I was reading Genesis 31-33 today and noticed something in Jacob that sounded
familiar to me!!
Take time to read through this story if you haven't done so in a while.
Jacob would often respond to God obediently, but his methods of response were frequently dictated by fear.
...before you read on I'd like to define the fear that I am referring to first.
I am not talking of the reverential fear/respect for God that we all need.
I am talking of a fear/worry/terror of what others think
or of what we imagine circumstances to bring us.
As I was reading along, it struck me... guilt produces fear! Does that seem right out of the blue? Think about it. Years earlier Jacob had run from his brother Esau because, well, Esau wanted to kill him. It was probably a good thing that he ran; but he ran with the guilt of why his brother wanted his life. Jacob had deceived him & essentially robbed everything from him. Jacob's actions didn't produce remorse, they produced fear and fear flees.
Now, in chapter 31, Jacob is faced with another relational issue, this time with Laban. The difference here is that this circumstance was probably not Jacob's fault. God tells Jacob to leave and go back to his homeland. Jacob obeys... but he obeys with fear operating. Instead of leaving with confidence in the care of God, he fears the worst reaction that Laban might possibly throw and tries to sneak away. It's funny to me how he thought he could do this without being noticed (all the flocks & herds & wives & kids :). Anyway, Laban asks Jacob why he did this and Jacob's response was this, "Because I was afraid, for I said, ‘Perhaps you would take your daughters from me by force.' " (Genesis 31:31)
Fear can sound quite noble. Fear tries to mimic wisdom.
BUT, there is a difference! Wisdom and fear cannot operate in peace together. Both are masters, and both will compete for control. Wisdom is sound and confident, daring and peaceful all at the same time. Fear is irrational and anxious and extremely short sited.
Here's the lesson I learned today from Jacob:
"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.." Ephesians 1:17
Please inquire for the word of the LORD today. 1 Kings 22:5