Four Guideposts to Knowing God’s Will (Genesis 31), part 2

Scripture reading – Genesis 31

Genesis 31 – Going Home

Jacob’s wealth had provoked jealousy in Laban’s household (31:1),. God had so blessed Jacob, that Laban’s own household was becoming impoverished (31:1b). Jacob had also observed a change in Laban’s countenance, and that his spirit was no longer “toward him” as it had been before (31:2).

The LORD confirmed to Jacob that it was time to depart, and said unto him, “Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee” (31:3).

I close today’s devotional by suggesting four principles we find in Jacob’s decision to go home, that are guideposts we might also follow in knowing God’s will.

Desire is the first guidepost to knowing God’s will. Six years prior to Genesis 31, Jacob wanted to leave Laban’s household, and “go unto [his] own place, and to [his] country” (30:25). Though the timing was not right, the desire was there, and would be fulfilled after six years.

Regarding the will of the LORD, and one’s desire, the psalmist wrote, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. {5} Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 47:4-5). Of course, it would be unwise to trust solely in the desires and longings of one’s heart (Jeremiah 17:9-10).

The second guidepost to knowing God’s will is one’s circumstances (31:1-2). Laban’s sons had become jealous, and his countenance betrayed his spirit toward Jacob had changed (31:1, 7, 41). Laban’s heart had turned against Jacob.

An essential guidepost to knowing God’s will is God’s Word! Jacob had a desire to go home. The circumstances were certainly a motivation to go home. However, it was the LORD who spoke to him, and said, “Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee” (31:3). When the LORD spoke to him, Jacob knew it was time to go home. In the words of the psalmist, Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).

The fourth and final guidepost in determining God’s will is counsel. Jacob went to his wives, and shared how their father’s spirit toward him had changed (31:5-12), and that God had commanded him to “arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred” (31:13).

His wives concurred, and said to Jacob, “whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do” (31:16). When making major life changes, wise men seek wise counsel, for “in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” (Proverbs 11:14)

God used four guideposts in Jacob’s life, and He will do the same in your life if you seek His will: Desire; Circumstances; God’s Word; and Wise Counsel.

Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. {6} In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Copyright 2021 – Travis D. Smith