Genesis 30:27 – But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your sight, I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed me because of you.”
In John 8:44, Jesus speaks of those who lie as being “of [their] father the devil” and as a “murderer”. In Genesis over the past few chapters, Jacob’s uncle Laban has lied and cheated Jacob out of many things including years of his life.
Those who act as Laban did could be said to have a “murderous spirit” and there’s four parts to how this works practically: 1) mission 2) methods 3) murder 4) manipulation.
- Their mission is for your pain, your loss, your misery, and your destruction. They mean evil for you, not good. They want what’s best for them, not you. Laban didn’t care about how his actions affected Jacob, he just cared that he got his way.
- People use many methods to cause pain and “murder of the heart” including using people, draining people, and discouraging people. Jacob asked Laban for his daughter Rachel’s hand in marriage and, instead, tricked him and gave him Leah after seven years of hard work. His own daughter, Leah, was a pawn in a game he was playing with Jacob, who was surely disappointed when he woke up after his wedding night to realize he’d married the wrong girl.
- For someone who has a murderous spirit, they will soon try to murder, metaphorically speaking, everything in your life: your well-being, your family, your friend group, your workplace, even your church. Laban changed and affected Jacob’s whole life by not only giving him a wife he did not want but then giving him a second wife who would war with her sister (and two more women who Jacob would also impregnate) over children for all time.
- People with a murderous spirit will oftentimes use manipulation, just like Judas did to Jesus, betraying Him with a kiss. They will oftentimes use religion to manipulate, acting as a righteous victim or a scapegoat who blames others, coming off as self-righteous. Laban himself cheats others and uses “divination” (which is likely magic or witchcraft) but then throws the words “Lord” and “blessing” in there for good measure (30:27).
Laban has tricked Jacob for many, many years and Jacob reaped what he sowed. Now, Laban will reap what he sows and Jacob packs up his family to leave. Jacob has grown as a believer while there’s nothing to suggest Laban is growing or is a believer. Even though Laban has mistreated Jacob, and likely many others, for years, God is so good that he allows a believer (Jacob) to be a blessing to an unbeliever (Laban).
Reflect on times you’ve had this type of spirit and what you have needed to or may currently need to repent of.
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