Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Jacob's Hard Work Earns Rewards

By Mary Vee
Genesis 30:37-31:3

Jacob gulped down the last of his breakfast, tickled little Joseph and Dinah, laughed with his older nine sons then set out to the pasture.

"Time to relieve the night watch." He yawned and stretched. "Today's gonna be a great day. Once my flock is built up to a reasonable size, I'm moving back to the land God gave my family."

Jacob hiked out to his uncle Laban's sheep. He rubbed his hands together and got to work. "Good, here are some rods of green poplar, almond, and chestnut trees." He took each rod and cut a wedge to expose a white strip inside.

He gathered the rods and stood them up in the flock's watering troughs. He stepped back and smiled at his work. "Yes, that looks right."

Each day the sheep came to drink, they saw the striped rods.

Even though Laban had been mean, Jacob gave his best care to Laban's sheep. He made sure they were safe, had plenty to eat and drink, and slept. He wanted them to stay healthy. He taught his sons how to care for their own flock.

Laban hardly spent any time with Jacob any more. Jacob didn't mind. He liked being in charge of the flock. About five months later, new lambs were born. Their fur had streaks, spots, or specks of color!

Since the lambs weren't a solid color, Jacob took the lambs and put them with his other sheep. "Here you go little ones. Laban said I could have all the streaked, spotted, and speckled sheep. So, you are mine."

The next day, Jacob had an idea. He took new poplar, almond, and chestnut tree rods, cut a wedge to show a white stripe and only set them in the sheep's watering trough when strong livestock came to drink.

When the strong livestock had newborns, the baby animals had streaks, spots, or speckles in their fur. The weak livestock's babies did not.

Jacob continued to separate his newborn livestock from Laban's. It didn't take long before he had large flocks, camels and donkeys, and many servants to help.

Leah and Rachel felt proud. Their children had everything they needed and much more.

One day when Jacob tended the sheep he heard Laban's sons talking. "That Jacob is no good! Why, he's taken away everything that belongs to Father. All his riches have come from our land! We've got to do something about this."

Jacob shook his head. How can they say that? I've worked hard. Uncle Laban said I could have all the spotted, speckled, and streaked livestock.

He watched Laban's sons talking to their father later in the afternoon. They waved their hands as they talked. Whew! They're really angry!

Laban shook his head and stroked his beard. He balled up his fist and pounded it into his other hand.

Jacob's eyes grew wide. He turned away and guided one sheep back to the flock. Laban's really angry.

He gazed up at the clouds. "What should I do?"

God spoke to him. "Go back to the land I gave to your fathers. Return to your family and I will be with you."

Finally, the time has come for Jacob to go home to the land God gave his family. He must be happy. God blessed him while he cared for Laban's flock and gave him enough to start his own home back in the land where he grew up. Jacob worked hard, even though Laban tricked him. What reward did Jacob get for working hard even though his uncle treated him mean?

Jacob left his home with his parents because he tricked his brother Esau. Now he plans to leave this place because Laban tricked him. Jacob has learned a lot about hard work, but do you think he has learned not to be mean to others?

20 comments:

  1. I think he learned. From Michael

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  2. yes yes he has. hello from your friend

    ricky

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  3. Jacob's reward was that he could go to the land God has given him.And Jacob probably did learn not to be mean to others.

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  4. Hi!I do think he has learned not to be mean.his reward was the sheep.I always have liked your story!from,Jade

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  5. I think Jacob has learned to be nice to people.Oh,And one more thing,your story was great.

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  6. he learned.love westin

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  7. Jacob learned his lesson.from lacey

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  8. Yes. I think he did learn his lesson.from,Kayden

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  9. I liked the story.He probly leared.From Brett.

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  10. I think Jacob had learned a leson from leaving the land god gave him.from me Austin

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  11. I think Jacob now knows how Esau felt when he tricked him.I think Jacob will be happy.

    love,Delaney

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  12. I think he learned.

    LOVE,GENTRY

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  13. NO I DO NOT THINK HE LEARND TO NOT BE MEAN.LOVE BAYLEIGH.

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    1. Well it looks like most of you felt Jacob had learn what it felt like to be tricked. Keep reading to find out what happens next.

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  14. I know Jacob is going back to the land God gave him, but will Laban let Jacob bring the sheep home? Maybe Jacob has learned to be nice to other people.
    Bye,
    Tommy

    I think that Laban is going to let him take the livestock because they had a deal, but he might not because he has lied to him before. I think Jacob is not going to hurt others again because he felt how it feels to be betrayed and I think God needed Laban to be that person who actually showed Jacob what it felt like to be tricked.
    Ella

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    1. Tommy,
      These are good thoughts. Laban had agreed to let Jacob have the sheep, but you raise a good question. Will he really do it. Guess we'll have to see in the upcoming stories.

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    2. Ella,
      Ooooo, great thoughts. God does use people like Laban to teach us things.

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We like to read what you learned about the story today. Remember, God loves you very much!