There is a strong connection between how we behave and what we believe about ourselves. Basically, we are who we believe we are. What we believe about ourselves may not be the truth; however, we will behave in a way that matches what we believe. For example, if a woman believes that she doesn't deserve a good husband because of her family or her past she will date men who are disrespectful and maybe even abusive. So, that woman lives out her belief about herself even though it isn't true. The story we are looking at today is about Jacob's expertise in animal husbandry and his desire to leave Laban's home to return to his homeland and provide for his family, which may not seem related to what we believe, but stick with me! Please read Genesis 30:25-43.
This story intrigues me on many levels. First, we see that Laban understands that he is being blessed through Jacob and he doesn't want Jacob to leave. Second, we see that Jacob was willing to trust God and His provision by just asking Laban to let him leave. We can see how much Jacob's faith has grown because of his encounter with God in the wilderness. Jacob chose to believe the promise God gave him and we see him living it out in these verses. Part of God's blessing on Jacob's life was an excellent understanding on animal husbandry. In these verses we see that Jacob uses his knowledge in order to bypass Laban's deceitfulness. And, I know this may sound odd, but I want to focus in on the goat and sheep that were breeding under Jacob's care.
I was perplexed as to how Jacob's methods would produce animals that were spotted or striped. All he did was placed striped pieces of branches in the female's water when they were ready to mate. I have searched for the answer to why this works, and basically there is no modern scientific basis for this. I couldn't find any research done on the matter; however I found a lot of debates! Some people say that the sticks had nothing to do with it and it was all God, while others believe that maybe there was a chemical reaction in the water. Many Bible commentaries wrote that there was a belief in the power of suggestion while animals were mating. If the sheep saw the stripes in the water while they were drinking, the power of the imagination would produce striped sheep. No one really knows; however, it worked. We do know that God's blessing was on Jacob and He made it work. But the power of suggestive thinking got me thinking about who we believe we are.
The world likes to tell us who we are and we have an enemy who wants to tell us who we are. But, the reality is that we have a Creator who is really the only one who truly knows who we are. After all, He created us! Yet, we often choose to believe the lies of the enemy instead. Why is that? Perhaps it has something to do with the water we are drinking. Before you laugh, I'm not suggesting the water that comes out of our tap; I'm suggesting the the well from which we nourish our hearts. Are we choosing to go to a well of impure water that produces impure thoughts and beliefs about ourselves, or are we choosing to draw from God's well that gives us "living water?" (John 4:1-42; John 7:37-39) Are we listening to the Holy Spirit's guidance that will always tell us the truth? What is the truth about ourselves that we can believe and live out? We can believe that we are God's children (Galatians 3:26), we are chosen by God and are His special possession and His royalty (2 Peter 2:9), we are beautiful (Isaiah 61:2-4), and we are so much more in Christ but we must draw from His well of living water to learn these truths. The more we draw from His well, the more we will believe and live out His truths about us.
What well are you drinking from?
This post is linked with Monday Musings and Sharing His Beauty.