In the movie Serendipity, Sarah who was played by uh Kate Beckinsale, she lets her life be dictated by faith. Specifically, she looks for what she calls little signals. And then she that is, nadi-dictate non yung kung ano ang mga desisyon niya next. This is why when her phone number was asked by a man, tapos hinangin yung papel na may phone number, naisip niya, ay, I need to back off, hindi dapat ito i-pursue kasi hinangin eh. So na-dictate non, yung supposedly mangyayari. Now, ang tanong, ganun ba governed ang mundo natin? Is our world governed by chance or by fate f-a-t-e or by such small or little signals? Well in Genesis chapter 29 we will learn that creation is not governed by such. It is governed not by chance, but by God Himself. We will see in this chapter verse 1 to 30 rather, we will see the purposeful Providence of God. Turn with me to Genesis chapter 29 1 to 30. And I will be reading from ESV. So we have been in the Book of Genesis for two years and we are now on the 29th chapter. Read with me from verse 1. Or silently. I’ll read then.
Then Jacob went on his journey and came to the land of the people of the east. As he looked, he saw a well in the field, and behold, three flocks of sheep lying beside it, for out of that well the flocks were watered. The stone on the well’s mouth was large, and when all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone from the mouth of the well and water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place over the mouth of the well. Jacob said to them, “My brothers, where do you come from?” They said, “We are from Haran.” He said to them, “Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?” They said, “We know him.” He said to them, “Is it well with him?” They said, “It is well; and see, Rachel his daughter is coming with the sheep!” He said, “Behold, it is still high day; it is not time for the livestock to be gathered together. Water the sheep and go, pasture them.” But they said, “We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together and the stone is rolled from the mouth of the well; then we water the sheep.” While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. Now as soon as Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, Jacob came near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s kinsman, and that he was Rebekah’s son, and she ran and told her father. As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he ran to meet him and embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban all these things, and Laban said to him, “Surely you are my bone and my flesh!” And he stayed with him a month.
Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my kinsman, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?” Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me.” So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her. Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife that I may go into her, for my time is completed.” So Laban gathered together all the people of the place and made a feast. But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and he went into her. (Laban gave his female servant Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her servant.) And in the morning, behold, it was Leah! And Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?” Laban said, “It is not so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years.” Jacob did so, and completed her week. Then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. (Laban gave his female servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her servant.) So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served Laban for another seven years.
The grass withers the flowers fade but the word of our God will stand forever.
We’ve mentioned before that there are a lot of repeating scenarios in the Book of Genesis. It was beautifully written patterned that way.
Genesis chapter 29 is obviously one of them. There are similarities, there are some differences from what we have read a while ago in our scripture reading Genesis chapter 24. And you may recall that chapter which we have uh taught in a few months ago Genesis chapter 24. We read this a while ago in our scripture reading. We read there that Abraham sent his servant to Haran to find a wife for Isaac, if you remember. Now here in chapter 29, Jacob was sent by his father, Isaac to find a wife. Same place, Haran, same man, Laban. Genesis chapter 24 the servant had 10 of his master’s camels..napakaraming niyang gifts na dinala papunta sa Haran. Now Jacob on the other, in this chapter, Jacob chapter 29, wala siyang dala. Wala rin siyang kasama. So there are differences there, okay. He had nothing, he had no one, Jacob. Now chapter 24, the servant, while he was praying to God..yung servant, nagdadasal sa Diyos. Sabi niya doon, sabi ng servant sa Panginoon, Lord, kung sino yung magbibigay sa akin ng tubig at bibigyan din ng tubig ang aking mga camels, siya na po iyon, right. And natutunan din po natin na hindi po iyon ang tamang paraan kung ikaw ay nagdadasal for someone, right. Anyway, but the point is when the servant was praying, ang language na ginamit ni Moses dito, sabi ni Moses sa chapter 24, before he had finished speaking. So gusto sa atin ipakita ni Moses na habang nagdadasal si servant, aba biglang nangyari ito. Kakadasal lang ni servant, biglang nangyari kagad. Ganun yung gustong sabihin sa atin ni Moses now in chapter 29. While Jacob now was speaking to the shepherds, yung lengguwahe rin ng writer, sabi: while he was still speaking with them, Rachel came, right. We see the similarities there.
We see what Moses, the writer, want to to tell us na habang nangyayari ito, habang kausap niya ang mga taong ito, biglang dumating yung hinahanap niya, right. Bigla! For some reason, biglang dumating. Ganun yung parang gustong ipakita sa atin dito. Well Rebekah talked to Jacob nung dumating na si Rebekah at nakausap na niya si Jacob, sinabi ni Rebekah that she was the daughter of Bethuel..um chapter 24 ito, sorry. Nung si Jacob nandun at nakausap na niya si Rebekah, sabi ni Rebekah, ako yung anak ni Bethuel, ako yung taga Haran. And then ang response ni servant, he immediately bowed his head and worshiped the Lord. Kasi na-recognise niya na wow! Ang Diyos ang gumagalaw dito.
Diyos ang in a sense nag-arrange why I am here and why Rebekah was here talking to me. And then afterwards, tumakbo si Rebekah, kinausap niya ang kaniyang kapatid na si Laban. When Laban learned na dumating si servant sa chapter 24, tumakbo rin si Laban papunta kay Isaac.
Chapter 24 yun. Pero chapter 29, what we have read.. when Jacob learned that Rachel also was Laban’s daughter, Jacob, ang kaibahan naman hindi naman siya nag-bow down at nag-worship the Lord. Ang ginawa niya, nag-provide pa siya ng water para doon sa mga flocks. So parang pa-good points para kay Rachel in a sense, ‘no. And then afterwards, si Rachel, tumakbo after sila mag-kiss. By the way, yung kiss na iyon ay normal po iyon sa Ancient Near East. Hindi po iyon kiss na katulad ng lips..hindi po..tamang ano lang, walang malisya doon, okay.
Nung nalaman ni Rachel na dumating si Jacob, tumakbo siya kay Laban at doon nalaman ni Laban na pumunta si Jacob na anak ng kaniyang kapatid na si Rebekah. Tumakbo din si Laban papunta kay Jacob. So nakita niyo yung similarities, right.
May pinapakita sa atin, unang -una, we learned back in Genesis chapter 24 that it was not just a coincidence. Hindi ito coincidence that the servant and Rebekah met each other so that Rebekah would marry eventually si Isaac. Rather, we learned that it was the providence of God. And we are seeing the same thing here as well in Genesis chapter
29. Well yes, we can say that Rachel, with her own volition, chose to be there. And while we can say that Jacob, on his own volition as well chose to be there as commanded also by his father, there was someone capital S someone who supernaturally arranged everything, arranged to the point na makikita natin ang mga similarities and slight differences to what happened before. It’s like Someone was directing their steps. Someone was making sure that Jacob would meet Rachel. And again, when we say providence, we don’t just mean it’s not as if God was just letting everything happen, His hands were tied, He was very passive about this, no! We’re saying when we say providence again nabanggit natin noon na ang root word ng providence ay provide. God was the one providing. He was making sure. Remember what providence meant? It meant seeing to it. God sees to it. He makes sure things will happen and that’s what He did in Genesis chapter 29. It was God who allowed, who granted Jacob to meet Rachel, not just Rachel, but Leah. Not just the two of them, but also the two servants. And we know what will happen.
Lalaki ang kanilang pamilya at doon papasok yung labindalawang anak ni Jacob.
So you see here, God did not create this world and that just left it behind. Hinayaan Niya na kumilos na lang ang Kaniyang mga creation, no! He continues to sustain the world. He continues to govern the world and we can see that in this chapter. That is what we call providence. And specifically again in chapter 29 that providence obviously has a design. It is not arbitrary. Hindi yung by chance they met each other.. serendipity, No..Someone designed it. It was not arbitrary. God has a purpose in providentially, in providing, in seeing to it that this will happen. Not only that. God makes sure that His people benefit from it.
And that is my message this afternoon. The Providence of God is always purposeful and beneficial especially to Jacob and to the rest of those who have faith in His Son, to His elect. So firstly, we see a hidden purpose in God’s Providence. That is my first point secondly, we will see the benefit to the believer.
Let us consider the first point Purpose In Providence. And so when Laban learned of Jacob’s presence, we see how he was so elated. He was so excited when he saw when he learned that Jacob was there.
Alam niya na teka, eto yung anak ni Isaac, punta kagad siya. At sabi pa ni Laban, surely you are my bone in my flesh, bakit kaya? Bakit kaya ganun ka-excited at katuwa si Laban? Ano kaya ang motibo ni Laban? Now of course Laban knew that this happened before. Again Genesis chapter 24, when he met the servant na napakayaman, napakadaming dala nung servant, napakadaming mga tauhan. He was given lots of gifts. Do you remember Laban in a sense experienced this great providence of wealth. Probidensiya ng Panginoon na aba, ang daming kayamanan as a bride price. In fact Laban and his mother acknowledged sinabi pa nila doon na oh this thing has come from the Lord, sabi ni Laban at ng kaniyang nanay, okay. I’m not saying Laban was a believer. But he said that, he acknowledged that not to the point that he worshiped katulad nung servant. He just acknowledged it that Someone, Someone arranged that circumstance, that event, that it was God who has orchestrated that meet up of the servant and Laban’s family. And so he promised the servant that they’re gonna give away Rebekah but here’s what happened in Genesis chapter 24. Very important ito na kailangan natin itong balikan. Very important para maintindihan natin ang motibo ni Laban. After nilang makuha yung gifts from the servant, ang sabi nila, sige, pwede niyo na kunin, pwde nang kunin si Rebekah.
Kausap niya yung servant and then yung servant, tuwang-tuwa..nag- worship sa Panginoon, natulog, paggising, sabi ni Laban, pwde bang mag-stay pa kayo ng sampung araw pa? In the morning they did not let Rebekah go. Laban requested stay 10 more days but the servant was persistent remember and so they let Rebekah go to meet Isaac,
Now in Genesis chapter 29, we see why Laban would be so excited to meet the son of Isaac Laban was also poor that this time..mahirap si Laban etong time na ito. Kasi sabi sa Genesis chapter 30, advance lang po tayo, kausap ni Jacob si Laban nung paalis na siya kay Laban. Sabi niya, for you had little before I came and it has increased abundantly and the Lord bless you wherever I turn. Because of me, you were blessed also materially. So you had little so ibig sabihin sa Genesis chapter 29, mahirap si Laban. Mahirap. Ta’s nakita niya, nalaman niya si Jacob ay nandiyan. Naku, surely you are my bone and my flesh. He was poor and the fact that Rachel was a shepherdess, in other translations, sabi doon Rachel, si Rachel, she kept the sheep. She was a shepherdess. That implies that Laban was not well off financially. That instead of having a hired guy, he appoints his daughter to keep the sheep. I mean during that time, the daughters or the women can get water from the jar. Nakita natin yun. Nababasa natin yun even sa Genesis chapter 24. Pero as a shepherd, obviously uh, hinahayaan ni Laban magtrabaho kahit pati yung anak niyang babae. But remember, Jacob had nothing also this time. Mahirap din si Jacob. At si Jacob, nabighani pa siya sa ganda ni Rachel. And that would require a bride-price. Of course ang context ng marriage noon, mayroong bride-price na kapalit, maga-accrue yun ofcourse ang magbe-benefit talaga nun, ultimately, yung babae. Pero nakikita natin dito kung sino talaga ang nagbe-benefit, right. Sabi ni Jacob then, dahil wala nga siya, he wanted to serve Laban instead. Sabi niya sa verse 18, I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter, Rachel. And Laban responded verse 19. Sabi niya, eto ang sabi niya: it is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man, stay with me. And so Jacob served Laban seven years, pitong taon. But then we know what happened. After the seven years, at the time of the feast where they will consummate their marriage, what happened? Laban brought Leah instead. Naka-veil kasi yun. Gabi pa.
Leah became the wife instead. And the proof that Leah was the one na naging wife niya nung time na yun, pinapakita yun sa verse 24 kasi binigyan siya ng servant. That was a present doon sa kinasal. And then we know what happened. Jacob confronted Laban. Ano sagot ni Laban sa verse 26? It is not so done in our country to give the younger before the firstborn. Ano kasi heh, dapat yung panganay muna. Dapat sinabi niya yun seven years ago. Hindi niya yun sinabi seven years ago. So we see here, nakikita natin dito by looking back at verse chapter 24, we see greed of Laban. We also see here deception in order to gain, gain more money, Laban was an opportunist, oportunista. And God’s providence revealed this to us. Laban’s response to God’s providence. Pinakita niya yung totoong nasa puso niya. Eto yung nangyari, biglang dumating si Jacob, paano yung response niya? He responded in sin. Now we know what’s in his heart. That he thinks of what benefits himself. Sa sarili niya..pinapagtrabaho nga niya ang kaniyang mga anak na babae. In fact Laban was not a believer of God. Makikita natin yan sa Genesis chapter 31 verse 19 nung ninakaw ni Rachel, Rachel stole her father’s household gods. That was Laban and again yung response to the providence of God revealed what’s truly in Laban’s heart. Ganun din tayo. Our response to what’s happening to the circumstances that God is actively doing in our lives, in every aspect of our lives may reveal what’s truly in our hearts as well.
Now for unbelievers like Laban, they see it as an opportunity to advance themselves. That’s what happened. This is how multi-purpose God’s providence is. Those who do not believe in God reveals their hearts. And all the more compounds their guilt. This is what happened again to Laban. God in his providence allowed Jacob to go there and meet his daughters. Laban immediately took advantage of that and responded in sin.
We must respond, yes, to what’s happening in our life so the circumstances that God is doing in our lives, sa ano mang aspeto ng buhay natin sa pamilya, sa trabaho, sa church, kung ano yung nangyayari, maging sensitibo sa probidensiya ng Panginoon. We are called to respond, wether mag-re-respond ba tayo sa kasalanan or do we do things in accordance with the word of God? Huwag tayo katulad ni Laban. Huwag din naman tayo ay mag-re-respond sa probidensiya ng Panginoon sa Kaniyang providence over sin. That God, makikita natin, malalaman natin na may probidensiya ang Panginoon. Ultimately, how can we say that, how can we say na may probidensiya ang Panginoon, purposeful talaga ang Kaniyang probidensiya. Makikita natin yun unang- una that God promised to defeat sin, to defeat death and Satan even before. And He so controls His creation that His promised Son, Jesus Christ who will defeat sin, who will defeat death came. Talagang dumating. So malalaman natin, wow talagang probidensiya ng Panginoon, kitang-kita ultimately sa Kaniyang pag-provide sa atin kay Kristo. In fact, everything that happened points to Christ and His work.
We can say that God providentially actively saw to it that Jacob meets and marries Rachel. But ultimately, this happened so that Jacob would also meet and marry Leah because from Leah comes Judah. From Judah comes Christ. So sa paningin natin, wait, nanloko si Laban. Pero, probidensiya ng Panginoon. Hindi Siya ang author nung kasalanan pero ginamit Niya iyon para ma-fulfill pa rin ang Kaniyang promise na Siya’y faithful sa Kaniyang promise. Sa tingin natin, ang sama ni Laban, which is true. At magco-compound iyon sa guilt ni Laban. But at the same time we know, galing kay Leah si Judah. Galing kay Judah si Kristo. So ultimately, lahat ng ito, yes, sasabihin natin yung probidensiya ng Panginoon ay kitang-kita sa chapter na ito kasi hinayaan Niyang mag- meet si Jacob. Hinayaang Niyang mag-meet pati yung kaniyang mapapangasawang apat. Pero ultimately we can say nangyari itong lahat para si Kristo ay dumating! Nangyari itong lahat para yung kasalanan mo ay ma-defeat. Yun ang probidensiya ng Panginoon.
And you know what? We are also called to respond to such providence. Again in Christ we see ultimately God’s providence and all of us are called to to respond to this providential work of God in providing for us Christ that we either believe God’s provision of Christ, repenting of our sins and having faith in Christ; or respond in sin by rejecting Christ. And if you reject Christ, you will always respond in sin. Dahil kung ikaw ay na kay Kristo, you have been given wisdom to see God’s work, to see God’s providence that unlike Laban we, by the spirit can now understand that there are..sabi nga ni R.C. Sproul, paulit-ulit ito na naquo-quote “that there are no maverick molecules.” Mas maiintindihan natin yun kung tayo ay kay Kristo. That there are no uncontrolled events because the providence of God is purposeful. And we know it is purposeful because everything, lahat ng ito’y nangyari para dumating si Kristo. Yun ang pinaka-purpose ng Panginoon para ikaw ay maligtas. Sabi nga ni John Piper and I quote: “It does have design it does pursue a goal and the goal is Christ.” Nakikita natin dito si Laban, he somehow understood that there’s some greater power involved. Yun yung language sa chapter 24. That he acknowledged God who is behind all these things. Ganun din sa chapter 29. But unfortunately he responded in sin.
We are called also to respond, not in sin mga kapatid, rather for us, and this is my challenge for everyone, to see everything as part of God’s purposeful providence for us to be trained to always see everything as part of God’s purposeful providence. Sino sa atin ang naka-isip na ang sama sama ng ginawa ni Laban, totoo naman. At sino sa atin ang naka- isip at nakakita na part yun ng purposeful providence ng Panginoon, to bring us Christ. How trained our eyes are to see that in every case, purposeful ang probidensiya ng Panginoon. Ang una lagi nating naiisip ay yung masama, inconvenience, discomfort. Pero nakikita ba natin na itong mga nangyayari na ito work all things for good, for those who God loves, for those who love God. Be trained to always see everything as part of His purposeful Providence. Now, when something happened to us, whether good or bad in our eyes, God has a purpose and His purpose is always good. And as we see His purposeful Providence we respond not in sin, rather in accordance to the word of God. And even as Christians our hearts may be, may be revealed as well in circumstances. Hindi lang naman sa unbelievers yun, katulad ni Laban. Again, ang tanong sa atin, do we respond in sin when something unexpected happened in your job? Do you respond in sin, is deceit or deception your response to it? When something happened in your family, do you also respond in sin? But see, if we are reminded that God has a purpose for all of this that God providentially sees to it, that He calls His people, that He sanctifies His own, we are reminded not to sin.
How often natin naiisip ang nakikitang kamay ng Panginoon sa ating mga circumstances? Bakit hindi ito nangyari sa akin? Bakit hindi ito binigay sa akin? Gaano kadalas naiisip na ito’y proteksyon ng Panginoon? Bakit ako nandito? Bakit ito binigay sa akin? Gaano natin kadalas naiisip ang aktibong work ng Panginoon? Ang Kaniyang probidensiya? Sabi nga ni John Flavel sa Mystery of Providence and I quote: “it is the duty of the saints especially in times of straits or troubles to reflect upon the performances of providence for them in all the states and through all the stages of their lives.” Sabi ni John Flavel, duty daw nating mga Kristiyano na maging sensitibo sa mga galaw ng Panginoon. Of course, primarily, duty natin na basahin objectively ano yung sinasabi Niya. But at the same time because we have been given wisdom, maging sensitibo tayo sa mga nangyayari. Sabi rin ni John Piper, if you have read yung napakahaba niyang napakaganda rin na book na Providence, sinasabi niya roon, ilang beses na ang duty ng Kristiyano is to see and savour the providence of God. Tignan mo, namnamin mo ang probidensiya ng Panginoon. Maging aware ka sa mga nangyayari, galaw ng Panginoon na ang Panginoon mismo ang may gawa. Now, makita natin dito sa story sa chapter 29 na ginamit ng Panginoon justly. He used Laban’s deception to teach Jacob a lesson.
Doon tayo sa aking last point. Ang probidensiya ng Panginoon also, we can see na ito ay Benefit To Believers. So Jacob who was called a deceiver for deceiving both his father, Isaac and brother, Esau, is now the one being deceived by Laban. Remember, Jacob, the younger son disguised himself as Esau to deceive his father, Isaac. Now Laban disguised Leah as Rachel to trick Jacob. Just as Jacob took advantage of the dim eyes of Isaac, so to Laban took advantage of the darkness of the night to put Leah in that situation. Just as Jacob cooked up a plan with his mother, Rebekah to deceive Isaac. Now Laban cooked up a plan as well for Jacob to stay longer. Paborito ko talaga ang “cooked up a plan” Mga kapatid, this is poetic justice. Poetic justice. God is not mocked. For whatever one sows, that, will he also reap. Jacob had a taste of his own medicine. His past sin has haunted him. But see, this is why we say that God’s providence is purposeful and is also beneficial.
Bakit ito nangyayari? Bakit may poetic justice? Hindi ba sinasabi sa atin sa mga previous text that Jacob, I loved, Romans chapter 9..Jacob I loved, Esau I hated. Sabi ni Joel Beeke, and I agree sa kanyang interpretation nito patungkol dito sa story ni Jacob. Sabi ni Joel Beeke about Jacob: “God disciplines His children. At times with poetic justice; when the sinning christian must suffer similar sins from others.” end quote. Why do we say that this is discipline? Kasi this is for Jacob to hate that sin more. Paano niyo mararamdaman, paano magg-grow ang hatred niya dun sa sin na ginawa niya kung hindi ito mangyayari as kanya? Ganun ang disiplina sa kaniya ng Panginoon. Now, alam mo na Jacob! And ultimately, this is to separate Jacob, yung ultimate plan ng Diyos for Jacob to be separated for God’s purpose, being he was the chosen one that he must be holy, that he must be transformed.
Manggagaling sa kaniya ang people of God na Israel who will be separated from the world as well. Ito ang disiplina ng Panginoon kay Jacob. Ito nagpapatunay na mahal talaga siya ng Panginoon.Nag-u- undergo siya..eto ang disiplina. Hindi ito 14 years lang… 20 years si Jacob doon na mag-se-serve 20 years. Tayo nga heh, mga ilang buwan lang sa trabaho, ayaw natin, hindi ko gusto ang trabaho ko..Mag-ho-hop na ako. Tatalon na ako sa susunod na trabaho. Compared mo pa sa hirap ng ginagawa nila. 20 years ito. The providence of God may indeed be difficult, difficult ito kay Jacob of course. But it is purposeful for Jacob. It was what? Transformative. Makikita natin sa mga next chapters which we will learn kung pano nag-transform si Jacob talaga.
Now it makes sense, before pa pumunta si Jacob sa Haran, he was assured by God in a dream. Do you remember God’s promise to Jacob of His presence, protection and provision when he reiterated his covenant with his father, Abraham and Isaac that he will give him the multiplication of descendants and also the land of Canaan? It is to assure him that as he goes through the discipline of 20 years, I am with you, I will keep you and will bring you back to the land. And I will multiply your descendants..pero dadaan ka diyan Jacob. But you need to know Jacob, you need to hate the sin of deceit. You need to hate the sin of deception. Again, it is difficult, the discipline of the Lord, we see that difficulty and yet it is purposeful. For those who have been adopted to the family of God, those who have been made children of God through the redemption brought by the sacrifice of the Son of God, God providentially, God makes sure, God sees to it that we are disciplined.
And this is a good thing my brethren. And when we say discipline, I’m not just talking about corrective discipline. I’m also talking about formative discipline. As you listen to the word of God, we are all disciplined. Because we continue to sin. And the word of God, Christ Himself through the preaching of the word, with the power of the Holy Spirit, we are disciplined. We are corrected through the preaching. So dito, nangyayari na yung disiplina. And again, this is a good thing. Pero meron din namang corrective church discipline. But let us be assured katulad nung kay Jacob, God disciplines only those whom He loves.
Hindi nakaka-receive ng disiplina dito si Laban…si Jacob providentially, ginamit ng Diyos. Yung ginawa ni Laban. Kita niyo kung gaano ka multi- purpose. Sobrang multi-purpose ang probidensiya ng Panginoon. Grabe ang wisdom ng ating Panginoon. Just as God loves Jacob and He disciplined him, we too, brethren, who are His children are disciplined by Him when we sin. This is again why divine providence is not arbitrary.
Rather these are well-meaning events to help us in our sanctification, to help us to rely on God more, to help us to look back to the word of God when it is difficult. Specifically the author of Hebrews points us to the greatest strength we must have when being disciplined. Sabi Niya sa Hebrews chapter 12 verses 3 to 4. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. Sabi niya, tignan mo si Kristo, na Siyang nag- endure. He wasn’t being disciplined for His own sins; He never sinned.
Yet He suffered for the sins of others. Tignan mo Siya! Ikaw ba’y dinidisiplina? Ikaw ba’y nahihirapan sa iyong disiplina? Tignan mo si Kristo! Kasi yung pinagdadaanan mo ngayong discipline, kahit mahirap yan, hindi ka pa umaabot sa point na pinako ka sa krus! And take note, Christ took it! Christ assume responsibility. He is your hope during this time because He conquered sin and death. Hindi lang yun yung magandang comfort sa atin pag tayo’y nadidisiplina. Not only that, when disciplined, when disciplined by the Lord becomes more painful sabi pa sa verse 7 Hebrews 12, it is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? Tumingin ka sa adoption sa iyo ng Panginoong Diyos Ama, tumingin ka rin doon. God’s discipline as seen in His providence proves His love for you as His child. Not only that, napakarami nating hope kapag tayo’y dinidisiplina ng Panginoon. This is the hope we have that when we get out of discipline, sinasabi, we have this wonderful promise in verse 11 of Hebrews 12. Sabi doon – “for the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” This is why it is purposeful and beneficial because the goal is Christ’s likeness.
Kaya ang challenge ko sa lahat, as we are disciplined formatively or correctively, endure God’s discipline knowing firstly, knowing that Christ Himself endured. Secondly, knowing that you are the son of or a child of God being disciplined by the father. Thirdly knowing that the goal is conformity to Christ, knowing that its goal is the yielding of the fruit of righteousness. This means that when you sin, you face the consequences and as you see the providence of God and it lets you experience the consequences of your sin, you face it head on and see the gravity of sin so you with all the more hate sin. And then see and appreciate the great work of Christ – His perfect life, His sacrificial death and His resurrection which helps you in your sanctification, which helps your faith at a time of the hardships and discipline. This is how one endures. It is not a passive task. It is actively looking to Christ who Himself has endured. It is actively looking to the Son of God who is the reason you’re made sons of God. It is actively looking to Christ knowing that He is the goal, maturity in Him.
The problem is if we disregard God’s providence specifically in discipline. His provision of discipline. If we hate it when God works actively to expose our sins. Kapag in-expose ng Diyos providentially ang iyong kasalanan. Tayo’y nagagalit. Hindi mo ba nakikita ang probidensiya ng Panginoon. How at times He prevents; you see His care, His love when your sins are exposed gawa ng Kaniyang probidensiya. And as you go through such discipline, hindi mo ba nakikita na ikaw ay mahal ng Panginoon? Ikaw ay gusto Niyang magbago. Ikaw ay gusto Niyang i-hate mo ng i-hate ang iyong kasalanan. Hindi mo ba yun nakikita kapatid? That is the problem if we hate the work of God in discipline. So are you being disciplined by the Lord? May it be through church or privately? Even as you hear the word of God.. and are we hating the discipline? May ipaglalaban ba? Para kayong si Laban, may paglalaban ba sa ating mga puso? Habang nakikita natin ang probidensiya ng Panginoon, kung papano Niya ine- expose ang ating mga kasalanan. Kung paano Niya tayo kinakausap through His word, nilalabanan ba natin ito? Ito ba’y tinatanggap natin o hindi? Face it! Face the consequences. Go through the discipline of the Lord, endure when it’s hard look to Christ who endured. Remember that God loves you as His own. Remember the purposeful intent of God. It is for your Holiness in Christ. Ultimately when we see His hand in everything, we become sensitive to His providence. At alam mo, mas nakakatulong ito sa atin lalo. Mag-grow pa lalo ang desires natin na i- glorify ang Panginoon sa ating pag-worship sa Kaniya. Panginoon!
Ganito ang ginawa Mo sa akin, kay Kristo through Christ! This is what You have done, what You are doing. The more that we ascribe, attribute all the glory to Him. As we become sensitive sa Kaniyang mga kamay in His providence, even in the discipline. So our sensitivity to the purposeful and beneficial providence of God trains us most importantly to all the more glorify Him in everything. We attribute, we ascribe to God every thing. May the word of God enrich our knowledge of Him and may it stir us to live in light of these truths.
Let us pray. Panginoong Diyos, aming Ama, salamat sa Inyong probidensiya. Lord, salamat at hindi aksidente ang mga nangyayari sa amin. Hindi aksidente Panginoon na, Lord, that You have called us; that You have justified us. Lord, hindi ito aksidente. Ito’y aktibong gawa Mo Panginoong Diyos. So Lord, nagpapasalamat kami. May You alone be glorified in our lives. And Lord, tulungan Mo kami Panginoong Diyos na mas maging sensitibo, na mas makita namin. And that we savour Your providence, so that we would respond not in sin, but in accordance to Your word in obedience to You O Lord. Panginoon, hayaan Mo din kami o Diyos na kapag kami ay dumaan man sa dscipline, and we are going through it also privately, formatively oh Lord, Panginoon nawa’y ito’y tanggapin namin. Bigyan Mo kami ng humbled hearts oh Lord na patuloy naming tanggapin ang Iyong salita and that we heed your call oh Lord to always look to Christ who Himself endured, to look to Christ O Lord na Siyang rason kung bakit kami ay Iyong mga anak, to always look to Christ na Siya mismong goal ng aming sanctification. Salamat po Panginoon. We praise You In Jesus’ Name, amen.