HOW DID JACOB BUILD HIS WEALTH
Are you stuck in a difficult situation? Do you believe God can work it together for your good? Are you ready to do something shrewd, risky, or new when God directs you? Let’s explore this topic.
Let me pass through all your flock today, removing from there all the speckled and spotted sheep, and all the brown ones among the lambs, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and these shall be my wages. Genesis 30:32
Does the Lord provide guidelines to His children on how to build wealth in the midst of a difficult situation? Of course, the answer is, “Yes!” Bad times are nothing new to God. He specializes in helping us make good out of bad situations. What the devil means for evil, God always utilizes for our good (Romans 8:28).
In Genesis, we find Jacob, the grandson of a wealthy businessman named Isaac. He has experience working with sheep. His grandfather and his father both had a sheep and cattle business. Jacob is sent to his uncle, Laban, to get a wife. Laban is also an entrepreneur in the sheep and cattle business. Jacob makes an agreement with his uncle to work for him for seven years in exchange for his younger daughter, Rachel. Laban tricks him into working for fourteen years for both Rachel and Leah, her older sister, though Jacob was interested only in Rachel. While he worked for his uncle, the Lord prospered his uncle’s business.
Now with a growing family, Jacob requests permission from his uncle to leave and go back to his country and to make provision for his own household. His uncle refuses to let him go, recognizing that his business has increased tremendously in revenue since Jacob has been working for him. For that reason, he requests that Jacob name his wages. “How much will it take for you to stay?” he asks. Jacob does not name a salary, but rather asks for equity partnership in the business.
Equity partnership is an exchange of money or work for a percentage of shares in the business. This approach increased Jacob’s risk, but also increased his chances of becoming wealthy. He understood his value and recognized that no amount of money offered by Laban could have been enough to pay him what he was worth, since he was the one with the expertise.
Therefore, he exchanged his expertise not for salaries and benefits, but for an equity stake in the business. As a result of this shrewd business transaction by Jacob, the Lord gave him clever ideas and further prospered the works of his hands. Jacob became exceedingly prosperous and had male and female servants, large flocks, camels, and donkeys (Genesis30:43).
What were the keys to Jacob building his wealth?
- He obeyed his father (Genesis 28:1-5).
- He believed the promises of God (Genesis 28:12-19).
- He trusted God for his provision (Genesis 28:20).
- He committed to tithing (Genesis 28:22).
- He was faithful over another man’s business (Genesis 30:27).
- He recognized his value (Genesis 30:30).
- He was committed to providing for his family (Genesis 30:30c).
- He was as “wise as a serpent and as gentle as a dove” (Genesis 30:31-32, Matthew 10:16).
- He was not afraid to take risks (Genesis 30:31-33).
- He was diligent in business (Genesis 30:35-43).
Whether you work for someone else or operate your own business, allow Jacob’s story to encourage you and give you insight into the ways of God. God rewards faithfulness and also permits you to look out for your own interests and the interests of your family. Although Jacob accumulated great wealth working with Laban, the time came for them to part ways and for Jacob to put his immediate family’s interests first. Eventually God told Jacob to move on and return to his home country (Genesis 31).
Our prayer for you is that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will give you insight and prosper the works of your hands in order that you and those who depend on you may experience the fullness of what God has in store. His plans are always for our good (Jeremiah 29:11), and His kindness is everlasting (Isaiah 54:8).
Written by Patrice Tsague