspring, and God promise that from one of his offspring will all nations be blessed. And God is saying, "I will not leave you until I've done all that I've said." So that's why Jacob was blessed, that's why Jacob won.

[1] Jacob's Blessings
But let's come into some more, if I may say, "filtered out thinking and points." Number one, I'd like us to consider - Jacob's blessings here.

His blessings are so obvious! His father-in-law would attest to it. His father-in-law says in verse 27 of chapter 30, "I've learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you." Laban knew that! Jacob himself also knew that! "But the God of my father has been with me." [Gen 31:5] Jacob also says in verse 7, "God did not permit Laban to harm me." And then in verse 9, "All these livestock is because God gave them to me."

So it is very clear that God blessed Jacob. And this little snippet, you might be wondering why, why in this long story would there be this detail about this idol? I'm not exactly sure, but I think it might be a very skillful juxtaposition, it might be a very skillful comparison between the God of Jacob and the idols and the gods of Laban.

The gods of Laban are good for nothing, it could even be sat on by a woman who claims to be having her menstrual period. They are useless gods in that sense! But the God of Jacob, wow, throughout this Book of Genesis, and in the life of Jacob, we could only say, "He is a powerful, gracious, all-knowing God!" So maybe that's the reason that we can trace the hand of Jacob's blessings to the Almighty God.

I want to remind you that the reason why God blessed Jacob is not because of Jacob. God did not say, "I love Jacob because Jacob is a great guy." God did not say, "I love Jacob because he's a holy man." God did not say, "I love Jacob because he would follow Me." No, God blessed Jacob, in spite of Jacob not because of Jacob!

We had already seen that Jacob was a bad person, he was a swindler, he was a cheat, he was a con man, he was a rascal. He will be someone who will take advantage even of his own father!
So the blessings on Jacob are in spite of Jacob, not because of Jacob. It's all because of God's sovereign, magnanimous, gracious love. That is what we must see!

[2] Jacob's Belief
And then we see not only Jacob's blessings, but we also need to see - Jacob's belief. Now, when I say the word, 'belief', it is true that Jacob believed in God in a sense, but it is also believed in inverted commas, because he did not believe in God in a certain sense.

"But what do you mean by that?" Well, he certainly believed in the existence of God, he certainly believed in the hand of God upon his life, we already have read these verses, verse 5, verse 7, verse 9. And then of course, in verse 42, "If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the fear of Isaac had not been on my side ..."

So it is clear he knows experientially there is God, and that this God has blessed him. But I also want you to recognize that the Bible is very consistent in the way it describes the way he calls this God. He doesn't call, "God, my God", but always up to now, "The God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, is the God of my father's but not my God." [Gen 31:42]

You got to see this, because not just here, again back in verse 5, back in verse, or going to verse 53, and also in the next chapter, "O God of my father Abraham and God of my father, Isaac." [Gen 32:9] Jacob did believe in God and did believe God bless him, but he had not really believed in God personally as his God for himself.

It reminds me of how the Bible says that, "There are people who believe that God is one ..." There is one God, you believe that, but there's nothing special to it because, "... even the demons believed."[James 2:19] They do believe in a God! Well, to be specific they do believe in the existence of this one God, they do believe in the presence of this one God. But they do not believe in God as their own! "Even the demons believed, but the demons at least shudder." [James 2:19]

It's scary that many people today don't even believe in God, they are worse than demons in a sense, when you look at James, chapter 2!

So in the Bible, I believe you could therefore say that, "There are two kinds of belief, isn't it?" One is belief in the mere existence of God. And maybe even believe that there is a God who blesses, but you don't believe that this God is your God, you would not have Him as your God.

And at the same time, the Bible speaks about a true faith, a true belief in this God to be my God. So if I may put a simple comparison and contrast, it might sound something like this - a belief like the demons is one that is intellectual, you do know that there is God, but it does not change your life, there is no real spiritual life and appreciation and change in you. Is just something in your head, but nothing in your life! You would not follow this God. You would not obey this God.

If I may say, "This belief on the left side is that you know about God, but you will not kneel before this God. Of course, not kneeling physically only, but kneeling as a posture of life, that you acknowledge Him as LORD over you.

There's a belief that is simply recognizing the existence of God, but there is a belief that results in repentance before this Great and Holy God. You would see that your sins are offensive to Him and because He is LORD, because He is your God, you're willing to turn away from sin, forsake sin to live a life with the help of His Spirit of holiness.

There is a belief that is mere information, but there is a belief that results in true transformation. There is a belief that belongs to the demons, and there is a belief that belongs to the disciples of Jesus Christ - the true followers of Jesus Christ.

You see, just knowing about something, just seeing something without really believing is not real belief. Oh, I can give you example after example, but maybe this is the best. You remember the nation of Israel some 2 million of them, they would follow Moses out of Egypt, they would all see how Moses used by God would part the Red Sea. Of course, it's not Moses who parted the Red Sea, it's God! And they could see the Hand of God, the mighty Hand of God in parting the Red Sea. They would actually see the presence of God every single day!

God followed them, led them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. No one would mistake this! No one would say, "I do not know there is God!" I mean, this is obvious! God would rain down manna from heaven every day for the people of Israel as food. I mean, that's a clear demonstration of God! And yet, even though they know about God, they did not really believe in God, because the Bible tells us, "They rebelled against God." [Heb 3:16-19]

The author of Hebrews is very clear that he is not saying that, "Everyone who followed Moses, the 2 million of them who followed Moses, because they saw the hand of God they believe." No! the author of Moses told us, "Even though they saw all that, they did not believe!"

How did he know that? Because, "They rebelled against God." They never really believed God in their hearts - a vast majority of them. "They sinned against God, and their bodies fell in the wilderness as a result of God's judgment." And God said to them, He swore that, "They will not enter into His rest because they were disobedient."

Now, what this means is that God said, "They were never mine and they were shown up not to be mine because they never really obeyed, they rebelled against Me, they sinned against Me, they were disobedient. And the reason is because they had unbelief."

But they know about God, right? Yes, they do, but they had unbelief. They believed like the demons, but they didn't not believe like the disciples. They did not believe as true followers of Jesus Christ.

"The Good News came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened." [Heb 4:2] There's one thing about listening with your head and another thing to listen with faith. The Jews who followed Moses saw everything, but they had no faith, they did not believe.

This is not just Moses' time ... Jesus' time, I mean no one, no one could deny the works, and the Words of Jesus. He showed God to the entire nation of Israel. But you know what, most of them even though they knew, even though they could observe, they did not believe!

So just like Jacob, he saw a lot of things, he knew that God blessed him, but it was all intellectual, it was all external, it was never really in his heart. Not at this point of time, anyway.

[3] Jacob's Breakthrough
But finally, let's see Jacob's breakthrough. Now, I cheat a little because I just want to jump ahead to another chapter, a, a kind of a preview, a sneak peek at what's going to come. Because I want you to know, Jacob did not remain as someone who just believed on the intellectual level and not really on the heart level.

He ultimately gave his life to God. He ultimately own God as his God, because we see later on he would be facing his brother Esau, who he must have feared for the two decades away. He bowed himself to the ground when Esau was approaching, hoping to appease his brother's wrath. To his surprise, Esau was not angry anymore, but cordially welcomed Jacob back and they were on good terms.

So we read in chapter 33:18-20, "Jacob came safely ...", that's a very key word, "... safely to the city of Shechem. He bought a piece of land with a hundred pieces of money, and he intentionally erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel," which means God, the God of Israel.

You say, "What's so special?" Well, you must understand that God was the One who changed Jacob's name to Israel in chapter 32, just a little before this. And so after that change of name, you know what Jacob says? "God, He's not just a God of Isaac, He's not just the God of Abraham, He is the God of Israel. He is my God."

Now, there's a breakthrough in Jacob's life! No more just intellectual knowledge, but a real spiritual repentance and belief in God as his God. And you know this must be a throwback to chapter 28, when Jacob was asleep, he had a dream and God revealed Himself to him, Jacob immediately erected a pillar, anointed the pillar and he made a vow that day that says, "If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father's house in peace." [Gen 28:20-21]

He remember what he said 20 years ago, and he says, "If I would to come back in peace, then the LORD, Jehovah God, the God of the Bible shall be my God." So on that day in Genesis 33:18-20, he says, "Yes, God is not just a God of Isaac, and of Abraham, but the God of Jacob, the God of Israel." That is Jacob's blessings!

Now, I, I just want to end off with saying, "This is not just about Jacob, it could be you!" I just call this person Jane, you may be called John, you may be called Jason, doesn't matter, I'm just using a generic name to say that, "This story of Jacob may be a story for you and for me, because we or you are a people who are blessed in many ways, isn't it?"

Now, yes, I understand that we all will have our fair share of trials and troubles. Life is never easy, life is painful. We ... we live in a fallen world where there's a lot of sin and brokenness and disappointments and struggles and pains. That ... that's what we know, yes, for sure! But maybe if you were to take things in the overall perspective, you could also say that you are a very blessed person, in that you have a family, in that you have life, in that you have a job, in that you have livelihood, in that you have friends.

We are blessed to be in a prosperous nation here in Singapore, a kind of safe haven, especially in this COVID environment. You could say you're blessed, even when you have your COVID vaccinations. If you just sit down and count your blessings, you could say, "I'm blessed! I'm really blessed with many many things! I do not know why I'm blessed."

Some of you say, "I know why I'm blessed because I work very hard." Well, let me tell you, "Even the ability and the opportunity to work is really given by God at the end of the day."

So maybe today, like Jacob, you're blessed, and for some of us, it's in explicable why we are blessed. It's ... it's not that I'm special, but maybe like the story of the speckled, spotted, striped sheep and goats, God blessed you in a way that is not explainable by your own works or efforts, but God has blessed.

So you're like Jacob, maybe you see yourself you're thankful, you could see God's hand. But maybe today like Jacob, you also had this belief that I could say, is in inverted commas. Maybe you're someone who was raised in church, maybe you're someone who is familiar with church, maybe you are someone who have been hearing the Bible for many years of your life, but could it be that your faith is like Jacob's belief at this stage, in that you ... you just see things on an intellectual academic level?

You know about God, you recognize that there is God, but it's all just information, and maybe your faith is best classified to be no different as that of demons. Do you realize today that there is another kind of faith spoken of in the Bible that is spiritually transforming? That kind of faith that causes God's people to kneel before Him and acknowledge Him as LORD. That kind of faith that causes us to repent and keep on repenting of our sin. The kind of faith that results in a transformation of life, that we could then say, "We are true followers of Jesus."

I hope today you would not, you would not see that you belong to the left column and want to stay there. But maybe in your heart right now, you would cry out to God, "LORD, I don't want to be just someone who knows about You, but I want to be someone who really knows you, obeys you, fears you, serves You." Now you will not just be like Jacob in Genesis 31. But let's move on, I hope you'll be someone who will be like Jacob in Genesis 32, 33, where he had a significant breakthrough, where he now finally in his heart says, "God will be my God."

It's been a long while you know, Jacob had been away from home for 20 years. 14 years serving for his wife or wives, 6 more years for the flocks, he is now about 97 years old. But finally he believes! Well, maybe you are 20 years old, 40 years old, 60 years old, whatever it is, I want you to know that for all this while, God has not dealt with you, you're not taken to face Him as yet. But please, let's realize that, "It is God's kindness to you at this moment and it is meant to lead you to repentance." [Psalm 2:4]

I pray today there will be a breakthrough in your life, that you will resolve in your heart to repent of your sin, and to believe in Jesus. That you resolve in your heart that you will not just know about God, but you will know Him in a life-changing way, that you will truly have Him as your God.

And my friends, there may be people around you who are not yet Christians, 20 years old, 40 years old, 60 years old, 80 years old. This passage, the story of Jacob is so encouraging because it teaches us never to give up hope. We can be praying for them, we can be sharing with them the Gospel of Jesus Christ, if they should want to, and trust that God can still save someone - 97! That's God's way!

And so let's patiently labor amongst the lost, in this COVID times, I hope even though we can't do a lot of organized activities together, God would use you to be that little ambassador, little witness to share the Gospel to all around and there's no one we need to give up on.

Let's labor in such a way that they would not just have the kind of belief on the left-hand column, but they will have the kind of belief on the right-hand column, that true faith that leads to eternal life.

Friends, I just want to give a final appeal to you this morning. Come to God! Because maybe today God is using this message, God is using His Word to reach out to you to call you to Himself.

I end with this song lyric, lyrics that says, "What grace is mine ..." what amazing love, magnanimity, generosity of God! "What grace is mine, that He - God, who dwells in endless light called through the night to find my distant soul." You know God has been with Jacob all his life, blessed him, and is constantly calling Jacob to himself, and maybe God is doing that to you, He's doing that with you. He has blessed you, you have known something about God, but maybe this is the day you will respond to the call of God.

And you know, what does it mean to respond to the call of God? It is not just a mere verbal profession. Yes, real belief in God will result in a verbal profession, but it's also more than that! A real repentance and faith in Jesus would also say, "I will go wherever He's calling me. I lose my life to find my life in Him. I give my all to gain the hope that never dies. I bow my heart, take up my cross and follow Him."

Will you do that this morning?

Let's bow for word of prayer together.

Father, we thank You today that in a character who lived some three, four thousand years ago, we can see ourselves, we can learn from him and we can learn about You from him. Thank You for being the God who has blessed us so much all the years of our lives. And even though we may struggle with some trials and problems of life, at the end of the day we are thankful for life, for breath, for food, for sustenance, for country, for family, for livelihood, for church, for people around us that point us to Your Word.

LORD, You are a God who has showered us with so much. And I do pray that we will not be a people who just know You intellectually, that we would not follow in the footsteps of Israel during the times of Moses, who saw the hand of God, but ultimately will not believe. O God, but have mercy upon us today, that many would make a choice like Jacob did in Genesis 33 to say that, "The God of the Bible is my God." Help us to truly repent and believe. Help us to be a people who would be willing to lose our lives, take up our cross and follow Jesus.

I pray Gospel Light will be a church, faithful in helping others in the true Gospel, in coming to find forgiveness, salvation, and life through Jesus, Your Son. So bless Your people, save souls, challenge our hearts and send us out for Your glory. We thank You in Jesus' Name. Amen.

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