God Who Controls Life, Death, Fortune, and Misfortune

Bible Study

God the Creator controls the entire universe and all things there in. He also rules over human history, life, death, fortune, and misfortune. If we love God and act in His words, He leads us to prosperous ways and gives us blessings. So, if one meets God he can become happy no matter how unhappy he was before. No matter how complicated a problem one has, he can easily resolve it. Are you having a hard time with worries and anxiety? I urge you to rely on God who controls life, death, fortune, and misfortune. He will guide your life to the prosperity and blessing.

  1. Jacob received the blessing of the first son

Jacob was a grandson of Abraham and a son of Isaac. He and Esau were twins. Esau was a man of the field and a skillful hunter, and he was loved by his father Isaac. On the other hand, Jacob was a peaceful man. He stayed in the tents and helped his mother. He was loved by his mother. Jacob was wise but deceitful and ambitious with a dream. He had a desire to have the birthright of his elder brother Esau.

One day, Esau came from his hunting and felt famished. Then, Jacob gave him some of his lentil stew but told him to sell him his birthright for it. Esau treated his birthright lightly and sold it carelessly. After sometime had passed, Isaac said to Esau that he would bless him before his death. He told him to make some savory food with his game and then he would bless him. Rebekah, the boys’ mother, overheard it and wanted her preferred son Jacob to receive the blessing. So she told Jacob to disguise himself as Esau and receive the blessing of firstborn.

Jacob came to his father Isaac was with the savory food his mother had made. Since Isaac’s eyes were dim he thought Jacob was Esau and blessed him as he pleased (Genesis 27). But some time later Esau entered the tent with a savory food made with his game. Isaac trembled with astonishment and he said he didn’t leave any blessing for him since he had already fully blessed Jacob. Esau decided to kill Jacob after Isaac died. This incident caused Jacob to flee to Laban, his uncle in Haran.

  1. Jacob learning the key to blessings

Jacob built up his foundations at Laban’s place and worked diligently. Laban saw him work hard and told him to name him his wage. Jacob served seven years for Rachel, who was Laban’s daughter. The seven years seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her.

If we love God we can overcome any kind of trials and persecutions with joy. If our hope is fixed on Heaven we don’t feel jealous of anything or anyone, but just try to pile up more heavenly rewards, please God more, and make more dedications to God’s kingdom.

While working hard for his beloved Rachel Jacob never thought that the seven years were long. Finally, he was married but the bride turned out not to be Rachel, but Leah her sister. When Jacob got angry after being deceived by Laban, Laban said to him, “It is not the practice in our place to marry off the younger before the firstborn.” Then, he continued to say, “Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also for the service which you shall serve with me for another seven years.” Jacob felt like it was unfair, but he followed what he had said.

What we should realize, here, is that we should know our own status and situations. If you complain, saying, “It’s not fair! It’s annoying! It doesn’t fit me,” and act beyond your own status, it is not easy for you to receive love or recognition from people anywhere as well as in family and workplace.

No matter how harsh the reality is, it is important to think and act in a positive way and in goodness rather than thinking in a negative way. We need to choose goodness and fulfill our duties faithfully even though it requires a loss and sacrifice rather than seeking our own benefits and advantages. Then, God will be pleased with it and will lift you up and make your position firm.

After time passed, Jacob had many children including Joseph. Jacob told Laban that he wanted to go back home. Laban knew that God had blessed him because of Jacob (Genesis 30:27). This is because Laban had little before Jacob came but his possessions increased to a multitude. Laban didn’t want him to return and asked what he might give to him to make him stay. Since Jacob had been deceived by Laban several times, he used his wisdom.

He told Laban to give him every speckled and spotted sheep and every black one among the lambs and the spotted and speckled among the goats as his wages. Since there were not many such sheep, Laban willingly accepted his suggestion. On that day, Jacob took fresh rods of poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white stripes in them, exposing the white which was in the rods. He set the rods which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the gutters, even in the watering troughs, where the flocks came to drink; and they mated when they came to drink.

Whenever the stronger of the flock were mating, Jacob would place the rods in the sight of the flock in the gutters, so that they might mate by the rods; but when the flock was feeble, he did not put them in; so the feebler were Laban’s and the stronger Jacob’s.

Jacob gave this amazing suggestion to Laban because he became an expert on what could make sheep mate well and grow up well while working for Laban for 14 years. Moreover, Jacob who was wise mastered the law of faith in which things are accomplished as people hope (Hebrews 11:1). In order to receive a blessing, anyone should be diligent, have a dream and vision, and receive God’s wisdom just like Jacob.

For instance, if you want to successfully manage a restaurant, you need to consider having a comfortable-looking interior as well as appealing taste and suitable location. And when you keep developing new meals and serve customers with kindness you can succeed in running it.

  1. God who controls life, death, fortune, and misfortune

When Jacob left for his hometown it was as if he had run away from Laban whom he had lived with for 20 years. It was not until three days later that Laban learned he had gone. He followed him in haste. God came to Laban in a dream in that night and said to him, “Be careful that you do not speak to Jacob either good or bad.” So Laban made a covenant with Jacob and named the place Galeed and returned home. However, while Jacob was resting, another problem came upon him.

Esau, who heard that Jacob was on his way home, was coming to meet Jacob with four hundred men. He thought his birthright and its blessings had been taken by Jacob. Then, how much he had been suffering in his thoughts! Whenever he had a hard time, he might have grumbled against Jacob saying it was all because Jacob had taken away his blessing. So, so much anger had he piled up against Jacob for such a long time!

Then Jacob became greatly afraid and distressed. With all his wisdom he divided the people who were with him into two groups, and the flocks and the herds and the camels, also into two groups. If Esau came against one of them and attacked it, then the other which was left would escape. He prepared for the situation. He also prepared a gift for Esau to suppress his anger.

Jacob was in desperation, but he couldn’t go back to Laban since they had already made a covenant. Neither could he go forward because Esau waited for him. He thought of and used several ways, but he realized that it was impossible to solve the problem with his own strength. Then, Jacob laid down all his wisdom and relied on God who controls life, death, fortune, and misfortune.

He was in great agony and wrestled with the angel till daybreak when his thigh was dislocated. Finally he brought down answers from God and gained his new name, ‘Israel’. When he relied on God, God melted the heart of Esau. Then, he was welcomed by Esau and people, and became the father of Israel.

When we commit everything to God we can be led to prosperity. If we completely obey God’s guidance we won’t be deceived by others or suffer from hardship. If you want to receive blessings in your workplace and business and be led to prosperity, I urge you to entrust everything to God and pray and lay down all your self-righteousness and wisdom. I hope by doing so you will receive great blessings and answers from God the Father who controls life, death, fortune, and misfortune and be led to the best way.

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