The Sheep Incident

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AN AMAZING FACT:  During World War I, President and Mrs. Woodrow Wilson kept a flock of sheep on the White House lawn. The woolies, including Old Ike—a ram that enjoyed chewing tobacco—kept the lawn in beautiful condition. This saved money that would have been spent on grounds keeping. Each year the sheep were sheared and their wool auctioned, which raised more than $100,000 for the Red Cross.

Sheep were central to the conflict between Jacob and his often underhanded father-in-law, Laban. While Jacob labored for him with all of his might, Laban changed Jacob’s wages ten times and tried to cheat him.

But God was watching out for Jacob. As Jacob explained to his wives, if Laban said, “‘The speckled shall be your wages,’ then all the flocks bore speckled. And if he said thus: ‘The streaked shall be your wages,’ then all the flocks bore streaked” (Genesis 31:8).

As God commanded him, Jacob took all of his possessions and secretly left Laban’s property. Laban, unhappy with the manner of Jacob’s leaving, pursued him for an entire week and finally caught up with him.

Bitter words poured out, but eventually they made a covenant between them. Laban, a heathen man, said in parting, “May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from another.” He asked Jacob to be good to his daughters, and the two men agreed never to harm each other. As God had been merciful and forgiving toward him, Jacob forgave Laban, who had spitefully used him.

But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me. Psalms 13:5-6But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matthew 5:44

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