|“You struggle in your faith simply because it is faith. Dying to self is a painful process. If you care about your life, surrender is impossible without lamenting. When you lose something precious it hurts, and it is both natural and biblical to complain to God.” Walter A. Henrichsen (“Walt”)
Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man by Walter A Henrichsen (“Walt”)
Then Jacob took fresh rods of poplar and almond and plane, and peeled white streaks in them, exposing the white of the rods. Whenever the stronger of the flock were breeding Jacob laid the rods in the runnels before the eyes of the flock, that they might breed among the rods, but for the feebler of the flock he did not lay them there; so the feebler were Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s.” Genesis 30:37, 41-42
You would have thought that Jacob learned the stupidity of manipulation by the incident with his brother. But during his years with Laban, because he felt cheated, he manipulated the care of the flocks in such a way that he got the stronger and Laban the weaker. (I have no idea how it worked). The results were predictable. Jacob and Laban parted angry with one another, having been in business together for 20 years. As far as one can tell, they never saw one another again. Leah and Rachael never saw their parents again, nor did the children see their grandparents.
On his return to Canaan, Jacob and Essau again meet. Because of a life of manipulation, Jacob had no confidence that God was with him in his relationship with his brother. Earlier, when Laban was pursuing Jacob, God met Laban in a dream warning him not to harm Jacob. Laban told this to Jacob when they met. Evidently this did little to quiet the heart of Jacob when next he met Essau. When you live in sin, the past experience of God’s deliverance does not help in building confidence during current crises.
Yielding to the temptation to manipulate will cause you great harm. When you find that manipulation works, you tend to do it often. Although it sometimes produces what appears to be a positive response, the result is always negative. Being a manipulator causes you to suspect others. You doubt their sincerity and honesty, thinking that they are trying to do to you what you do to them. Most importantly, manipulation angers God; it is a manifestation of not trusting Him.
Psalm 54-56 Romans 3 (New King James Version)
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