Do People Really Change?

Dorothy Hostetter

READ : Genesis 30:25-36

For 14 years Jacob worked as Laban’s shepherd. And after all this time he had no flocks of his own to show for all his work. Laban had promised him that 7 years of service would pay off Rachel’s dowry. But Laban cheated, and Jacob had to serve him 7 more years.

During the time Jacob worked for Laban, Laban noticed that his flocks were getting bigger and healthier. To confirm his hunch that Jacob was the reason for his newfound wealth, Laban consulted a diviner. Jacob, however, was confident that God-the Lord who met him at Bethel-was blessing Laban because of him.

Jacob’s new life showed as he negotiated with Laban. Jacob wanted his freedom. He also needed sheep and goats so that he wouldn’t return home empty-handed. Instead of cooking up a scheme to get rich Jacob asked for what he wanted. His request was fair, and he honored God openly. What a difference from the way he cheated Esau out of his birthright and blessing!

“The little you had before I came has increased greatly, and the Lord has blessed you wherever I have been” (30:30)-faith from a man whose confidence had been in his mother’s schemes. God changed Jacob at Bethel. The change lasted for a lifetime.


Lord, you really make a difference in people’s lives. May my life like Jacob’s bring honor to your name. Amen.