‘And it came to pass, when Rachel had born Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban,
Send me away, that I may go unto mine own place and to my country’ Gen 30:25
Lets get a couple of things out of the way very briefly if this narrative will make sense.
The bible is a multi-layered book from which we can continuously learn new things from the same story every time we are led into it by the spirit as our guide.
We also know that the major characters in the bible generally have a symbolic and sometimes prophetic typology to them (usually of Christ) from which we are meant to glean endless lessons: which if applied correctly will cause us to grow in our faith.
Joseph in the book of genesis speaks to a type of Christ: loved by His father, sold into slavery, sent by God, ahead of us, to preserve (save) and deliver.Gen 45:7 Typologically Joseph also represents ‘the bread of life – word of God’ attribute: How so you may ask? One implication of Joseph’s enthronement in Egypt was that no one in the land could eat except by Joseph. Jesus told us very clearly that man shall not to live by bread alone, but every word which proceeds from the mouth of God.Matt 4:4
Also in John 6:35 He stated clearly that ‘I am the bread of Life’.
In Jacob we see the dealings of God through His Holy Spirit in breaking our outer man and bringing us to a place of total dependence on Him and translation into a new name which carries a destiny far more than us.
In Laban we see a form of foundational bondage which can easily entangle us believers. Familial bondage is something African believers in general can easily relate to as our culture and society isn’t geared towards early independence if at all. Too many believers having become born again still spend decades, if not all of their lives beholding to our familial foundations (spiritually-emotionally-maritally and financially). This impacts on our joy as believers and hampers our ability to enjoy the ‘life more abundant’ which Christ delivers to us.
Wait a minute..Didn’t Christ set us free on the cross?
A couple of years ago, whilst interceding for fellow brethren, I had a clear vision shown to me. In it I beheld an elder sister in the church who was held in a deep underground cell in total darkness. She was tied into a perfectly stationary position on her knees by old ancient chains fit more for ship anchors than any human. Suddenly a light shone bright in the cell and suddenly the chains fell off from off of her, of their own accord. I started rejoicing but my joy was cut short by what I beheld: the chains had fallen off and the door of the cell flung wide open. Yet she hadn’t moved an inch. she was still glued to the same spot despite the fact that there were no longer any restrictions on her person.
Coming out of the vision I asked the Lord ‘why is she just kneeling there and cant leave’ to which I got the immediate response ‘It is one thing to set a person free, It is yet something else for that person to walk in that freedom’.
Many of us believers are like that sister. Though set free by Christ we are unable to walk in total freedom : still beset by emotional wounds, and foundational hindrances of the Labanic shade.
E.g. This sort of thing is often common with those growing up with emotional scars from years of abuse and selfish manipulation by parents, uncles and elders. The popular myth that ‘time heals all wounds’ is false! Time does not heal wounds, It only covers them up!. Only the love of God expressed through His word is powerful enough to heal such wounds and bring us to a place of forgiveness and freedom. Yet unless the Holy Spirit births the necessary truth into our heart, it is nigh impossible for any man’s mere words to do any more than scratch the surface.
Of greater concern is the condition of other believers which almost mimic Stockholm Syndrome.
‘My People perish for a lack of Knowledge’
God’s diagnostic in Hosea 4:6 as the root cause of our languishing still applies. The popular idiom that ‘what you don’t know cannot kill you’ is completely untrue. Ignorance kills, and many believers languish and suffer from what they don’t know (‘hasn’t been made know to them’) .
Specially addressing believers in John 8:32, Jesus made it clear that the remedy to perishing in bondage is Truth. And He is Truth!.
Laban Vs. Jacob: Us Vs. Our Foundations
Jacob served Laban 7 years for Rachel. Yet he was given tender-eyed Leah instead.
Laban used cultural norms as his excuse for that deception.
In our foundations we will rarely ever be dealt with fairly. We will almost always be given less than what God’s intent is for us.
Jacob served an additional 7 years for Rachel. Yet having met the bride price and served 14 years for both Leah and Rachel, Laban’s declaration in Gen 31:43 betrayed his possessive-oppressive mindset as he still laid claims to the ownership of not only Leah and Rachel but their sons and Jacobs hard earned wealth as well.Vs 43
‘And Laban answered and said unto Jacob, These daughters are my daughters, and these children are my children, and these cattle are my cattle, and all that thou seest is mine: and what can I do this day unto these my daughters , or unto their children which they have born?’ Gen 31:43
Now it must be stated very clearly that not every one’s foundation is bad. In Gen 24 Bethuel (Abraham’s kindred ) typified God’s expectation of us Christians in dealing with His heritage. Bethuel in Gen 24 not only behaved fairly toward Rebekah but provided her with a springboard of marital and future success with Isaac.
58 ‘And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said I will go. 59 And they sent Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant, and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them.
Sadly not every one is as fortunate as Rebekah was.
Because of the inherent corruption in most of our foundations, The default posture of our foundations is most often a Labanic one. We are held bound Spiritually, Financially, Maritally and Socially. Yet their claim and hold over us is often so total that the intent is not only for us to serve all our lives without releasing us with a proper springboard as Rebekah was, but that even our children and generations after us will be permanently beholding unto their altars, covenants and idols.
One way of recognising the Labanic posture in our foundations is from its fruit. It is familiar, friendly and alluring on the surface BUT is endemically hostile! Hostile towards your independence, Hostile towards your Peace, Hostile towards your progress!
Christ has made us free : How can I walk in that freedom?
Simple and most direct answer is: Joseph must be born unto us!.
25 ‘And it came to pass, when Rachel had born Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban,
Send me away, that I may go unto mine own place and to my country’.
As I stated earlier Joseph is a form of the daily bread of God’s word made available to us when we allow the word of the Lord to be enthroned in our hearts. The starting point of walking in total freedom BEGINS with the deep truths in the word of God being born (unveiled) in our hearts through Rachel (a Christian life which has a higher price attached and requires going the extra mile in terms of our time and heart focus)
Yes Jesus guaranteed that as we know the truth (not by intellectual prowess but when it is unveiled progressively to us by the Holy Spirit whom He promised would guide us into ALL truth) we will be able to walk in freedom. The greatest weakness of most believers today though is our inability to devote proper time to consecrated study of the word.
Christians today are ready to pray for many days and attend many programs and give themselves over to uncountable hours of service in our respective denominations YET we find it so tasking to devote a few hours of our day unto the Holy Spirit in quiet alone time study of the word.
Because we don’t set time aside for this intimacy, it becomes very difficult for us to ‘conceive any truths’ in our Spirit man, and without conception we cannot birth anything tangible spiritually.
After Joseph was born to Jacob THEN was He capable of confronting Laban and begin his long walk towards total Emancipation. Note that He still served 6 years before he could attain economic emancipation from Laban. Perhaps because he fell victim to Laban’s emotional blackmail in Gen 30:27. He ‘tarried’ longer than perhaps required.
My fellow brother and Sister in Christ, You must devote quality uninterrupted time to personal bible study this year if you are to come to a place where you can begin to walk in the newness of Life that Christ has procured for us on the cross.
Having the strength of Heart psalm 104:15 to confront Laban and begin the process of walking out of Labanic bondage requires the word of God being birthed personally to us. Whilst Prayer, Fasting and Service is good, The personal revealed word is the Ultimate!
Grace to us all.