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Honoring our heritage (Day 1)

Jun 24, 2024

Genesis 31:51–55

And Laban said to Jacob, Behold this heap, and behold this pillar, which I have cast betwixt me and thee; this heap be witness, and this pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm.


The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us. And Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac. Then Jacob offered sacrifice upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount. And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them: and Laban departed, and returned unto his place.

. . .

Hebrews 12:1

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.


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Ever since Jacob arrived in Haran, Laban treated him like a con man’s jackpot instead of a prized nephew. Reading about Laban’s misdeeds provides interesting insights into the man when we look back at his first biblical mention in Genesis 24. When Abraham sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac, Rebekah proved to be the answer to the servant’s prayers. In meeting her family, the servant gifted jewels of silver and gold and clothing to Rebekah. He gave precious things to Laban and his mother. Laban would covet even more when Rebekah’s son Jacob arrived on the scene.


The human emotion of wanting to be fully known and accepted dates all the way back to biblical times. Jacob had that same innate desire to be loved and welcomed. Laban, in a sense, took advantage of this. He liked what Jacob had to offer. He also knew that he would work hard and do almost anything for the woman he loved.


God is not like this. His love is pure. No strings attached. He cherishes you unconditionally. Maybe you grew up singing the lyrics of “Jesus Loves Me.” Allow your heart to really grasp the words in a new, rebuilt way. Instead of “Jesus loves me; this I know,” think of it as “Jesus knows me; this I love.” How wonderful that He knows every single failure, shortcoming, thought, and deed. He knows you fully, and He still loves you, and He always will.


What is the difference between offering love and acceptance in the way Laban did— with stipulations, making others feel used—or the way God intended: undefiled and holy? As you reflect on ways you have felt mistreated, give those hurts to God in prayer and offer forgiveness to those who have hurt you.


That concludes our devotional for today. Let us finish with a word of prayer. 


WORD OF PRAYER

Lord, we come to You grateful for Your pure and unconditional love, a stark contrast to the conditional affections of the world. Help us to recognize and cherish Your love that knows us completely and loves us unconditionally. Teach us to offer the same genuine love and acceptance to others, free from the worldly strings of condition and gain. As we reflect on our own experiences of mistreatment, grant us the grace to forgive, just as You have forgiven us. Lead us to live in the light of Your perfect love, which casts out all fear and doubt.


In the name of Jesus, amen.