▪ We have been talking about what it means to be ‘In Christ.’
▪ We have heard how accepting Christ can translate a person from normal to supernatural
▪ This week we will be looking at a mystery that puts us in covenant with God Himself..! It is a tested and proven secret - the covenant of tithing.
▪ God expects us all to be financial giants, but many believers think it is not right to be rich due to mindsets.
▪ Let us see God’s opinion on this below.
2. Overview of Jacob
● Reading from Gen 25:19 – end, we see that Jacob was 2nd of Isaac’s twin sons. His twin brother Esau was the older.
● In their culture the eldest received the fathers blessing before the father died. Jacob first stole his brother’s birthright. Then based on a plan hatched by his mother, received the blessing due to his brother by deceiving his old and partially blind father into thinking he was blessing Esau (Genesis 27).
● His parents sent him off to Laban, his mother’s brother in Syria, as his brother was planning to kill him. So, Jacob set off on the journey.
3. Jacob’s encounter
Background - God had a covenant with Abraham, Jacob’s grandfather, in Genesis 12 where he had asked him to leave his family and people to a new land, and that he would bless him, make his name great and make him a blessing. Abraham believed in the tithe. This was all before the law of Moses.
At this time, all they had was a personal relationship with God. There was no church, no pastor, no bible, no programmes, but they heard God.
▪ In Genesis 28:10-22 we read of Jacob’s journey. Jacob camped overnight where he had a dream, God reaffirmed to him the promise He had made to Abraham, his grandfather in Genesis 12.
▪ He promised He would be with Jacob wherever he went. Jacob also made a vow to pay the tithe if God would be with him, provide for him and take him back to his father’s house in peace.
▪ Jacob mad a vow to God that if he would keep him, provide for him, and make him return to his father’s house, he would pay him a tenth i.e. the tithe – just like his grandfather, Abraham had done.
▪ What did he mean by a tenth?
▪ What are your thoughts on the tithe?
The tithe is a covenant between the believer and their God.
4. Some scriptures on the tithe
▪ Lev 27:30 – definition of the tithe
NIV – A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.NLT - One-tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain from the fields or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD and must be set apart to him as holy.
▪ Gen 14:20 – Abraham
▪ Malachi 3: 8-12 – reason and benefits
5. What happened after Jacob’s encounter?
Jacob ended up in a dead-end job for twenty years - after receiving the blessing of the first born, meeting God on the journey and vowing to pay a tenth of all:
▪ Jacob found his uncle Laban and family. He loved Rachel, Laban’s daughter and asked to marry her for seven years of work as a shepherd for Laban. After working the seven years, Laban deceived him into marrying Leah the older sister. Then as payment for Rachel he worked another seven years! And another six years after that. Laban continually deceived him and changed his wages ten times.
▪ God had seen how Laban was cheating him and showed Jacob a dream about how he was going to be blessed through the speckled, spotted, and Black flock.
▪ In Genesis 30: 25 – 31, after 20 years of serving Laban, Jacob wanted to leave with his two wives and eleven children. Laban did not want him to leave. He asked Jacob to name his wages. Jacob was ready with the answer:
▪ Jacob said he would tend Laban’s flock but asked him to first remove the speckled, spotted, and black sheep and goats.
▪ Any spotted, speckled, or black offspring produced after this were to be Jacob’s wages – see illustration of speckled and spotted goats in picture below.
▪ Laban was pleased with the request and removed all the speckled, spotted, or black animals from the flock.
6. The power of imagination
In the deal struck with Laban, Jacob was left with plain coloured flock even though his wages were to be the spotted, speckled, and black lambs.
Naturally, there would be very few spotted, speckled, or black lambs born to plain flock. But Jacob used the power of imagination, and it worked on the animals:
▪ Whenever the stronger females were ready to mate, Jacob would place the peeled branches in the watering troughs in front of them. These looked like the colours of the spotted and speckled sheep. Then they would mate in front of the peeled branches.
▪ But he did not do this with the weaker ones, so the weaker lambs belonged to Laban, and the stronger ones were Jacob’s.
As a result, Jacob became very wealthy, with large flocks of sheep and goats, female and male servants, and many camels and donkeys.
Reflection: The power of imagination is a gift from God to us. What you continue to see eventually becomes your reality. God expects us to use our imagination to visualise God’s promises to us in the Word. If it worked on sheep it will work for us.
Why do you think it took so long for Jacob to become wealthy.
This is how God wants to bless all believers if we will walk with Him in the covenant.
▪ Study Jacob’s story in full and the scriptures shared
▪ Till end of the year, write a list of all you are thankful for and praise Him every day with those things on your mind.